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Last week, Oliver’s guest article Running Training for Beginners was about starting to run.

If you follow his training plan, you will soon be able to run for 30 minutes and more in a row.

And want more.

You can find out how to successfully complete your first half marathon in this article.

If you are just starting to run, be sure to read and follow the advice given in the article “Running Training For Beginners: How To Get Started And Keep At It”.

If you can run through more than 30 minutes – better 60 minutes in about an hour – without any problems, this article is the right place for you.

Every beginning is difficult – even with running training

Has running become a healthy habit for you? Congratulations !

Then you have already mastered the most important thing on the way to the first half marathon: Making the jump from initial motivation to habit!

Motivation gets you going. Habit keeps you going. Jim Rohn

You probably no longer feel like a lame snail, but have already played a driving game and thus reached higher running speeds over short distances.

If you want to continue now, two things are particularly important:

  • Variety and
  • a clear goal in mind.

How to add variety to your running training

One thing is clear: When you notice progress in yourself, the motivation remains high.

At some point, however, you will reach your first plateau and there are no noticeable improvements in either fat loss or the subjective perception of your fitness.

This is exactly where the variation comes in: Variety and diversity are the key!

Training methods

At the beginning, you probably mainly used the continuous method. You simply run a certain distance with a relatively steady pulse.

Perhaps you already know the interval method, with which you are particularly well advised at the beginning. You can alternate between running and walking and thus increase your running minutes step by step or minute by minute.

But: There is more. Much more!

Here is a brief overview for you:

permanent methods (indicator: without interruption)

  • Continuous method
    You run a certain distance or a certain time at the same pace or within the same pace Pulse range. Here you can still differentiate between extensive (low intensity, high volume) and intensive (medium intensity, medium volume) continuous method.
  • Change method
    If you combine the two shapes above in one unit, one speaks of the change method.
  • Driving game
    The driving game is a special form of the change method in which the intensity changes are not strictly specified, but are based on internal (state of mind, etc.) and external (terrain, gradient, etc.) factors.

Interval methods (indicator: with interruption)

  • Interval method – conditional pause
    The extensive interval method – interval duration up to 10 minutes – and the intensive Interval method – interval duration of 20-60 seconds (HIIT) – differentiate.
  • Repetition method – complete pause
    This is where it gets down to business, as maximum intensities are used. It’s very exhausting, so you take a relatively long break.

Competition method (additional)

The aim here is to simulate a competition and the loads that occur during it. This usually takes place at very high intensity and can be done either at a competition distance or below (with higher speed) or above (with lower speed).

A long time ago I wrote about endurance training methods in more detail, if you want to read more.

By the way: You can also increase your endurance performance with bodyweight training. How it works, I blogged about it as a guest on “How you can increase your endurance with bodyweight training (even if you don’t have time to run)”.

Abwechslung im Lauftraining ist wichtig, um dauerhaft dranzubleiben, Spaß zu haben und Fortschritte zu erzielen!


It doesn’t always have to be a specific training method that gives you variety. The running track itself can also ensure that your running training doesn’t get boring and that your motivation stays high.

Run a wide variety of laps with different surfaces: from a forest run to a beach run, a barefoot run to short runs over a few kilometers and long runs over 20 kilometers.

Running partner

Running is an individual sport.

But you can also do it in a team.

Regardless of whether you are in two or in a whole group. Again, I advise you to vary.

Sometimes alone, sometimes with a fitness-loving neighbor, sometimes within a training group or a sports club.


Sometimes it is a blessing, sometimes it leaves us out in the rain.

We’re talking about apps and equipment that will sweeten your run.

It doesn’t matter whether you simply record your run with Runtastic, catch a few Pokémon on the go, listen to music with good sports headphones or just post nice sports photos on Instagram.

The important thing is: You have fun, you don’t always do the same thing, you are sometimes out and about without technology and it helps you stick with it!

How to set (and achieve) a clear (running) goal

I like specific goals.

And I love challenges.

Your first half marathon can be both in one for you.

Because once you have registered for a half marathon competition, you almost automatically achieve everything that a smart goal should have. Then it’s just a matter of creating the way there – read: training plan .

Nevertheless, with all motivation, you should clarify a few basic things before you start running training for a half marathon:

  • Are you healthy?
  • Can you go through an hour?
  • Have you been training or running regularly in the last few months?
  • Do you have fun running?
  • Do you know your maximum heart rate?

If you are not sure about some things, for the sake of your health you should clarify all questions and set your goals lower first. (How about, for example, a 10 kilometer run and a correspondingly lower training volume?)

If the answer to all of these questions is a resounding yes, then you’re good to go.

Your half marathon training plan

In a half marathon you have to cover 21.1 kilometers in a row.

That is quite a stretch. Especially if you are not well prepared for it.

Believe me, this has already happened to me when I took part in the half marathon. But as a youngster you think: Close your eyes and get on with it.

So I ran my first half marathon in exactly 2 hours. At that time I was around 20 years old, I hardly trained for it and from kilometer 15 I felt really bad.

But I took that as an opportunity to improve and a few years later I was able to use my previous one Set up the best time of 1 hour and 39 minutes. I successfully completed my last half marathon in 2015 in just under 1 hour and 45 minutes.

What helps you to make your preparation effective is a training plan.

At you will find two good and free half marathon training plans to download. One of them is intended for advanced runners who want to complete their half marathon in 2:10 to 1:55. The second training plan is made for professionals who aim for times under 1 hour and 40 minutes.

In both you will find different training methods that I have already explained to you above. You also need your maximum heart rate and a heart rate monitor (I use the Garmin Vivofit 2 with a chest strap *).

In addition, of course, running shoes and running clothes. But Oliver already explained everything to you in his beginner’s article.

By the way: You can find 10 more good tips for your first half marathon on Oliver’s blog


Running is addicting.

And that’s a good thing.

When you have successfully started running and have worked minute by minute to run, then you are faced with the next decisions.

Do you want to be able to run further and faster? Then a competition like a half marathon is just right for you.

If you still have a good training plan, nothing stands in the way of strong preparation and a successful race.

Your health and fitness will thank you!

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