Half marathon training

(72 Posts)
EauRouge Mon 04-Nov-13 09:22:24

A thread for newbies and veterans!

I've just signed up for my first half. It's in March and I'm putting together my training plan. My longest run at the moment is about 5 miles.

I've seen a few plans and some of them differ by quite a bit, so I'm getting confused about the best approach. I'm cobbling something together but not sure on a couple of points. At the moment I'm planning 3 runs a week (one recovery, one intervals/hills/tempo and one long run), a couple of rest days and a couple of cross training days- does that sound OK so far?

With the long runs, don't I need to complete the full distance? Some of the training plans I've seen only go up to 10 miles. I don't want to overtrain but is 10 miles going to be enough?

I'm not planning to break any records, if I finish in under 3 hours that will be just fine with me grin

Thanks for any tips thanks

CMOTDibbler Mon 04-Nov-13 13:28:50

Your plan sounds great. I wanted to do nearly the full distance, just so I knew I could do it, and did that 4 weeks before the race. But thats partly as it would be my second time running with anyone and was paranoid about not finishing! I did, btw, without stopping/walking at all

I'm going to look for a half to do in March to get me motivated through the winter - you've just inspired me to go sign up for one now!

EauRouge Tue 05-Nov-13 08:09:28

Thanks for the input. I'm starting to wonder what I've let myself in for grin but I think it'll be fun. I don't know if I'll be able to run the whole thing but I won't mind if I need to stop and walk a couple of times.

Mitchy1nge Tue 05-Nov-13 10:07:47

when people stop and walk, how do they ever get it back? once I stop running I'm just completely fucked

where is your half in March?

theoriginalandbestrookie Tue 05-Nov-13 10:14:49

That sounds like a good plan.

A lot of plans recommend running 4 days a week, but I found that too intense. I did a 10k at the weekend and found my upper body and tummy hurt ( although might have been because I was falling for the bug I have at the minute) so a bit of cross training including core and weights would help.

Have you done any other races before - if not it might be a good idea to sign up for a park run (5k) or a 10k just so you know the race day procedure.

I have done a few half marathons and my longest pre runs were about 11 miles, in retrospect I wish I had done the full distance as the last half hour was very hard on my body. Make sure that if you do run the full distance it's at least 2-3 weeks before the half marathon to make sure your body has a chance to recover. I'm not fast - recent half marathon times are 2hrs 41, so don't underestimate the impact on your body running for that length of time.

I have run/walked during half marathons, I find hills a killer and hardsometimes it's better to cut your losses and walk them, then have some energy left for the rest. The real killer is that I need to go to the loo at least once, getting up again is the hardest thing ever !

EauRouge Tue 05-Nov-13 11:49:39

It's in Swavesey, Cambs so nice and flat! I've done a few parkruns so I'm used to running in crowds, I'm happy to start at the back and go very slowly.

I've added tapering into my plan and in the last week I'm only running with no cross training- is that a good idea?

I wonder if the stopping and walking is more psychological than physical. My fitness level isn't bad but my self-belief is shit. I'm hoping that doing this half will build my confidence a bit. That or I'll chicken out and fake my own kidnapping a couple of days before the race.

CMOTDibbler Tue 05-Nov-13 11:53:47

The fact is though, you can do it, and if you follow the plan, you will do it. I'm a great believer in visualisation - imagine yourself running the course, see yourself running through mile 13, etc. It really does work.

Mitchy1nge Tue 05-Nov-13 12:00:12

is that the saucony one? please can you link me if possible, am near Cambs smile

I don't really know about the plans and schedules and cross training and stuff, it gets so confusing and contradictory, I just like running and am going to try to do a bit more yoga because the longer runs make me a bit stiff but that's it really. I will probably pay a bit more attention to the sorts of miles I do after Christmas when I have to start proper marathon training but at the moment am just enjoying it a lot. Didn't do any special stuff for the half marathon, just 11 miles one day then a whole week off (accidentally, in my ideal world would have run a couple of times at least) then the half which was ok. I think we forget our bodies are meant to do this sort of thing.

theoriginalandbestrookie Tue 05-Nov-13 12:01:58

Eau - the greatest thing about doing a new distance is that you have no preconceptions about what time you should be achieving grin.

If you end up walking a bit of it , well so what. You're still doing better than all the people taking no exercise at all. I was a bit disappointed as I had to walks bit of my 10k on Sunday ( although now I am 100% convinced it was because I was coming down with something, rather than my general lack of preparedness, ahem), but then I took a look at myself and thought well I was the fat one at school who was always picked second last for teams ( my friend was the skinny acaedmic type) and I bet no one would have placed bets on my taking part in running events at the age of 43, so I am doing ok.

