Monday, September 8, 2014

5 tips for training for a half marathon + my training plan

When training for a half marathon having a training plan is key.  You need to sit down and find a plan that will work for you, your body and your schedule.  

A 12-week plan, a 16-week plan, whatever works best for you. 

I ran my first half marathon back in April of 2010. I was a hot mess. I think the longest run I did before the race was 6-7 miles. I look back at that race and am amazed I didn't die, lol. 

When I signed up for that race I had every intention of training, but somehow life got in the way and I didn't make it a priority.  I was smart enough to email the sweet and amazing Danica of Chic Runner and ask her if she had any advice on how to train.  She sent me a great running plan.  

Her running plan was the base of my running plan for the 2014 Rock-n-Roll Virginia Beach.  

My training plan: 

Sunday: easy 2 miles 

Monday & Tuesday: 4 miles 

Thursday or Friday: long run

I tried to up my long run 1 mile each week. It wasn't perfect but after I hit week 9 and did 10 miles I decided to focus on get comfortable with doing 8-9 miles and be really strong. 

Long runs: 

Week 1 - 4 miles 
Week 2 - 5 miles 
Week 3 - 5 miles 
Week 4 - 6 miles 
Week 5 - 7 miles {from week 5 on all long runs were on Thursdays}
Week 6 - 8 miles 
Week 7 - 7 miles 
Week 8 - 8 miles {stopped Sunday runs} 
Week 9 - 10 miles 
Week 10 - 8 miles 
Week 11 - 9.25 miles 
Week 12 - 9 miles
Week 13 - 9 miles
Week 14 - 6 miles
Week 15 - 4 miles {I only ran 4 miles on Tuesday and 4 miles on Thursday and then my race was Sunday}
Week 16- Race day! 

{You can find some great info and a running plan from Danica.}

After a few weeks of running 7+ miles for my long run on Thursday's I realized my body need an extra day to recover so I stopped doing my short 2 mile sunday runs. 

My tips for training: 

1. Find a running plan and use it. You might have to tweak it, but you need to have goals and a plan. This helps when you are feeling unmotivated to run.  When you know you have a goal you want to meet for the week you are more likely to lace up your kicks and hit the pavement! 

2. Create a schedule and stick to it.  They say it takes 21 days to form a habit, so it is going to take you at least a few weeks of consistently training/running before it really becomes a habit. I knew if I didn't set up a strict plan I would let training fall off my list of priorities.  I decided I was going to run every Mon/Tues and Thurs no matter what. If it rained I would head to the gym and get my run in via the treadmill.  {Thankfully there were no rainstorms on my long run days!} I don't start work until 10am so running first thing in the morning was easy for me to schedule in.  I also know myself well enough to know if I put it off until the evening I would never do it.  I found that I really enjoyed starting my day with a run and it set a great tone for the rest of the day. 

3. Have lots of good food in the fridge.  Eggs, lots of eggs! Hardboiled eggs were my lifesaver after long runs. I would be starving and they would be easy for me to eat with no prep since they were already cooked.  I had lots of fruit on hand to have in the morning to help rehydrate and since it is hot and humid in Virginia in the summer it was beyond refreshing.  Make sure you are getting enough protein. It doesn't always have to be from meat, but your body will need more protein the more miles you log. 

4. Take a multivitamin.  You already should be taking one, wink wink, but if you aren't now is a great time to start. 

5. Reward yourself for all the hard work you are doing.  My biggest reward is a massage. It is a great way to motivate yourself to keep going.  Treat yourself to a 60 or 90 minute massage halfway through your training.  If you body is anything like mine it will need it like crazy. ;)  Another good reward is new running clothes or shoes. 


Christina said...

So great to see you blogging again! You've been such an inspiration to me, Jen! I've always wanted to be a runner but have never stuck with it long enough to not want to die every time I ran.. ha! You've inspired me to get back out there with the goal of a 5K in my sights.

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