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Half Marathon Training : All The Miles – All The Food – All The Music

half marathon

My alarm goes off at 6am and I try to quietly sneak out of bed and into the bathroom where the next few minutes become a flurry of changing into gym kit, jamming contact lenses into my eyes and tying my hair up. I then creep downstairs, trying desperately to unset the alarm quietly before heading towards my saviours of 6am ‘Kettle – Coffee – Carb’s’.

I’m training for a half marathon, the distance is not a completely new one for me but following a formal plan is something I’d never done before. Most of last year I ran for the enjoyment and running very short distances felt like the perfect balance for me, I took great pleasure in running no more than 1-4 miles anything from once to 6 times a week.

When I entered the event in January and downloaded my 12 week training plan, my little world of running changed very suddenly. I had to remind my leg’s that we are a team, I had to remind myself that I can do this and I will embrace the change in training and embrace increasing my distances. Sadly on week one I was out of luck, I lost a week of work, a week of my ‘sanity’ and 10 days of training to flu, if I never have flu again that won’t be long enough.

As the weeks have passed by I’ve found myself dutifully ticking off each session, I have tweaked my diet to try and improve my performance, I’ve pieced together the ideal playlist and brought new trainers. Running 10 miles for the first time in 10 months felt incredible, seeing my garmin switch over to 11 miles give me the biggest high. I wanted to run 12 miles on Saturday but my body just said no, my pace slowed up and my mind was a complete muddle analysing/stressing/losing focus. So I stopped at 10 and walked back to my car, knowing that I had to admit defeat. The following day I managed 6 chatty/steady/hilly miles and I remembered that this whole running lark is meant to be FUN.

I want to take a moment to be completely honest and open, the two hardest parts of training for a race for me are:

*Comparing myself to others via social media : I need to stop this but at times I look at someone else’s statistics and wonder why I am so ‘slow’? Or why I find it hard to train as much? Or If I’ll ever be able to cover that distance?

*Going to pieces on race day :  The reason I hardly ever ‘race’ is not because,  ‘I’m unable to cover the distance’, ‘ I don’t want to train’ , ‘I’m too tight to pay the fee’ but because I get so nervous I end up hating the event. For some reason I often start too fast, I get myself so worried that I won’t PB or that I’ll have to spend a penny and lose my pace and also I’m not brilliant in large crowds.

I know, your probably reading this and thinking ‘well she’s a bundle of fun’ right?

The thing is I’ve been on this planet long enough to know that getting worked up won’t help anything, I’ve taken the time to follow a plan and I’m going to stick with it. The same applies for the ‘race day’, I’m going to eat my tried and tested breakfast which I know works, I’m going to wear my comfortable kit and I’m going to relax and enjoy the event. As long as I have fun during the event and don’t finish slower than my last half marathon everything will be just fine..

On a brighter note…

*I have loved running along to ‘Ram Jam – Black Betty‘ – That song can’t fail to make me smile and up the pace a little, whilst I’m talking about music I’ll admit ‘I’m all about that bass‘.

*I’ve got a new 10 mile PB of 1hr 33 – If I could get to mile 10 at 1hr 33 or below on ‘race day’ I’ll be absolutely thrilled, it’s not the time I want in my ‘dreams’ but with such a short turn around I’m happy.

*The ultimate ‘pre:run’ breakfast for me right now is ‘Protein Bread’ smothered in peanut or almond butter and jam, nothing seem’s to sustain my energy the same way.

*I’m trying to make time for cross training also; climbing here and there, weights sessions and now Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Plan.

I love hearing what other’s are up to, do you have any races coming up? What’s your favourite distance? Any tips?



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  1. See, you should start the whole thing with the 10 mile PB. After all, that’s what this whole thing is mostly about, right? Celebrate that up front!

    1. Thank you – That’s a fab way of looking at it! 🙂

  2. I really relate to those two reasons, I also compare myself to others on social media and worry about not PBing on race day. Sounds like your training is going really well- when is your half-marathon? My 10 mile PB is also 1hr33 (there I go comparing myself to something else again)! I’ve got the Brighton half this weekend- I’m telling myself I’m just using it as a training run and not ‘racing’ it.

    1. Following our Twitter chat – Wishing you the best of luck for this weekend! Your comment made me smile.. 🙂

  3. You’re definitely not alone when it comes to race-day nerves. I have never been nervous before a marathon or half, but instead it is the shorter distance events for me that leave me quaking in my running shoes. I’ve stepped back when it comes to races this year and the majority of them will be over longer distances where I can relax a little and just get in the zone.
    You sound like you are right on target with your training. There is no need to run as far as 12 miles before a half anyway so relax and enjoy your runs. I am sure you will have a great race come race day! 🙂

    1. Thank you Mary – I trust your view as your such a strong long distance runner and find it really interesting that you say I don’t need to run 12miles before. I thought it sounded like a long way and my training plan has me running a half marathon the following week which I’m not 100% sure about. Hopefully on the day it’ll all pay off and I’ll have a enjoyable race..

  4. I definitely relate to your two reasons. I do exactly the same thing and it’s hard to break the habit! You already know that I’m exactly the same as you with regards to being happy running short distances.

    Me and Phillip are booked in for the Great North Run in Sept(a half marathon) and he wants to do another half marathon in may so I need to get my butt into gear and start training for it! I’ve got my training plan ready

    I hope that your half marathon goes well. I’m sure it will! 🙂

    1. OOoooh I hear so many good things about the GNR and my old man has ran it, back in the day. However with everything else I have going on I’m not sure if It would be one or me or not but it sure is tempting…
      You defo should do a half in May – If I can go from a very steady mileage, to a 20-27mile week then you most certainly can!
      I really want to PB…so darn much! 😀

  5. […] meant that I found this very sustaining on long run’s (see my half marathon training update here) not once have I had to ‘refuel’ at a certain mileage […]