A few months ago I was having race fever, mostly due to the fact that I had typically run a race in the spring for the past few years, and because of school, I wasn’t able to get one in. So I signed up for the Baltimore Half Marathon in October. We are now about 11 weeks out and my training has officially started. With this being my 4th half marathon, I’ve sort of got things figured out, but in a lot of ways, I’m still trying to figure out what works best for my body. So in this Thinking Out Loud, let’s chat about the things I’m keeping the same, and the things I’m doing different for Half Marathon Number Four.
- First things first, I got my new shoes and so my feet, knees, hips and back are happy.
I stuck with my Brooks Defyance. They’ve never done me wrong and I just had to stick with them!
2. I’ve learned that less is more for my body. I was running 4-5 times per week when I trained for my first half marathon. I can’t do that anymore. My body can’t handle that anymore. I learned from my last race that running three days per week actually worked out great for me – and I had a 12 minute PR.
3. I’m going to listen to my body more. Ever since I tore my calf muscles from overuse last summer, I’ve been super cautious when it comes to how I’m feeling during and after runs. When I feel a twinge when I’m running, I adjust my gait pattern, tighten my core more and try to work around the pain (thank you three years of PT school for allowing me to run and think about my body at the same time). After runs, I live in compression socks, foam roll and stretch.
4. I’m going to do all of those things listed above, more. I slack sometimes with the after run care – because it was a struggle to fit in the run typically with school, let alone time to stretch, foam roll and take care of myself. Now that I won’t have to rush off to study, I’ll have more time to commit to caring for my legs and my body.
5. No more “It’s okay, I ran 6 miles today.” At the ripe age of 26, I no longer have the metabolism of my 18, or even 24, year old self, and it’s starting to show. I’m going to be more conscious about what I’m fueling my body with before, during, and after my runs. No more eating 3 bagels just cause I want them. Not to say I won’t be treating myself occasionally, cause that would be a lie, but I just need to focus more on what I’m eating and not gain weight while training.
6. Specialized training. If there’s one thing I’ve heard about the Baltimore Half, it’s hills. So, in order to conquer them on race day, I need to train with hill repeats! Last training, I incorporated at least one day of sprints/interval training. This time around I’m thinking this:
- 1 long run a week – duh, that’s a given
- 1 hill repeat run OR a track workout/interval run
- 1 tempo run of 3-5 miles during the week
- 1 shake out run – EASY, as needed/depending on how I’m feeling
- 1-2 days of strength training/cross training
- 1-2 days of complete rest
And there ya have it! I don’t know if this race will be another PR like last time given all of the hills, but I’m going to train my best and we will see how it goes come October!