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Half Marathon Training Begins!

I hope you all enjoyed your weekend! I had a nice relaxing one and it was great to have Jason home for the holiday yesterday. As many of you know, I posted a couple weeks ago that I’m going to be running a half marathon at the end of April! Since I’m not a super experienced runner, I knew I should get started training as soon as possible. Per the recommendation of a couple friends I decided to go with Hal Higdon’s training plan. His website has free plans for different race distances and different fitness levels, so I’m following the Novice 1 Program for the half marathon. It’s a 12-week plan, which means that I had to get started this past week! First thing I did was to make my own training calendar to actually fill in what I would be doing on what days and just to make it a little more colorful and interesting.

January Half Marathon Training

The first week was a little challenging because frankly I’m not in a regular exercise routine and I can’t even remember the last time I worked out more than once or twice a week (it was probably this past summer during the Tone It Up bikini series). So it was a little hard to get my butt up and get moving! I’ll be honest and say that I actually missed my Wednesday interval run because I was lazy. It’s an optional rest day on Hal’s plan so I think it’ll be hard to motivate myself to do it knowing that. BUT on the flip side of that, I ran out of time to run on Friday but instead of skipping it I went to the gym and hit the treadmill at midnight. A little crazy? Yes. But I’m determined not to let laziness/time management ruin me! No excuses.

running square pic

In terms of the actual workouts, I’m starting with a pretty low fitness base. Not so low that it’s dangerous for me to be attempting a race this length, but low enough that it’s going to kick my butt realllllyyy hard. It’s painfully obvious to me how weak my cardiovascular system is, and I’m really looking forward to getting stronger and being able to run without feeling completely exhausted and winded all the time.

running ecard

I also need to work on my breathing techniques! I feel like I’m breathing properly (at an efficient pace and from the belly), but apparently I’m not because I get SLAMMED with side stitches on every single run. Anyone who follows me on Twitter has probably noticed that I’m desperately seeking a solution.

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 8.18.16 PM

The way the training is mapped out you have one “long run” on the weekends and then shorter ones during the week. My first long run was on Sunday, and I was supposed to go 4 miles. I was actually blessed with a beautiful sunny day on Sunday so I ran down to the nature preserve near my house and had what was probably my best run yet! The scenery was so beautiful and serene and I was just feeling really good (next time I’ll remember to take photos!). A lot of it is unpaved routes through the woods so I got some trail running in, which I LOVE. I felt so good that I miscalculated my route and ended up doing 5 miles instead of 4! I was SHOCKED when I got home and realized, and I’m pretty pumped that I was able to go that far and not feel dead afterward. It gave me a glimmer of hope for the 13 miles ahead! Like I mentioned in my last post, I’m choosing to believe that I can do this.

This was a little long winded (I could talk forever about this!) but I hope that some of you enjoy these kinds of posts! This is a big part of my healthy lifestyle goals right now so I would like to keep writing here about my progress and my thoughts along the way.

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{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Michelle @ Fit. Flexible. Fabulous. January 20, 2015, 11:55 pm

    Good for you for having a running calendar mapped out…it’s essential! In my rather limited running experience, I’ve discovered that I like routine loops around my neighborhood. Predictable routes with predictable mileages are comfortable and convenient. I also loop by my house every 1.5 miles and have a water bottle waiting there for me. I went with a walk/run training approach for my second half and it definitely helped. Not saying it’s the way for you to go, but don’t feel ashamed to take this approach (I was a bit at first!). Keep up the great work…I’m sure you’ll want to sign up for another once you cross that finish line :-)

    • Lauren @ Dash of Soul January 21, 2015, 1:46 am

      Oh wow what a good idea to just loop by your house for your water! Thanks so much for the advice, I need as much as I can get! :)

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