Couch To Half Marathon For Beginners


Marathon run­ning is not easy and takes a lot of hard work and ded­i­ca­tion to accom­plish such a task, but you can hon­estly go from couch to marathon run­ning if you really want to.

The task ahead of you may take quite some time if you are new to the life of fit­ness, but fol­low­ing these sim­ple guide­lines will help you com­plete a half marathon, and soon after you will be ready to take on the more advanced tech­niques to improve your per­for­mance further

Moti­va­tion and Goal Setting


You must be moti­vated in order to go from couch to half marathon sta­tus, and with­out it you might as well just remain on the couch and watch some more tele­vi­sion. Marathon run­ning is going to decrease your body fat per­cent­age and increase your lean mus­cle gains.

Sim­ply put, you want to tell your­self that you can get things rolling and make time to train prop­erly. Once this deci­sion has been made you should set some goals. Your goals for going from couch to marathon run­ning should be both near and future. First, think about run times and reach­ing a spe­cific amount of dis­tance.

For exam­ple, a per­son who has only ran a mile in their life­time would feel ecsta­tic to reach being able to run five miles. Next think about your future as well. Do you want to place in the top ranks of your marathons, or weigh a cer­tain amount upon com­ple­tion of your begin­ner marathon train­ing sched­ule? The choice of goals to set is yours, and believ­ing in your­self is what helps you achieve them.

Nutri­tion and Gear

You want to eat plenty of healthy foods that con­tain high amounts of nutri­ents. Sim­ple carbs and unhealthy fatty foods destroy your body and chances of being able to com­plete a half marathon. Com­plex carbs such as quinoa, whole grains, and brown rice should be a part of your marathon diet plan in order to sup­ply your body’s metab­o­lism energy to drive for­ward in the marathon.

Also include pro­tein which is going to assist your mus­cles through the growth and recov­ery phase. Dietary fats will be used as a sec­ondary source for energy, which is used when your glyco­gen lev­els from carbs have been used up. See my Marathon Train­ing Diet for more information.

Next, ensure your shoes fit prop­erly and are com­fort­able. You do not want them to tight or to lose because seri­ous injury may occur, for exam­ple exces­sive rub­bing of feet against the sides of shoes could cause inflam­ma­tion or even an infec­tion.

Make sure that you use some type of com­pres­sion brace if you have any type of knee injury (I will dis­cuss braces fur­ther in a future article). Water is very impor­tant for your body, and a very big deal for marathon run­ners. One of the worst things that can hap­pen to you dur­ing a com­pe­ti­tion is dehy­dra­tion.

To counter this, you should be con­sum­ing 6–8 ounces of water every 20 min­utes. This will allow your body to stay hydrated through­out the entire ses­sion. Do not chug the water down, grad­u­ally take gulps and carry on with the run. And be care­ful about sug­ary energy drinks, per­son­ally I try to avoid them.

Couch to Half Marathon Train­ing Sched­ule for Beginners

Before tak­ing on the task of going from the couch to half marathon run­ner sta­tus, you should be able to run for at least 30 min­utes before even attempt­ing to per­form paces and dis­tances a marathon run­ner trains with.

Below is an exam­ple of what a begin­ner half marathon train­ing sched­ule should be like, and the num­bers rep­re­sent the amount of miles to run:

You can eas­ily go from vir­tu­ally hav­ing no type of run­ning expe­ri­ence to becom­ing an amaz­ing marathon ath­lete by doing the following:

  • Warm-​​up stretch­ing for 30 min­utes. For more infor­ma­tion read this arti­cle by Fit­ness Mag­a­zine.
  • Start­ing out with brisk jogs last­ing up to 30 minutes.
  • Jog until you are find­ing it easy to do, then start run­ning at mod­er­ate paces for dis­tances up to 2 miles.
  • Eat nutri­ent based diet plans fully avoid­ing all sim­ple carbs and snacks. No calo­ries from drinks!
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
  • Per­form strength train­ing exer­cises to increase the lean mus­cles on the legs.

The table above may seem a bit dif­fi­cult at first, but once you get the run­ning going you notice that it is not as bad as you thought first start­ing out. Once you have mas­tered this plan check out my 16 Week Marathon Train­ing Sched­ule for your next marathon.

Mix the table with the sim­ple tips given above to ensure you’re at your max poten­tial when your com­pe­ti­tion arrives. Some­times you may have to tweak the sched­ule to fit your needs if you fail to reach a cer­tain dis­tance, but remem­ber that it is not easy going from couch to half marathon sta­tus so keep your head up and per­form the 8 week begin­ner marathon train­ing sched­ule twice if you have to.

Good luck with your marathon training!