Training for my first half marathon

Its suddenly hit me that I have taken that first giant leap in signing up for my first half marathon. 21km! Like how did I get here??

Running-Gives-BackIts no secret that I only started running last year. I have never been classified as sporty, a gym person, and anything with physical activity I have in the past avoided like the plague. I am not saying I have done a 360 and miraculous now a gym bunny, but I have really found myself on the road, I found myself running.

if you want to change your life, become a runnerRunning is something that I can say in all honesty and without sarcasm, say that running saved my life. I have mentioned it rather lightly here in a few previous posts that I have battled with depression and all sorts of demons for a while now. I cant say for sure running has improved my mood or behaviour, it certainly does some days, but running became an outlet for me to think and contemplate life and in the end, actually live a better life.

just runSo I started running last year, I started with a few zoo trots (5km); did a colourful fun run (8km) until I finally bit the bullet and ran my first ever 10km, the Pirates 10km. And I kinda never looked back. I began entering 10km after 10km, sometimes every weekend, I became obsessed with getting medals and improving my time. But then Christmas happened, we bought a new house,Β  we had families visiting, weddings in the family and running took a back seat. I ran a few races in Jan and Feb, The Randburg Harriers Valentines 10km was the last 10km I entered until June’s MTN 10km.

running, you just runAnyway, this is turning out to be a bit of a rant, what I mean to say is that I am back on track. I am back to running weekly, training in the morning or afternoons during the week and running races or park runs on the weekend. I am in full swing running mode. So with all this momentum I felt ready to reach for my next goal which is to run a half marathon before the end of the year. This is the run I have decided to run as my first 21km.

Now that I have a date in place, booked and paid for, I have 11 weeks to prepare for this run. For anyone willing to take part, here is some reading:

10 Long Distance Running Blunders

7 Training Tips for Your First Half Marathon

5 Mental Tips for Half Marathon Training

Run a Half Marathon in Ten Weeks

Right! So I have put a plan into action! Here goes:

  1. I am following the runners world 12 week plan, starting on week 2 this week.
  2. I am also going to keep my Bodypump express class on a Thursday arvie (its 30min).
  3. On my rest days I plan to do a brisk walk with Jack for 2km.
  4. I also have the following races already booked into my diary and I will just need to work around these races:

Nelson Mandela Relay Race 6.7km – this Sunday

Sandton to Soweto 10km – 10 August

Wanderers 10km – 31 August

Do any of you have any advice to give me in running my first half? What works and what should I avoid?

 

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4 thoughts on “Training for my first half marathon

  1. Hey Megs – so proud of you and what you’re doing! You’re doing everything perfectly. Breaking up the big goals (21km) into smaller manageable goals. Also, by starting from scratch and building up to longer distances, as your mind and body allow, you’re allowing your body to adapt to running over a longer time period resulting in less injuries. So often people start running and go straight into a 15km/21km, injure themselves and never run again. And the only advice I would have given is to make your long term goal a reality by entering a 21km. But you have! So now it’s all about following the RW programme, being okay when you have a bad day (it happens, to even the best athletes – here’s my account http://amyswinehouse.co.za/running-hell-day/ ) and getting yourself ready for race day πŸ™‚ Like you, I’ve set off this year with a few running goals, and for me I am learning that patience and knowing your body and it’s abilities and more importantly, listening to your body, are are fundamental aspects to being a successful, happy, injury-free distance runner. And being happy of course! If you find yourself hating every run, sucking ass and wishing you were doing anything else, take a break! Eat an ice-cream and go on holiday! XX

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    • Bry! You are such an inspiration to me truthfully! So utterly stoked you read my blog! πŸ™‚ I am gearing myself up (baby steps) to hit things like wild runs etc, and trail hikes and all the exciting things I see you get up to! You are one of the few people I truly wish I could trade places with you and live your exciting life! But I will get there, half marathon now and next taking over the world one bite size piece at a time! Thanks so much for your advice and wise words! πŸ™‚

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  2. I ran my first half this past February and fell in love with the distance and the magic of being something that’s just about ME! My time, my race, my pace. It’s good you have a plan to follow – remember you also have a life and sometimes it will get in the way of the plan- and that’s ok. Just don’t let one missed or bad run defeat you. I’m not sure if your plan has you do a long run of the full distance – but I suggest it. I only make it to 10 miles before my 13.1 and while I was able to complete the run- I wish I had trained to the full amount. There is a lot of debate on this – but for me the last 5km was all mental and while training for my next half I will do the full distance training. Keep your rest days, listen to your body, and keep up your weight training. If you can so two days a week I would. As you start to increase miles you might have to drop your leg weight but the core and upper body strength are important too! I will be in full training mode when I get back from Hawaii (even though my girlfriend I’m traveling with is an Ultra runner and we will do a little running together). Will have more tips as you get closer! Can’t wait to follow you on your journey!

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    • Thanks so much! I have added the Sunday before my run to run 18km, but not a full 21km before the actual D-Day. I think it may be worth looking into and research. I am doing weight training and I agree I really find it helps my running! Thanks so much for the advice and following my on my journey, I look forward to hearing more of your thoughts. Enjoy Hawaii – SOoooo Jealous! πŸ™‚

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