July 8, 2019

Half and Full Marathon Training Plan

2018- no races and took a year off from running, only doing it occasionally.  This was when I got really interested in strength circuits and weights.  I still love a good 25-30 min strength workout!  Don't underestimate weights- it can be incredible cardio, too.  I had planned on running my 3rd half in March of that year, but my life suddenly stopped for a bit as I lost my mom to cancer in early February.   I just didn't have it in me to keep running and think about logging miles during that time.  The break was much needed.  Yoga helped too.

2019-decided mid-May I was going to run my first full marathon.  The reason?  Why not!  I will also be running my 3rd half marathon two months before the full.  I needed to begin running more and build a decent base consistently simply by just starting.  And I did, slowly.

I've been running since the end of May 3-4 times/week.  Also doing strength at least 2x/week.

I love seeing the different paces and times. There will always be good and bad runs.  I feel like I'm slowly getting my speed back and I'd like to beat my previous two half marathon times but for my first full, my goal is to finish. Time is not a priority since I have nothing to compare it to.  Just to cross that finish line, knowing I can run 26.2 miles will be , I'm sure, the best feeling I will ever experience.

Training Plan:   I used a random marathon plan online along with the intermediate Hal Higdon marathon training plan, and I customized it to fit my schedule and needs.  A really good piece of advice someone gave me is that the training plan is just that- a plan, a guide.  It isn't to take over all other life events.  Stuff is going to come up and the plan will not always go according to the plan.  I'm usually OK when things come up and ruin my plans, but I'm still learning to deal even better when shit happens.  I'm just going to do my best with what time/energy I have and not think too much about it.  Again, I set up my "plan/guide" and all I can do now is try and hope for the best!

7/15- Week One

Monday- strength workout. 30-50 min
Tuesday- 3 mile run
Wednesday- 3 mile run
Thursday- strength workout 30-50 min
Friday- rest or stretches/body weight workouts 
Saturday- 6  mile run
Sunday- rest

Since running for two months now, I haven't experimented too much with foods or stuff I'll bring on longer runs. Ideally, I would run most days starting around 5am.  The earlier the better for me, however, I will never get up before 5am.  I have been carrying my phone with me because I actually hate wearing an armband but for runs longer than 8 miles, I'm going to have to suck it up because I don't like carrying water with me either. I'm not really into the latest trends and styles when it comes to running.  I have regular ear buds with the cord, my phone for music and emergencies and a water bottle.  The only thing I'll spend more money on is good shoes.  I just recently bought myself a new pair of Brooks sneaks- Glycerin 17. This is my third pair of Brooks and I love them! They are sooooo cushy and comfy! I have a small running water bottle I'll bring on 8 miles or more runs and I picked up a few fruit Cliff chew blocks to try on longer runs.  Because I like to begin early, I'm rarely hungry that early and prefer to run on an empty stomach. 

A few things I have tried and love and which might be good before a longer run:

Built Bars-  these taste like a musketeer bar!  so good! 
Stroopwaffels- just try one.  you'll thank me later.
I like to chew gum while I run, at least for the first couple of miles.
Cliff Bar Energy Chews-  I picked up a sour watermelon flavor that's new to me and strawberry.  we'll see how they work!

My only concern for this is when my runs become longer, I know I'll need some fuel like a few bites of a bagel or half a banana. I get gassy stomach aches after a few miles of running, so running with food in me has made me feel worse sometimes.  It really just depends; it's not a consistent thing.  I just know I feel better overall when I've only popped my multi vitamin and drank some water before leaving for a run.  The meal I eat the night before matters too.  I try to keep it simple with grilled chicken or a big salad with lots of protein and some carbs.  My family and I tend to eat dinner on the earlier side too, around 5pm. That helps I think.  If I feel hungry later at night, 8 or 9pm, I like to have two graham crackers with tea before bed as I find it settles my stomach without being too fatty, sweet or heavy.  The extra carbs at night can't hurt if I plan on running the next morning.  I like to experiment when it comes to fitness, nutrition, food and losing weight.  I'm looking forward to more trial and error!

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