Today is a BIG day for me. Exactly fourteen weeks from today, I will be in Atlantic City with a few of my fellow Chicks, laughing and eating and giggling and running in the AC April Fool’s Half Marathon. It will be my first half, and I really want to have a strong race. It’s important to me that I’m able to keep up with Mer, Vic, and Cam because it’s not often that I get to run with my girls. I registered for the race many moons ago, determined to train safely over ten months. I stuck to that over the summer, but then the fall semester started up and training was replaced with homework.
So here I am, fourteen weeks out from my first half marathon and not nearly where I wanted to be. Same old song and dance, right? YUP. Not for long, though, because this girl has a plan.
Jenn’s First Half Training Plan:
- Start Training in Earnest. I found a fourteen week half marathon training plan from Women’s Running Magazine that I think will work well for me. I’m super excited to start it, and even though day one (today) is a “rest day”, it is SO ON tomorrow. The plan offers enough flexibility with the strength training and cross training that I can pick activities that I enjoy like rock climbing and vinyasa yoga. Yay for variety! Without variety, I know I would fail a few weeks in.
- Eat healthier. Notice I didn’t say eat clean or diet. I’ve accepted that there are few things in life that I just cannot and will not give up. My life without any bacon, chocolate, or those blasted lemon poppy seed scones the local store bakery sells really couldn’t be called life. What I need to practice is moderation.
Also, I could do a better job of satisfying my demanding sweet tooth with healthy alternatives like the chocolate chip chia seed energy bites from Gimmesomeoven. I made them yesterday and my husband called them “balls of yummy goodness.” I was forced to tell him to back off my chocolate fix. It was about to get ugly.
- Stay Motivated This is likely the most difficult aspect of training in any sport. The strategy I chose was to carefully plot out my goals and the plan for achieving them. I created an achievement board, a training calendar outlining the 14 week plan, and organized a cork board to act as a half marathon command center. I was sure to highlight the reasons why I enjoy running such as the sense of accomplishment after a race and how it helps me burn off negative energy. I also broke up my goals into to smaller more manageable segments because I have a tendency to overwhelm myself with the BIG picture.
- Accept My Limits I discovered this fall that running in cold weather aggravates my asthma too much. The treadmill at the office gym and I are soon to be quite well acquainted. I can’t continue to let asthma hold me back eight months out of the year. I HAVE THINGS TO DO, LUNGS! I am terrified of getting bored on the treadmill early on in my training. Audio books are definitely on tap, and I’m going to try to learn meditation running. I’ve been wanting to read “Running With The Mind of Meditation” for a while now. Anyone have any experience with this technique?
That’s it, that’s my plan. Admittedly, I’m sort of winging, but it’s my plan nonetheless. More importantly, I want to hear your go-to training strategies, as well as what you feel doesn’t work for you. Please share your wisdom with me, I’d be so grateful! I might even make you some balls of yummy goodness.
How do you stay motivated? Do you have a favorite training workout? Do you have to hide your chocolate stash from your husband like I do? Let’s trade hiding places in the comments!
Sounds like you have a well thought about and laid out plan! I love to make a training plan and stick to it as much as I can but allow room for life’s chaos and adjust when needed. Moderation is the key to life (I won’t be giving up my favorite bakery treat anytime soon) 🙂
Thanks, Karen! Life’s chaos can certainly be cause for a training detour, you’re so right about allowing for the unexpected. As long as I can keep injury at bay, I’ll be happy! Thanks for the encouragement. 🙂
Reasonable and manageable goals! You will be fine come “half time”. I wish you the best! FYI – I ran the AC 11K two years ago and it was fun but you’ve gotta watch the wind off the ocean. That can be rough!
Oooh, wind is my least favorite thing. Thanks for the heads up! It sounds like a really fun race, I can’t wait for April!
I can’t believe it’s only 14 weeks! It will be here before you know it which means YOU’LL BE HERE BEFORE YOU KNOW IT. Oh, I can’t wait!