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Complete, detailed preparation for running a half-marathon

Get ready for a half marathon with a structured training programn. Find out more about our tips and nutrition!

Looking to take on a new challenge? Run a half-marathon. With a solid training program, commitment and a sheer will, you're sure to succeed. The key is to be regular in your training. Respect your rest days, stay well hydrated, and fuelled up. Get useful tips and helpful basics from our specialist, colleague and Kiprun ambassador, Guillaume.

Comment s'entraîner pour un demi-marathon : Plan sur 10 semaines

What is a half-marathon?

The half-marathon is a running event and represents half of a marathon, i.e., 21.1 kilometres. Running in general has been booming in recent years, as it's a relatively accessible sport and doesn't require a lot of equipment. Comfortable, breathable clothing, good shoes and... that's about it!

Did you know? The first marathon dates back to 490 BC. The story goes that a Greek named Philippides ran from Marathon to Athens, a distance of around 40 km. The exhausted young man was trying to announce victory over the Persians at the end of the Battle of Marathon during the First Medieval War. Unfortunately, he died after successfully delivering his message.

Comment s'entraîner pour un demi-marathon : Plan sur 10 semaines

Is it for you?

"The half-marathon, often seen as an ambitious challenge, is actually accessible to a wide range of people. The key lies in adequate preparation and the progressive building of endurance. Usually, those who commit to a well-planned training program can complete a half-marathon, regardless of their starting fitness level.

Consult a doctor before starting any intense training program, especially for people with pre-existing health problems. With a positive mindset, a balanced diet and the right training plan, anyone who is motivated can cross the finish line successfully." said Guillaume

Comment s'entraîner pour un demi-marathon : Plan sur 10 semaines

A structured and progressive training program according to your fitness level

First, you'll need to determine your fitness level, and then make a training program to help you progress towards your goal.

The importance of rest and nutrition

We can't stress this enough: don't go overboard! Often, when we set ourselves a goal, we push ourselves too hard. But remember, too much running kills running. If you train too hard and don't rest, you run the risk of injuring yourself. It doesn't matter whether it's a minor injury or a serious case of tendonitis, as this could not only ruin your race, but also, and above all, demoralize you.

"In preparing for a half-marathon, rest is as crucial as the training itself. It's during rest periods that the body regenerates, strengthens and adapts to the constraints of training." Guillaume Dupire.

It's vital to build up gradually, stick to your program, and in between all that, remember to eat well and stay hydrated. A healthy diet will help you maintain regular, intense training while reducing the risk of illness or injury. So your success depends heavily on how you eat!

10-week training program for a successful half-marathon

Comment s'entraîner pour un demi-marathon : Plan sur 10 semaines
Comment s'entraîner pour un demi-marathon : Plan sur 10 semaines

Nutrition and hydratation

A balanced diet is essential to maximize performance and aid recovery during preparation.

Example of a diet for half-marathon preparation

"Runners should focus on carbohydrate-rich foods to provide sustained energy, protein for muscle repair, and healthy fats to maintain proper body function." says  Guillaume

The importance of hydration

Our expert Guillaume can't say it enough: hydration plays a fundamental role in preparation. "Staying hydrated before, during and after training is essential to maintain optimum performance and prevent dehydration. Before training, we recommend drinking water, then hydrating regularly during exercise and replenishing fluids lost after training. Depending on the duration and intensity of training, runners may also need sports drinks to replace electrolytes lost through perspiration."

Comment s'entraîner pour un demi-marathon : Plan sur 10 semaines

Eating before, during and after

Eating well a few days before the race is essential! This will determine your performance on D-day, as well as your post-race recovery.

"Before the race, it's important to eat a meal rich in carbohydrates to provide lasting energy. Meals should be eaten around 2 to 3 hours before the start of the race to allow adequate digestion."

During the race, we advise you to opt for energy snacks, such as bars, gels or even fruit! Finally, after the race, "it's essential to consume foods and drinks rich in carbohydrates and proteins to help muscle recovery and replenish glycogen reserves. Fruit smoothies, protein sandwiches or chocolate milk are excellent to help restore nutrients lost during exercise." explains Guillaume.

Comment s'entraîner pour un demi-marathon : Plan sur 10 semaines

Injury prevention and recovery

Here are a few tips to help your run go smoothly: avoid doing too much too fast, don't forget to warm up and stretch, and always include muscle-strengthening exercises such as squats or lunges. Opt for good foot support with suitable running shoes. Finally, listen to your body. If you feel the slightest tension or pain, take your foot off the gas!

Comment s'entraîner pour un demi-marathon : Plan sur 10 semaines

Tips for race day

Here's Guillaume's advice on how to be in top form!

Mental preparation and visualization

"On race day, it's essential to prepare yourself mentally and physically for the event ahead. Make sure you sleep well the night before and wake up early enough to have a light, well-balanced breakfast. Dress for the weather conditions and make sure you have all the equipment you need, including your comfortable running shoes (which you've obviously tested on your long runs)."

Pace and energy management

"Warm up properly before the start with a light jog, a few activation exercises and some straight-line acceleration. Don't get carried away by the fast start of other runners, and keep your own pace. Finally, listen to your body and adjust your effort accordingly to avoid premature exhaustion."

Comment s'entraîner pour un demi-marathon : Plan sur 10 semaines

Gear up

The fun thing about running is that you don't need much aerg. All you need is a good pair of shoes, the right clothes and the right accessories.

The right running shoes

If this is your first half-marathon, we recommend road running shoes.- Choose shoes that fit your size, slightly larger, as your foot will tend to swell during the race.- Cushioning is extremely important: choose shock-absorbing shoes to soften impacts and protect your joints, tendons and ligaments as much as possible.- Focus on comfort! It's important to feel comfortable and at ease in your shoes, and to have a pair that fits the shape of your foot perfectly.

Comment s'entraîner pour un demi-marathon : Plan sur 10 semaines

Choice of clothing

As Guillaume mentioned above, dress for the weather. If your half-marathon takes place in summer, choose breathable clothing: light t-shirt, a technical tank, shorts or running tights. This will quickly eliminate moisture and keep you dry during the race. If temperatures are cooler, it's advisable to choose : a long-sleeved jersey and long running shorts that fully cover the legs.

Good to know!

- Running tights offer specific support for the quadriceps, reducing vibrations due to ground impact and effectively alleviating muscle aches and pains.

- Shorts can be worn alone or over compression shorts. Most of the time, they feature an integrated technical belt, and can be zipped to carry gels, a water bottle or other essential.

Comment s'entraîner pour un demi-marathon : Plan sur 10 semaines

Now that you know everything there is to know about training for a half-marathon, get started! Be confident in yourself and take the time you need to reach your goal. Remember, the most important thing is to enjoy yourself!

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