Half-Marathon Training 2016 - Weeks 1 and 2

Posted February 9, 2016 in running, half-marathon training, Lincoln Half-Marathon, Run to the Finish, yoga, recovery, healthy living, runner, run, running coach

I started my training for the Lincoln Half-Marathon!!

This will be my 10th half-marathon and I'm running the race on my 33rd birthday! 

Going in to training, I was not feeling confident at all. My last few half-marathons have been extremely challenging (Yellowstone Half-Marathon), my pace has been getting slower and slower, I've been having severe hip and hamstring pain and I developed plantar fasciitis the last time I trained.

My other struggle the past two years has been training while teaching group fitness classes. I would often skip my weekday short runs because I was too exhausted from teaching or just didn't have time. 

I really wanted to train with intention this time. I want to feel strong and confident on race day. So here's what I'm doing differently...

  • I hired a running coach. I really wanted a customized training program that would help me build strength and endurance, and help me stay injury-free. After looking at my local options (and not finding what I was looking for), I ended up going with Amanda Brooks from Run to the Finish. We had an initial phone call so she could find out about my goals, struggles, schedule, workouts I enjoy, etc. Then (within a few days), she had created a customized plan for me. I love my training program because it includes workouts that I like doing and fits perfectly with my schedule. She's also pushing me to incorporate hill sprints and hard effort into my runs, which is something I've never really done before. Amanda is also providing tons of tips on warming up, recovery and more, and I'm getting support and encouragement in her private Facebook group. 
  • I'm doing lots of yoga. Amanda included yoga in my training program, but I also talked to Sarah Sutton, a local yoga teacher and former long distance runner. She convinced me to give yin yoga a try to help with my recovery. I'm taking Sarah's yin yoga class through Kearney Park and Rec, and I've loved it so far. Not only is it incredibly relaxing, but the stretches feel so amazing. 
  • I cut back on teaching fitness classes. I'm currently teaching two classes on Tuesdays, and not subbing much.

As I get deeper into my training, I'll share more details about what I'm doing. But these are the most significant changes that I've made to my training so far. 

Here's a look at my training from the first two weeks...

Week 1 (Jan. 25-31)

The first week of my training was not great. I had my usual hormonal headaches (for 4 days!) and missed my weekday runs. I did do the yoga and Pilates that was on my training schedule.

Monday - Pilates

Tuesday - taught cycling and water aerobics (headache)

Wednesday - rest (headache)

Thursday - yin yoga (headache)

Friday - rest (headache)

Saturday - power yoga

Sunday - 4 mile run 

I ran outside because it was nice (this was pre-blizzard). I struggled mentally because I kept focusing on my pace, which was slow. I was getting down on myself for being so much slower than I've been in the past. But I finally asked myself - How is this serving me in a positive way? And I quickly realized that beating myself up wasn't making running easier. I made a mental list of some things I was grateful for - the fact that my legs can carry me for miles, the strength of my lungs, the sun shining, being outside, my funky pants - and I instantly felt better. I also started using the mantra - This is what I'm capable of in this moment, and it's enough.

Week 2 (Feb. 1-7)

During the second week of my training there was a blizzard! I had to skip Wednesday's run because the gym was closed and I was snowed in. I ended up not doing anything, but my coach later suggested that on days like that I do a HIIT workout at home so I'm still getting cardio training.

Monday - rest (blizzard)

Tuesday - at-home yoga (+ wine) (blizzard)

Wednesday - rest (blizzard)

Thursday - 3 mile run + hill sprints + yin yoga

Friday - rest

Saturday - power yoga + 2 mile run 

Sunday - 4 mile run

I was in such a better place mentally for this run. I embraced my slower pace and didn't get down on myself. After I was finished, I felt so good! I felt confident and strong!

Are you training for a half-marathon or are you thinking about it? Share your goals in the comments below!

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