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Proper training is key for those eyeing half marathon

  • Friday, August 8, 2014

Novice runners with an interest in taking on the inaugural Summerville Sweet Tea Half Marathon should probably begin training soon.

The half marathon isn’t until Nov. 15 but experienced runners recommend for anyone who is looking to complete their first 13.1-mile race to dedicate several weeks to training.

“You don’t have to be an every-day runner in order to prepare for a half marathon but you need to be dedicated to training if you plan to run one,” Kelly Hazel, a veteran distance runner and high school cross country coach, said. “If a 5K is the biggest thing you have taken on then I recommend you start by adding one day of training to what you do now. Running three to five days a week is probably enough for most people and it’s always a good idea to cross train.”

Training experts recommend people looking to take on their first half-marathon work their way up to running eight miles per training period and increase that to at least 10 miles by the time their event rolls around.

“Don’t worry about making the final jump from 10 miles in practice to 13.1 miles in the race. Inspiration will carry you to the finish line … ,” renowned running/training expert Hal Higdon says in his Half Marathon Training Guide – Novice 1 Program that can be found on his website.

He recommends a 12-week training period for novice runners preparing for a half marathon. The organizers of the Summerville Sweet Tea Half Marathon have included an excerpt of Higdon’s training program and a link to his website on their website www.sweetteahalf.com. Higdon also has training programs for intermediate and advanced runners looking to participated in both half and full marathons as well as a training program for those looking to walk a half marathon.

Whether someone is training for or participating in a distance race it is important to not forget the basics.

“Training should always involve fluids,” Hazel said. “As you increase your training you should add a little more. During a race, make sure you take advantage of water stations set up along the course.”

Those not wanting to train alone for the Sweet Tea Half Marathon have some options. Crossfit Summerville, located at 1668 Old Trolley Road, offers half-marathon training for $70. The Summerville Family YMCA will also offer half-marathon training beginning Aug. 25.

The Y’s training is a 12-week program that costs $200 for Y members and $250 for nonmembers. Sessions will be offered on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday mornings. An evening session may be added if there is enough interest. For more on that program, contact Lucinda Hughes at 771-2934.

More than 70 people have already registered for the Summerville Sweet Tea Half Marathon. Organizers are hoping to register 300.

Anyone registering before Sept. 1 will receive a $10 discount. Cost after August is $75 per participant. Military personnel and Charleston Running Club members are eligible for a $5 discount. Registration is available at http://go-greenevents.com/sweetteahalf. The race website includes a link to the registration site.

The half marathon will benefit the Summerville Fire and Police benevolent fund. The course will begin and end in Summerville and incorporate parts of the Saw Mill Branch trail and subdivisions such as Tea Farm, Newington and Arbor Oaks. The event will also feature live entertainment throughout the course and lively water stations.

For more information visit www.sweetteahalf.com or contact Hazel at 822-2461.

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