April 7, 2016

Training for my third half marathon..


It was 6.15am, I closed the door behind me, switched on my Garmin and slowly started running…

Allowing the cold breeze to wake me up and the sound of my breathing and sun rising to keep me entertained. I’m half marathon training for the third time and enjoying it more than ever. There’s something about this distance that I really enjoy, it feel’s committing but not unachievable and whilst running for 13.1 miles is a ‘warm up’ to some people, for me it’s ‘just right’.

This time around I’ve tackled my training completely differently, previously when running this kind of distance I’ve:

*Gone to a local reservoir and just ran and ran until my ipod battery ran out and walking was my only option (not a formal race, but endurance training for climbing Mont Blanc in 2009 – I think I hit 13.1 in around 2.25)

*Decided that running 13.1miles in a virtual race was a brilliant idea, especially with hardly any training or pre: race prep (At least I got some bling..2014 – 2.09)

*Over trained and fuelled incorrectly, leaving me with a stitch at around the 4mile point and feelings of disappointment with my time (after stalking Strava I found that most of us ran 13.5m and my time was 2.09 – AGAIN! 2015)

Last week I took myself on a 12 mile training run and finished in 1.52, had I just kept on plodding I could have set a comfortable 13.1 PB BUT(!) during my next race I’m not actually expecting a stonking PB.

“What?!” you may think in astonishment – Not aiming for a huge PB? Nope. I’m running my first ever trail Half Marathon, it’s going to be beautiful and scenic and If I’m steady I really don’t mind…

I of course, have a PB plan…

I will then enter Northampton half marathon later on in the year and aim to smash a stonking PB(!) Hurrah!

What makes training this time around different is I don’t feel under huge pressure, due to the I haven’t put myself in that zone (for once). I’m only running 3 times a week and I’m really enjoying each run and taking care to follow the program. My program was written up by a fellow runner, as a guide with some movement when needed and is working really well for me. I am also trying to balance a healthy mind set, if I run slower or a mile less, it really doesn’t matter..

Previously when half marathon training I’ve neglected strength training, so at least twice a week I’m picking up my barbell, dumbbell and/or kettlebell because running and strength work in harmony together. I’m partly following a program from ‘workout labs’ but I’ve also seen some intensive looking workouts from ‘Bodybuilding.com’ that I’m saving for torture day’s…


Last month I wrote a pretty open post about no longer dieting, this as has made a huge different to my training and recovery and I wish I’d stopped sooner. I now carb load correctly; whilst I may not eat huge volumes of pasta I am enjoying more rice, potatoes and starchy vegetables. I eat jelly babies on long runs and recover with smoothies packed with full fat coconut milk, fruit and protein powder. I have found that by having 40-50g of oats made with protein powder the night before an early long run really helps.

This weekend, my aim is too spilt up a 14mile training run by joining a local running group for 10 steady, social miles. Fingers crossed everything falls into place, I think I’d struggle to keep myself entertained for 14 miles solo.

My aim is to write another update in a few weeks to share how I’m getting on, the ‘Royal Winsor Half Marathon’ is on the 22nd May, and so I don’t have long now.

If you want to keep up with my training I regularly update on Twitter & plaster my feet and sweaty face on Instagram.

What are you training for right now? What is your favourite distance to race?



11 responses to “Training for my third half marathon..”

  1. Christy says:

    My favourite distance to run is from my living room to the fridge…… ha! 😉 I wish I enjoyed running. I really need to do more of it as I have Tough Mudder coming up in June – send me some of your willpower! 🙂

    P.S. – I love how bright and vibrant your little gym is!

  2. I have to say that I agree with you, the 13.1 is a great distance. I’m about to embark on my training plan for my first marathon.

  3. Glad it’s all going well and hope the long run went well. I like half marathons, although often when I am running them I remember that I like 10 miles even more! This year my A race was the Brighton half, and I think the reason why it went well for me was because I had run some longer ones (up to 15 miles)- this way the 13 on the day didn’t feel so long. But that was my 12th half I think, so it had taken me years to get up to that sort of training. I think a half is good because it’s a long way and feels a massive achievement, but the training runs don’t take over the whole weekend like marathon runs do.

    • cakevsscales says:

      12 Half Marathons? Now that is an impressive feat!
      I have ran up to 14.5miles and I’m really, really hoping it’ll help me reach my goal – If I could get close to your current PB I’d be delighted.
      I like that training doesn’t take over my life, I can hit in HM training and still enjoy everything else and I think that’s one thing that has put me off marathons.

  4. snackiebird says:

    I love running, but 10km is my the longest distance. I finish it in one hour and feel happy afterwards. But I hope to run marathon in the future. I just need more time for mental preparation 😉

    • cakevsscales says:

      10km in a hour is brilliant! I still find 10km tricky someday’s (when my leg’s just won’t work) – I understand the mental preparation side of things completely 🙂

  5. I like half marathons a lot but these days I totally just wing it each time I run one 😐 I’m probably not going to beat last year’s PB of 1:42 this year but it’s ok – I’m only running twice a week so my main aim always is just to enjoy it.

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