Can An Untrained Person Run A Half Marathon?

Half marathons became the distance that most leisurely runners had to be able to run. I believe that during the covid pandemic, many runners took up running to clear their heads and get some fresh air, and it became the most popular exercise as all the gyms were closed. Many runners will train hard for a half marathon while others ask, can an untrained person run a half marathon? Firstly, I will explain a half marathon before answering this question.

What Is A Half Marathon?

A Half marathon is a very popular road racing distance. It is 13.1 miles long, which is the equivalent of 21.1 km. You will often find that a half marathon is run in conjunction with another race distance. Half marathons are generally run by runners with the bug for running but do not feel they can run a full marathon; they find the half marathon scratches that itch. I will never run further than a half marathon as I suffer from too many niggles continuously.

Can An Untrained Person Run A Half Marathon?

No, an untrained person cannot run a half marathon without training. In this scenario, an untrained person is a person that is doing no exercise at all. There are a few exceptions to this.

  • Sometimes, a person can be extremely fit by doing other exercises but may not have Man sitting been running. They may run a half marathon without stopping.
  • some people will force their bodies to endure the pain if they do a half marathon with little or no training. This is probably very foolish as they may do lasting damage to their bodies.
  • If you have trained for a 10k, even though you are untrained for a half marathon, you will probably be able to run the half marathon.

How To Run Half Marathon With Little Training?

The day of our half marathon is fast approaching, and you realize you have little or no training completed. The following tips will help you get through the half marathon.

  • Talk to the doctor – Before you attempt to run a half marathon without any training, it is essential to check with your doctor to ensure that you are in good health and can handle the physical demands of the race.
  • start slow – If you’re not used to running long distances, it’s important to start slow and pace yourself. You can try a run-walk approach, where you run for a short period and then walk for a few minutes before running again.
  • hydrate and fuel well – it is essential that we are properly hydrated and fueled before our half marathon. Try drinking at least 3 liters of water daily in the week leading up to the half marathon. Eat a light protein-filled meal on the morning of the race, but make sure you allow enough time for the body to deal with the food, as the last thing you need when running is a stitch or the need for the toilet. Try eating a lot of carbs and protein the days before the race. Make sure to hydrate at the refueling stations on the course.
  • don’t focus on time or pace – if you are untrained, the aim has to be to finish the half marathon, as this will be an outstanding achievement as you have no training completed. The only time that you need to worry about is if there is a cut-off time for completing the half marathon.
  • find a running buddy – if we can find someone who will do the half marathon with us, they will encourage and motivate us the whole way around. They can also act as a distraction for tiredness and heavy legs later in the race.
  • music – if we don’t have a buddy to run with, it can be good to have music or podcasts to listen to as we run, as it will help us take our mind off running.
  • shoes and running gear – make sure that we wear shoes that offer the proper support when running, as supporting shoes can lead to various leg injuries. It is also important to wear running clothes that suit the current weather. If it is a hot day, we wear shorts and a sweat-wicking top; otherwise, we will struggle with the heat.
  • listen to the body – even though we aim to run the whole half marathon, we need to be able to listen to our bodies as well as there are times that we may need to walk and recover.

How To Train For A Half Marathon?

We have discussed running a half marathon with little or no training, but how do we train for a half Marathon? There are many training plans available to help us to be able to run a half marathon. But no matter what training plan we will follow, there are specific steps we need to follow.

  • need base mileage – before we start any half marathon plan, we need to have basic base mileage. We would need to have reached 10k before we start this plan. If we have no base mileage, we might need to start with couch 2 5k and then progress to 5k to 10k plan.
  • strength training – when we are training for a half marathon, it is essential that we do some strength training for our upper body as well as this will make us better runners. We can lift weights to build muscle in our upper body and arms.
  • consistency – when training for a race, we need to be consistent. We need to run 3 or 4 days every week, week after week, increasing our mileage so that we are running 20 to 25 miles a week. The more we run, the better we become.
  • 10% Rule – Never increase your weekly mileage by over 10%. This helps prevent injury and allows your body to adapt to the increased workload.
  • Allow rest and recovery – when we are training, every session is important, but allowing adequate rest and recovery between sessions is as important. If the body does not get a chance to rest and recover, we will be more likely to get injured.
  • Fuel the body – Eating a balanced diet that includes carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats is essential for fueling your body during training. Hydration is also crucial, so drink plenty of water throughout the day.
  • listen to your body – when training, whether for a half marathon or any other form of exercise, we must listen to our bodies. If you feel any niggles or pain, you may have to take a break for a couple of days to allow the body to recover.
  • Tapering – when following a training plan, we must also follow the last few weeks, where we taper before the race allowing our bodies to recover to get to the start line fresh and raring to go.

My Recommendation For Half Marathon Training Plans

I believe that Daniels’ Running Formula by Jack Daniels is the best half-marathon training plan. This is an excellent book on all things running, and it includes various plans for all different race distances, including the half marathon. (As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases)

Daniels’ Running Formula

This has great half-marathon advice and helps us calculate the pace we should run.

I believe if we follow a training plan properly each week and do the sessions as they are recommended, we will achieve our goals. Though we always have to listen to our bodies when training, and if we suffer from aches and pains, we may have to take a week off and miss a week on the plan.

Final Thoughts

We have looked at can an untrained person run a half marathon. As I have explained above, a total novice cannot run a half marathon with no training from a sedentary lifestyle. I have looked at how to run a half marathon with little training and how to train for a half marathon.

I would be interested to hear from anyone that has run all of a half marathon without training if they were coming from a sedentary lifestyle. Please comment below with your experience.

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