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