In 1997, Amby Burfoot, an editor of Runner’s World, asked me to write a Beginning Runner’s Guide for the magazine’s first venture onto the Internet. Much of the information contained in that guide (later published as a booklet) remains valid today.
Stacey Saunders, 38, a stay-at-home mom from Irmo, South Carolina, started running in June 1999 because she faced something new and unwanted: a permanent off-season. "Out of college, I had nothing to train for anymore after more than eight years of team sports," she says.
Let’s begin by defining the workouts for novice 1. When you begin novice 1, the first workout you encounter on Monday (and all Mondays) is rest. It may seem counterproductive to consider rest a workout, but rest is as important a part of your training as the running.
Once you have chosen your half marathon, the secret to success is consistency. There’s that word again, but you need to make walking a regular habit - a daily habit, not just something you do on the weekends or when the weather is nice.
Hal Higdon’s Half Marathon Training offers prescriptive
programming for all levels of runners. Not only will it help you learn
how to get started with your training, but it will show you where to
focus your attention, when to progress, and how to keep it simple.
If you are a member of the HK Rewards Program, when buying a new print edition of this book, you
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Hal Higdon’s name is synonymous with running. As contributing editor of Runner’s World and best-selling author, he has helped countless runners achieve their distance goals. Now, he’s created the definitive guide on today’s most popular distance, the 13.1-mile half marathon.
Hal Higdon’s Half Marathon Training is everything you wanted to know about running the half marathon, including where to begin, what to focus on, how to pace yourself, how to avoid injury, how to track your progress, how to stay the course, and how to improve. Whether this is your first or fiftieth half marathon, there is a plan for you.
Inside you’ll find more than 15 customizable programs, ranging from novice to advanced (you’ll even find a walking-only plan), as well as proven strategies, race-day tips, and motivation from half-marathoners around the globe. From day 1 to mile 13.1, Hal will guide, encourage, and pace you to your goal.
Other guides might help you complete the half, but only one will introduce you to the joys of running. Hal Higdon’s Half Marathon Training is a book you’ll return to for guidance and inspiration for a lifetime of running.
Chapter 1. An Incredible Journey
Chapter 2. Roots
Chapter 3. Ready to Run
Chapter 4. First Steps
Chapter 5. Why We Run
Chapter 6. Hard/Easy
Chapter 7. Immediate Achievement
Chapter 8. Base Training
Chapter 9. Picking a Program
Chapter 10. Novice Training
Chapter 11. Moving Upward
Chapter 12. The Pinnacle
Chapter 13. Half-Marathoner Walking
Chapter 14. HM3
Chapter 15. Tween
Chapter 16. Do-It-Yourself Training
Hal Higdon has contributed to Runner's World for longer
than any other writer. An article by Hal appeared in that publication's
second issue in 1966. Author of more than 36 books, including the
best-selling Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide (Rodale,
2011), 4:09:43: Boston 2013 Through the Eyes of the Runners
(Human Kinetics, 2014), and RunFast (Rodale, 2000). Higdon has
also written books on many subjects and for various age groups. His
children's book The Horse That Played Center Field was made into
an animated feature by ABC TV.
He ran eight times in the Olympic Trials and won four World Masters
Championships. One of the founders of the Road Runners Club of America,
Higdon was a finalist in NASA's Journalist-in-Space program to ride the
space shuttle. He has served as training consultant for the Chicago
Marathon and Chicago Area Runners Association and also answers questions
on Facebook, offering interactive training programs through
TrainingPeaks and apps through Bluefin. At the annual meeting of the
American Society of Journalists and Authors in 2003, Higdon received the
Career Achievement Award, the highest honor given to writer members.
Higdon became acquainted with the Boston Marathon as a member of the
U.S. Army stationed in Stuttgart, Germany, training with Dean Thackwray,
who would make the U.S. Olympic team in 1956. Higdon knew then that he
eventually needed to shift his focus from his usual track events
(including the 3,000-meter steeplechase) to the marathon. He first ran
Boston in 1959, then again in 1960, failing to finish both years. “My
mistake,” Higdon realized later, “was trying to win the race, not finish
It took five years for Higdon to figure out the training necessary for
success as an elite marathoner, becoming the first American finisher
(fifth overall) in 1964. The previous year, he wrote an article for Sports
Illustrated about Boston titled “On the Run From Dogs and People”
(later a book by the same title) that contributed to the explosion of
interest in running in the 1970s that continues to this day.
Higdon also wrote a coffee table book titled Boston: A Century of
Running, published before the 100th running of the Boston Marathon
in 1996. An expanded version of a chapter in that book featuring the
1982 battle between Alberto Salazar and Dick Beardsley, titled The
Duel, continues as a best-seller among running books.
Higdon has run 111 marathons, 18 of them at Boston. He considers himself
more than a running specialist, having spent most of his career as a
full-time journalist writing about a variety of subjects, including
business, history, and science, for publications such as Reader’s
Digest, Good Housekeeping, National Geographic, and Playboy.
Among his more than three dozen published books are two involving major
crimes: The Union vs. Dr. Mudd (about the Lincoln assassination)
and The Crime of the Century (about the Leopold and Loeb case,
featuring attorney Clarence Darrow). The 2014 publication of 4:09:43:
Boston 2013 Through the Eyes of the Runners resonated with the
worldwide community of runners deeply affected by the bombings at the
2013 Boston Marathon.
Higdon continues to run and bike with his wife, Rose, from their winter
and summer homes in Florida and Indiana. They have three children and