The next race I currently have paid for is the 2013 Princess Half Marathon in February.
This week, I started my official training plan. I have completed 4 half marathons in my life, a fact I still can’t quite grasp some days, and the one thing I know for certain, for me to finish, I need to train seriously.
I am no expert but here is how I do it:
1. Pick a plan that you are going to follow and prioritize it in your life as top priority.
I follow Jeff Galloways Plan which in a nutshell is 3 runs a week. Two of the runs are “short” runs – 30-45 minutes. The third run is when you start to build up your mileage. Also suggested is cross training on non running days. In short decide I am doing everything in my power to get my training plan done as laid out for me.
2. Think about your training plan and roughly know which days your runs will be on.
I do the short runs either before work, when I first wake up, when I am off work and the kid is at school – I know I do not like running at night. I do the long runs on the weekend typically. My plan is Tues/Thursdays for short runs and either Sat or Sunday for long runs. I have been known to sleep in my running clothes as I hate getting up in the morning, but it can help.
3. Have Backup plans for you schedule.
I joined a gym so I have access to a treadmill in case of rain or cold, but I now LOVE the treadmill for speed workouts….and I use the term speed loosely. Things like checking the weather the day before and if you REALLY don’t want to run in the rain or cold, you can think about what your alternatives are and then commit to sticking with that.
4. Take your plan one day at a time. Life happens.
5. Get whatever support you will need to be successful.
I make sure my husband is on board with the fact I am training and he knows every other weekend I will start at 3 miles and gradually work my way up to 10 or 13….which at my pace means I am gone a couple plus hours. He really has gotten great on Fridays when training “how far you going this weekend and when are you planning on going?” I run alone and like it that way when I train, but if you need a buddy GET ONE. Some people love to chat away the miles, if that is what you need get it. I like virtual support on groups like Facebook, Daily Mile, and Disboards.
6. Find places to run you LIKE to be at!
I love 2 river paths near my house – so great to be outside and so serene. I also tend seek out flat places for my longer runs due to issues with my feet and ankles. If I get bored with a route say in my neighborhood for a short run, I change it up. I know for me if I was running all hilly places I would not be as happy.
7. Approach Hills with Vigor!
I know I just said I avoid them on long runs, but during the week when I run in my hood, I try to challenge myself with hills and train my body to kick into full gear. If I am in a walk interval, I really try to pump it up and go a little faster, if I am in a run interval, I just TRY to stay in that interval. If I am winded or out of breath, I do slow down….even if in a run, it becomes the slowest run you will ever see. Hill workouts make you stronger and I try to train my body not to be afraid of them and to step it up to get to the top.
8. Make it fun for you.
For me I love music and love chilling out to my thoughts and my tunes. My IPOD is chock full of various types of music to inspire, make me smile, make me want to dance or just reminisce. I also realized a couple years ago, not being a morning person, surprise surprise, I love running first thing in the morning. Its so gloriously peaceful outside then.
And that is it in a nutshell. I am accountable to only me. My goal is to finish the half feeling good and having fun along the way.
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