A Wife Loved Like The Church

Half Marathon Training Guide, Part 1 – The Physical

Posted on: February 2, 2011

Last January, on an impulse, I started training for a half marathon. I know that might seem strange, what about a 13.1 mile race is impulsive. But it was {as are so many things in my life}. After 12+ weeks of training, I ran my race in April. Sweet victory. I’m currently training for the Austin Half Marathon on February 20th. After getting some questions from friends about my training, I thought I’d spend the next three weeks doing a series.

{photo credit}

Half Marathon Training {The Physical}

I’ve thought it cliche to say “If I can do it, you can do it”, but I honestly believe it. I’ve never been a runner. And before I set my mind to running/training, the furthest I’d ever run was 2 miles. In high school. One of my favorite quotes about running {from Runner’s World} said “Running is hard. If it wasn’t everyone would do it”.  I can’t tell you how incredibly true that is. Running is hard. Some days I hate it. But I do it anyway because deep down I really love it. Here are my tactics for training:

1. Run - Obvious enough, but something we can all put off. It’s too cold. It’s too hot. It’s too rainy. It’s too sunny. You name it, I’ve used it as an excuse {including “It’s too windy and will mess with my running time”}. You can’t train if you don’t run.

2. Schedule - Just google “half marathon training schedule” and you will get countless training schedules ranging from beginners to advanced. Pick one that you can tailor to your needs and stick with it. Here’s mine: Basic Half. It worked wonders for helping me stay on track with my first half last year. This year I’ve tailored it a bit more, since I’m training in half the time.

3. Food is fuel - I’ll be the first to admit I’m not always great about seeing food as fuel {as I lick brownie crumbs off my plate and type…}. But if running has taught me one thing it’s: bad food makes for a bad run. End of story. The more junk I eat, the harder the run. I feel bloated and nasty. Not something you want to feel when you’re staring down an 8-mile run.

4. Water is essential, but so are electrolytes – Perhaps I’m part fish, but I need water. Literally crave it. And aside from my much needed coffee {and occasional wine/beer} I steer away from all other drinks. Unless I’m running. Throughout the day I drink tons of water, but on a long run day {anything over 6 miles} I make sure to have a Gatorade on hand. I typically won’t drink it during my run {just water}, but Gatorade is my saving grace for post run hydrating.

Running isn’t just physical, but mental and emotional. In the next two weeks, I’m going to be sharing my tips for how to mentally and emotionally train.

*Disclaimer: All tactics/tips are my own personal opinions and not medically backed. Please seek medical advice before starting any running program.

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11 Responses to "Half Marathon Training Guide, Part 1 – The Physical"

Sarah this is a great list, I can’t wait to read the rest of the series AND hear how the race goes. T

he Austin course is a tad challenging, if it’s the same as it was years ago. I’d recommend getting on a few hills if you haven’t already, but either way know you can do it!

Thanks Katie! I met a lady a few weekends ago while running at the apartment gym. She’s training for the full and said the first 7-8 miles is pretty hilly. Lucky for me, where we live is all hills so I’m running them a lot.

This is so great. I literally hate running but for some crazy reason the idea of a half marathon is appealing. Which makes zero sense. I will have to pay attention :)

I’m excited about this series! Although I’ve never even actually run a full 5K, I secretly have dreams of being a marathon runner. 26 miles during the year I’m 26 seems just too catchy to not do. One of these days I’ll have to stop letting my treadmill rest up and start running.

Ooooh! Looking forward to more! I’m toying with the idea of a half marathon January 2012. I think it will take me that long to prepare! LOL

So great meeting you at Blissdom!

[...] Half Marathon Training Guide: It might seem ambitious for the girl who hasn’t completed 5K training to want to do this, but a girl’s gotta dream. [...]

Half marathons are addicting, I think. I’m scheduled for my next one in April. I love the distance – it’s enough to be a challenge, but not too much that it takes half a day of the weekend to train. I hurt my foot (broken bone and messed up other stuff) a year ago and it’s so great to be out there again!

My running philosophy is that I like to eat, therefore I run so I can eat. To motivate myself to run, I sign up for races! Races are lots of fun, especially if you do them with other people AND you have trained for them!

[...] Half Marathon Training Guide: It might seem ambitious for the girl who hasn’t completed 5K training to want to do this, but a girl’s gotta dream. [...]

[...] For Part 1 of this three part series, click here {Part 1 – The Physical}. [...]

[...] Part 1 and Part 2 of this three part series, click here {Part 1 – The Physical and Part 2 – The [...]

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