“I would watch people pass me on my walks, and I never envied them. I never wished to be a runner, and I never got excited while watching people cross finish lines. One day, things changed.” My Running Story! (please read first)
So you’re interested in running a half marathon? If you’re thinking “if she can do it, I can do it,” then you are in the right place. Seriously. Before you read about my training and how I managed to run 13.1 miles, make sure to check out my running story and how I got here. I’m currently in a forty-day running hiatus, but I am eager to get back out there. My running post will fill you in on how I got started, and some important key parts in becoming a better runner.
I spent all spring and summer running. I’d run 3-5 miles four times a week. It was just me at the time, but that all changed when I met Meighan, the world’s best running partner. I thought I could only be a solo runner, but that changed as soon as we ran for the first time together. If you plan on training for a marathon, I highly recommend finding a friend or training partner to do it with you. If I didn’t have Meighan, I would have never held myself accountable or got myself out of bed early Sunday morning for our long runs. It was something fun to look forward to, and we honestly enjoyed running together. I couldn’t imagine running long runs alone ever again. (Why you should find a workout buddy.)
Before you even start the plan, you have to complete a pre-training plan (assuming you’re starting from ground zero.) There is no point of starting a half marathon plan if you can’t run three miles. I wouldn’t even want to train for a half if I couldn’t run three miles, so let’s get you there first! This will help you build endurance, mileage, and prevent injuries. Before Meighan and I came up with a training plan, we were already running prior. We had run small and fast mileage, slow and long distance, and everywhere in between.
Before you begin, please understand that I am not a doctor or professional. This is a plan that worked for me, and you should consult with your doctor before beginning any fitness/diet routine!
Week one: run five minutes (10-12 min mile), walk ten minutes, run five minutes (10-12 min mile), walk ten minutes, run five minutes (10-12 min mile), walk ten minutes, run five minutes (10-12 min mile) walk ten minutes. 5x a week
Week two: run five minutes(10-12 min mile), walk five minutes, run five minutes (10-12 min mile), walk five minutes, run five minutes (10-12 min mile), walk five minutes, run five minutes (10-12 min mile) walk five minutes. 4x a week
Week three: run five minutes (10-12 min mile), walk five minutes, run ten minutes (10-12 mile) walk five minutes, run five minutes (10-12 min mile) walk five minutes, run five minutes (10-12 mile), walk ten minutes. 3x a week
Week four: run fifteen minutes(10-12 min mile), walk fifteen minutes, run ten minutes(10-12 min mile), walk twenty minutes, run five minutes(10-12 min mile), walk ten minutes. 4x a week
Week five: run twenty minutes (10-12 min mile) walk thirty minutes, run five minutes (10-12 min mile) 4x a week
Week six: run twenty-five minutes (10-12 min mile) walk twenty minutes, run ten minutes (10-12 min mile) walk twenty minutes 4x a week
Week seven: run thirty minutes (10-12 min mile), walk thirty minutes.
Whenever you finish a run, you must must must recover! Recover with rest, ice, protein, carbs, and stretching! If you stick to this recovery routine, you’ll be golden.
After running months and months together, we decided to sign up for a half marathon together! If you browse through the running section on my blog, you’ll find all of our running posts!
We started running in the freezing cold. It was 35 degrees when we first started training, and holy moly it was hard! It’s important to train in all weather conditions.
SIX MILE RUN RECAP POST
We decided to get super serious about training when we hit week four. Running in Waxhaw was a crazy idea because it was hilly. Adding in hills is a great idea, but gradually. I remember being so tired on the last mile, but Meighan pushed me to finish strong. Make sure to find a partner that will push you, and make sure to push them.
SEVEN MILE RUN RECAP POST
I really enjoyed the seven-mile run. It was starting to get nicer out, and the spring flowers were blooming all around us. When you find a good trail, the run is always more exciting. The seven miles was a breeze, and my confidence in my ability to run a half marathon was growing.
SEVEN MILE RUN RECAP POST
This was by far the worst run ever. It taught me that I have the ability to finish even when I feel like I can’t. I’ve learned that one bad run doesn’t mean you’re an awful runner. Sometimes, we just can’t, and that’s ok! I wrote more about this awful run in the post above. I also learned that protein shakes before a run is a NO NO NO GO!
MILE NINE RECAP POST
I was shocked that I completed the nine-mile run right after my 5k race. You should definitely sign up for a smaller race during your half training. You can practice eating the right food, experimenting with what works, and what doesn’t. This nine-mile run was one of my favorites! We ran in the gorgeous Charlotte neighborhoods, and it was overcast.
MILE TEN RECAP POST
Another great run! I couldn’t believe I ran ten miles, and I knew right away that I was going to finish this half! I also confirmed that banana and bread were going to be my pre-race breakfast!
SIX MILE SATURDAY RECAP RUN (SOLO)
It was so weird to run my long run solo, but I did it. A while ago six miles would have felt like forever, but this run felt short, and I had to tell myself to stop. This run made me realize the importance of hydration.
EIGHT MILE RUN RECAP POST
OK. I lied. THIS was the best run! Meighan and I decided to do a destination run for our last long run together. HOLY MOLY was this a fun weekend. We ran down the gorgeous city of Charleston, and I never felt out of breath once. I was hydrated, and couldn’t wait for the half. I’m telling you, choose fun running trails!
SEVEN MILE SOLO RUN BEFORE THE HALF RECAP
Meighan was out of town this weekend, so it was up to me to fit in one more long run before the half marathon. I ran seven miles in Charlotte, and it was a bit crummy, but I still finished. I also did yoga twice that week! I ran in my race day pants to test them out, and they were a go! This is the week where you should test your race day breakfast, race time (wake up), race hydration, race fuel, and so on! Don’t run the full mileage, but treat this like race day.
Our idea of carb-loading the night before a race 🙂 We drank a ton of water, indulged in potassium, and sodium!
HALF MARATHON RECAP POST!
AND WE DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Questions for you!
- Runners! Drop a line of advice for anyone looking to run their first half/full marathon!
- What did you eat before your half marathon breakfast?
- What training mistakes have you made?