Thursday, 16 October 2014

Things I learned while training for my 1/2

With my first 1/2 marathon behind me, I've had some time to reflect on my training and have come up with 5 things that I'd tell future 1st time half marathoners.

1.  Continue a strict regimen of strength training.  During the summer months I admittedly slacked off my strength training, core, and glute workouts.  My IT band pain stems from weak glutes and hips...I worked hard to build them which allowed me to train for the 1/2, but then let it slide in the final week.  Boo on me!  Key glute exercises include:
      1. Clam Shells
      2. Side Leg Raises with ankle weights
      3. Bridge Holds - including single leg lift
      4. Lunges
      5. Squats
      6. Side leg swings with rubber band
      7. Roll, Roll....and Roll again!
See that heel first stride...not good.  I need to
be stronger so I keep my form.
2.  Don't race the month leading up to the half...especially not a hilly course that puts strain on my IT bands.

3.  Keep positive thoughts only!!  In the week leading up to the half, I had severe doubts about my ability to finish!  I told every one else to believe in their training but couldn't take my own advice.  At least for the next one, I will know that I can achieve it and finish....and that's half the battle.

4.  Get those long training runs in.  I tried to run 2 short runs per week and then a long run on the weekend.  It worked well for me.  If I have advice for anyone, it would be to find and follow a plan that works for your body, your family, and your lifestyle.  Training for a half or full marathon takes a lot of dedication and time away from the family...choose one that works for you.  I started far enough out, that I was able to double up my weeks so that I really knew I could do the was a mental thing.

5.  Remember why you started to run.  We runners tend to become a competitive bunch, especially with ourselves.  If running becomes a chore, it's possible that you are burnt out.  Take a break and remember why you started to run to begin with.  Run with music and WITHOUT your garmin...have fun again!  My best training run was an 18k that I sang along with my music and enjoyed the entire run as I wasn't dying to beat some pace!!! 

You can do anything you put your mind to...I'm living proof of that.  Make a goal...and take the steps you need to achieve it.  It doesn't have to be a 1/2 can simply be getting out to walk can do it!!  And when you do, celebrate your successes!!  For instance, I just ordered more compression gear (like I need it...LOL).  Pro Compression ( has 40% off with the coupon code PINK all month and will donate a portion of sales of all pink items to breast cancer awareness....that's a win, win in my books!!!

Tell me a tip that you'd pass on to a newbie to half or full marathons that you wish someone had told you!


  1. I'm so proud of you for doing so well in this race, and for learning from it! I can already tell you'll be looking to run another half soon!!

  2. My piece of advice would be to set a realistic goal for yourself that allows you to race within your limits. Setting a high standard puts a lot of pressure on the body and mind.