Walking the Half Marathon


Goal:  Walking the half marathon.

I am a 5'2", 163lbs woman with 32% body fat.

I have lost 57 pounds over the last year and a half.

My new goal is now to walk the 1/2 marathon in November.

I begin training in 2 weeks.

Currently, I am walking 3-4 miles 2-3 times per week.

Today when I walked I did 4 miles in 1 hour but was only able to get my heart rate up to about 100 beats per minute at the most.

Most of the time it was around 98 beats per minute.

My training will entail walking 4 miles twice a week or so, plus a distance walk once a week.

I am already walking about the pace I want to walk in the half marathon.

How can I get a better workout cardio wise and get my heart rate up?

Or will the distance I will be doing be enough that just walking more time/distance will equal out not having my heart rate up?

Answered By:

Mike Behnken, MS, CSCS ANswers the Fitness Question

Qualifications of Mike Behnken



Congratulations on your weight loss. It is great to hear you achieved a significant goal or are on the way to achieve it and in process created new goals for yourself. That is exactly how it is supposed to be done.

Since this is your 1st time walking the half marathon you should really focus on endurance.

Up to about a week before you try to walk the half marathon for the first time you should try to make your longer distance walk as close to a half marathon as your are comfortable doing.

If you are comfortable at your current pace you should keep it during your practice / training walks.


Your heart rate equals your intensity of your cardio/aerobic workout. Since your goal is to walk 13 miles, intensity (heart rate) is not as important as how long you can maintain your 98 beats per minute for.

Focus on building your endurance so you know you will finish walking the half marathon, then focus on getting a cardio workout. If you want to increase your heart rate over 100 beats per minute a simple way would be to change your walking course.

Find an area to walk at where there are hills. If you walk on a treadmill, raise the incline level and try to keep your desired pace. At the same pace with an incline, the intensity (your heart rate) of the exercise should be greater.

Cross Training:

Cross training is simply performing other activities which give you benefits which walking does not provide. Weight training, bicycling, using the elliptical machine at the gym, climbing stairs, etc. will help your body as a whole.

Cross training will help your body become more efficient at utilizing and burning calories and could also improve your cardio endurance.

If you are looking for a different cardio workout to supplement your walking check out the Cardio Workouts

Good luck with Walking the half Marathon!

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