Last year, I ran my first Half Marathon and when I first signed up, I didn’t really know how to train for a half marathon. I did a lot of research online, perused Pinterest for quick programs and read half of the Runner’s World Big Book of Marathon and Half Marathon Training! I think my biggest takeaway after talking to people who frequently run half marathons and through my research, was to pace myself. Steady pace finishes the race!
When I trained last time around, I didn’t really know how to pace myself. I had never used a heart rate monitor and just ran in whatever pace I felt comfortable with in the moment. I usually ended up with a faster pace in the beginning and then slowing down as the run progressed. Continue reading →
I started my 8-week half marathon training program a few weeks ago and I actually had my first long run on the international national running day! I ran with my running buddy Jenny, who is also running the race with me. The longest I had ever run before this was 6.2 miles and that was over six months ago. I ran 5 miles the week before by myself, and I though I was about to die at the end there because of all the fog and wind! This got me thinking though, San Francisco is pretty foggy during June/July (yea, no summers here! Come back in September). And what if it’s foggy, windy and cold during my race? Shouldn’t I train for that then? I think that sounds like a good idea!
Part of the race is to run across Golden Gate Bridge and we really wanted to give it a test run. It’s probably something every San Francisco resident should do, just to experience it! Anyways, back to our training. I feel like a running distance always seems shorter if you know where you are going and how far so thats the goal of trying out the actual course. Hopefully the actual race will feel easier:) We met up down in the Marina and set off to run the bridge. It was 6pm, super foggy and pretty cold! Ok, here we go. We were supposed to do a 6 mile run that day, but ended up doing a 7 mile run and probably a 3 mile walk after it! Not really knowing where to go running towards the bridge, we had already done a good 4 miles when we started on the climb up. I was actually feeling pretty good at this point and I could tell the difference of running with someone! We had a steady pace and I think the fog and cold actually made my circulation better or at least it felt like my muscles were more relaxed. Golden Gate bridge is around 1.7 miles each way so by the time we came back, 7 miles had passed. I was surprised that the bridge wasn’t steeper going over. I remember I biked over to Sausalito a few years ago and it seemed like it was ALL uphill! However it was very windy and I totally felt like a badass for killing it in the windy fog.
Insert Golden Gate Bridge here…
How the bridge usually looks like…
On the other side where the sun is always shining!
We started to walk back and by the time we were back in the Marina (3-4 miles more), I was about to die again! I felt like an old lady because I was hurting in my knees, hips and incredibly hungry! My goal for the next few runs is to figure out the food before, during and after in order to improve:)
All in all, proud to have climbed the bridge in all it’s foggy and windy glory! And to have completed 7 miles! What is on your bucket list for running location/distances?
So, remember when I told you I signed up for the San Francisco Half Marathon? Well, I am currently should be training for it! When I signed up back in March, I was in pretty good shape and figured this race would be a piece of cake, come July. Then I went on vacation for a few weeks and then pollen happened! If you are in California, you have probably noticed some heavy pollen lately as well. It’s been extra crazy this year because of the drought. I mean, I love the sun, but we could use some rain over here!
Given that I am going to be running over here in less than two months, I figured I would start back up with training hoping that I wasn’t too far gone… I did endless Google searches, read numerous blog posts, Runners World’s articles and you name it. I even bough the Runner’s World Big book of Marathon and Half Marathon Training! And yea you guessed it, they all say different things. That is why I decided to make my own program that would fit into my schedule and fit my fitness level. I have taken pieces from all the different plans out there and tried to really take in all advice I have been given from previous half marathoners.
Some of my key take-aways from the research has been:
1. Listen to your body! You can deal with pain, cramps and whatever, but listen to your body if it tells you to stop. And ice will become your best friend!
2. Slow down! I was obsessed with my race time for a minute there. Even though I am very competitive and want to finish in a decent time, this is my first half and I should honestly be happy just to finish!:)
3. Try everything out in training! The reason you train is so that you can optimize for race day. You can figure out what kind of breakfast you should have. What kind of running tights/top/headband/other crazy gear works the best in the long run and what snacks to bring. Or in my case, tissues. Lot’s and lot’s of tissues. I don’t know why, but as soon as I start running even a block, my nose starts running. Super annoying and I don’t know why or maybe it’s the pollen. Anyways, I digress.
4. Never try anything new on race day! I refer back to point 3. I have heard so many stories of people just switching to new socks on race day and it has completely messed up their grove. No bueno.
5. Steady finished the race! Every single one I have talked to about doing my half has told me this. Run slower in the beginning of your race and keep a steady pace. It’s easy to shoot off for the first few miles because you are so ready and excited, but this will just wear you down.
Keeping this in mind, I have come up with my 8 week Half Marathon training plan!
Be aware that I have been running about 2-4 miles 3 times a week for quite some time so keep that in mind if you never really have run before. I would suggest spending longer time training for the race. I am also doing lot’s of hill training because I realized that the race is super hilly! Uh, yea….!
How do you train for a half marathon? Are you in training now?