4 Tips to Take the Plunge from a 10K to a Half Marathon

Contributed by Amelia Wood, a 2017 Ambassador for the Berkeley Half Marathon.

Ready to take the distance plunge from 10K to half marathon but don’t know where to start? Have no fear! This runner’s dilemma can be easily solved using organizational tools you already have in your toolbox: research, planning, and of course, the right soundtrack.

Throughout my seven years of running, the half marathon has stood strong as my favorite race distance. Why? It provides a real challenge but is not all-consuming to train for, which is more fun in my book. Here are some useful training tips to get you started and help you reach your new goal:

1. Choose your training plan. Take into consideration how many weeks away your race is (the Berkeley Half is about 8 weeks away), what level of difficulty you want to be training at, and what your ideal race time is. I am a big fan of Hal Higdon’s training plans, which take these factors into consideration and also include weekly maintenance, tempo, and long runs. Local runners, be sure to check out RUN365 – BHM’s official training program, which offers structured plans and scheduled in-person events all across the Bay Area. (The 8-Week training program starts September 30 and October 1, with events in Berkeley, SF, Campbell, and the Marin Headlands.)

2. Build and maintain your base. In order to increase from a 10K to a half marathon distance, you should be already running approximately 10-20 miles a week with a weekly long run of at least 5 miles.

3. Change it up! Take a strength training class, go swimming, do yoga, or go biking to resist burnout and fatigue.

4. Create a killer playlist for race day. I rely heavily on music (or theme songs, podcasts, anything!) to take my mind off of the long miles. I enjoy adding songs to my playlist as my mileage increases. Hearing the songs on race day helps me focus and look back on how hard I’ve trained.

Best of luck as you tackle this exciting new distance. Don’t forget to double knot your shoes, hydrate, and rock out to your favorite tunes. See you at the Berkeley Half Marathon starting line on November 19th!

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