I'm not sure what tapering is, but it sounds like you are taking your training seriously, and by starting now you aren't underestimating the length of time it will take to train up for it.

Have you got all your fancy gear - Christmas coming up so good time to ask for it. I swear by my thermal running pants and top for winter running and am addicted to the stats on my heart rate monitor - although am thinking of asking for an upgrade to a garmin for Christmas.

Oh and did you know you can use mapmyrun to check out your running distances.

EauRouge Tue 05-Nov-13 12:02:14

Thanks, CMOT (awesome Discworld name btw). What I really want is the medal so I'll visualise that. My DM had all her race medals, mugs, t shirts etc on display and as a child I was in total awe of her 'trophy cabinet'. She did tell me though that the first half marathon I watched her in, I cried because she didn't win grin

EauRouge Tue 05-Nov-13 12:09:04

I have fancy-ish gear, I'm due a new pair of running shoes in the near future so I'll be spending some of my Christmas money on a decent pair and getting a gait analysis. I've got a forerunner 10 and all the winter running gear (yaxtrax so no excuse even if it snows!). I might get some new running shorts too but I've been warned about trying out any new gear too close to the race.

Not Saucony, Brooks is one of the sponsors. It's only the second year of the race. Part of the course is along the (in)famous guided busway. The website is here.

Mitchy1nge Tue 05-Nov-13 12:11:26

thanks, I will look and maybe 'see' you there smile that saucony one is sold out anyway I think sad

EauRouge Tue 05-Nov-13 12:25:31

The Saucony one is in Cambridge isn't it? I can see why it would be popular. I think the Swavesey one is mainly local runners.

Maybe I'll see you there, I'll be the one in the Ferrari hat looking like I'm about to keel over grin

Mitchy1nge Tue 05-Nov-13 12:28:56

I'm consulting my coach grin to see if a half then would fit in with preparations for the full in edinburgh in may. I will be the one who is sick exactly every six miles.

jellybrain Tue 05-Nov-13 12:38:55

Can I join in. I'm thinking of signing up for a 1/2 marathon in the Spring. I need something to aim for to keep motivatedgrin

EauRouge Tue 05-Nov-13 13:10:03

Wow, exactly every 6 miles, do you have a look at the route plan on google earth and find strategic puking spots? grin

Yes, join in, jelly! Have you done a half before?

Mitchy1nge Tue 05-Nov-13 13:13:39

I think it was the energy gels. I should copy my coach and just eat a sandwich while I run.

Mitchy1nge Tue 05-Nov-13 14:11:52

I am doing one in Suffolk instead, apparently, a week or two after yours. We get CAKE at the end of ours smile

Mitchy1nge Tue 05-Nov-13 14:20:09

my one why the spooky fucking music though hmm

Angrybuddha Tue 05-Nov-13 22:03:08

Well Done Eau. Watching this thread with interest, to see if I can steal any advices!

EauRouge Wed 06-Nov-13 07:11:33

Are there hills in Suffolk?

Hello, Angry smile Have you signed up for yours yet? When is it?

EauRouge Wed 06-Nov-13 07:16:14

Forgot to say about energy gels; I'm thinking of going old-school and carrying peppermint creams. Sugar for energy and peppermint for the lung capacity boost. Although it will feel like I'm running with an elderly relative grin

Angrybuddha Wed 06-Nov-13 07:20:09

I had signed up to mine ages ago, gutted as I would of done yours. It is closer!!
But it's on the same day. It will be interesting to see how different or similar our training programmes are. Mine seems intense (for me) at the moment but I have also sign up for my first 10k on the 24th.

SatinSandals Wed 06-Nov-13 07:26:22

It sounds fine. You can do it. I did a running course aged 60 yrs and did my first half marathon in September, aged 62 yrs! I am doing another next Spring. I only ran the full distance once, about a month beforehand just so that I knew that I could do it. Other than that I did a long run, over 8 miles, once a week and shorter runs the other days. If I can do it anyone can! Good luck. On the day 8 miles was no problem, after that it was hard but the last 2 miles supporters kept me going and fed me jelly babies! I ran it all bar a few odd walking steps but I was slow at the end. I wasn't last and was pleased to have 20 people behind me (despite over 1000 in front!)
You do need good shoes.
I find the walk, jog, run website good because you can plot your run and log in all your training.

EauRouge Wed 06-Nov-13 08:39:09

Wow, thanks for posting, SatinSandals! I don't even care if I come last, as long as I finish. I do use walkjogrun (I'm getting a bit obsessive about planning routes blush ) and I've got my Garmin to keep track of how slowly I'm going.

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