As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I started half marathon training again. I’ve been consistently running the last few months, but without any real purpose. I mean, I wanted to keep up mileage and – as I said at the beginning of the year somewhere – incorporate more cross-training, but this was it. This is what I did for the last few months and I was itching for a little more purpose. I just do much better if I know what I am training for, don’t you?!
I ran (and/or am signed up for) a couple of 5k and 10k (some of them virtual) races and a ‘progressive half marathon in May’ (ever done one of those?) and I haven’t really ‘trained’ for those distances specifically. BUT I have also officially signed up for my next half marathon and that’s a good excuse to structure my training a bit more again.
I’ll be running the 1st half marathon at the SF Marathon in July, which will be my 2nd half-marathon overall. Wait, what? I know, it’s confusing.
In case you don’t know, the SF Marathon event offers two half-marathons which – run back to back – make up the full marathon. Last year, I ran the 2nd half from Golden Gate Park to the Embarcadero (the race profile is a little less intimidating and the start time was at a more reasonable hour around 8 a.m.), but this summer I will run the 1st half from the Embarcadero to Golden Gate Park. I am so excited, because the 1st half goes over the Golden Gate Bridge! The race profile is a little bit more challenging and race start is earlier (around 6 a.m.), but think I am up for it. Who else will I see at the start line?
Here’s a course map:
There is the full marathon (DARK BLUE) and the two half marathons. The 1st half marathon in YELLOW and the 2nd half marathon in LIGHT BLUE.
I try to chose my races wisely and I don’t know if I’ll get the chance to run another HM this year (hopefully though), but I am looking forward to going back to SF and collecting the extra Half it all challenge medal for running both halfs in consecutive years.
When I trained for my first half marathon last year, I was terrified. I mean, when my friend Susi suggested we sign up, I was totally up for the challenge, but I also had an immense respect for what we had just done. I knew deep down inside that I could finish the distance… somehow. But I didn’t just want to finish. My goal was to ‘run’ the whole damn thing without stopping. I know this is silly, but my goal was to be able to run for 2+ hours. No walking.
What I really liked about the training plan (I used a Runtastic training plan put together my former olympian Dieter Baumann) is that it chopped up the training into manageable pieces and varied the training throughout the weeks with easy runs, intervals, speed training and long runs. It completely took the guessing out of it, as you simply do what’s on the training schedule without thinking about it twice. I like that (there is less of a chance of) skipping or talking yourself out of a particular training session when you can stick to a plan (although I do want to mention that life does get in a the way sometimes and it’s not the end of the world if you skip or switch around a couple of sessions here and there, as long as you are persistant).
Last year, I didn’t know for sure if I was ready for the race when race day came around (pre-race jitters are normal, right?), but I had heard it from a lot of people again and again: trust your training. If you put in the work, you can do the race. And that was the truth.
This time around, I already feel a lot more confident about the training and what awaits me at the start line. I am following another training plan through my Runtastic app and so far, it’s been going great and I’ve hit all my training marks, even when I thought of them to be challenging. This should be a good sign, am I right? I also love discussing my training efforts with my Dad (who is a retired P.E. teacher, in case you don’t remember) and it’s awesome to have him support and cheer me on (and also hold me accountable) throughout the process.
What are you training for right now? What’s your favorite training plan to follow?