Training Day... Week 12!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

12 weeks!!! I can't believe I have actually been doing something continuously for 12 weeks... I never thought I could stick with something so well {Lord knows I can't stick to a diet for that long}, but I know my body will be thanking me very, very soon for all the long hours I have spent running to prepare for my first 1/2 marathon.
With only 39 days to go until the BIG day, I've stepped up my game and am tackling the treadmill and outside 4 days a week from here on out {not to mention stretching and doing core exercises daily} in the hopes to amp up my pace time and come in under my goal time. Here's this week's schedule:
Monday: Ran 4 miles at a 9:40 pace
Tuesday: Rest Day
Wednesday: Run 3 miles at a 9:15 pace; arms/abs/legs
Thursday: Rest Day
Friday: Run 4 miles at a 10:00 pace
Saturday: Rest Day
Sunday: Long Run Day {outside and in}--9 miles at a 10:30 pace
TOTAL: 20 miles!!!

This week, I am featuring some of my favorite tips and tricks I have learned {thanks in part to other runners and online}:
1. Make a goal and stick with it: Keep yourself on-track by blogging like I do, keeping a running/workout journal, talking about it with friends, etc. This is the best way to hold yourself accountable and reach your ideal goal!!
2. Run for you and no one else: You're competing against yourself, so comparing times, paces, etc. with others will do you no good! Make yourself happy and that is all that matters.
3. Crosstrain, crosstrain, crosstrain: Almost 35% of runners admit they run, but don't even step onto a bike, swim a lap in a pool, take a workout class at their gym, or lift weights. Trust me--do this! Your body will thank you for the change in routine and this will also help prevent injuries
4. Quit making excuses: Sure, we all get tired, burned out, etc., but don't let life's frustrations keep you from attaining your goals... working out releases endorphins and makes you feel better!!! Plus, what better way to reward yourself than with your favorite sugary coffee or treat from Panera =)
5. Jam out: Like I've mentioned before, my favorite playlists help me overcome my boredom, the complaints in my head, the tiredness and hurt from running all the time--find what tunes make you your happiest and stick to those songs on race day. I've got 50+ songs on my Country Music Marathon playlist and I am adding more just to make sure I have what I need to tackle the hills.
And from my favorite site, Runner's World, I give you this article from Ed Eyestone, which is all about sticking to your routine pre-race, what to do the night before/day of, and perfect pre-warmups:
The Night Before
1. Review your plan before 6 PM, think about your race strategy/pacing, and use positive mental imagery to envision yourself running strong and finishing fast. But after 6 PM, give it a rest. Rehashing scenarios late into the night can trigger the sympathetic nervous system and make sleep more difficult.
2. Check Your Equipment: lay out your gear, pin the number on your singlet, and thread the timing chip onto your shoe.
3. Fuel Up: eat a typical-size dinner complete with complex carbohydrates to top off your glycogen stores and activate the sleep centers of the brain. Although carbo-loading isn't necessary for races under an hour, carbohydrates digest easily and tend to serve as comfort foods. Eat slowly and avoid gorging yourself.
4. Set Multiple Alarms: set at least two alarms!! Don't depend solely on hotel wake-up calls or friends/family reminders—they're notoriously unreliable.
5. Keep Your Normal Bedtime: If you knock off and hit the sack too early, you may end up staring at the ceiling and inviting more stress when you don't immediately pass out. That stress can further delay sleep.
On Race Morning
1. Take a Hot Shower: A shower helps wake you up for an early start time, and passively warms your muscles, improving flexibility.
2. Eat Light: After 8 hours of sleep, your blood sugar is low. Two hours before your race, eat a breakfast that will take the edge off your hunger without leaving you bloated.
3. Stay Loose, Think Positive: As I wait for the start, I keep my muscles loose by shaking out my arms and legs. I review my race plan, remember all the awesome, consistent training I've logged, and wait for the gun.
The Perfect Warmup
Do just enough to get ready for any race distance
Jog Slowly for 15 minutes: jog at a pace that is three minutes slower than race pace
Stretch Lightly: complete the same stretching routine you do prior to track or tempo workouts
Jog Faster: run for 5 to 10 minutes at a pace that is within one minute of race pace
Add Strides: run several strides at a pace slightly faster than your expected start pace.


  1. thank you for this post. i am training for my first 1/2 marathon - and your tips are very helpful!

  2. Sounds like you're doing such an awesome job and I admire that.. this post inspires me to start running again.

    I haven't seen the inside of a gym in about a month and a half and I actually went last night.. but this post will help me continue to get back on track.. plus the fact that I' m going on vacation in about a month helps too!

    I run. I'm a runner. I run! :)

  3. That's so awesome, go you! Jamming out while running is the best. Some of the songs on my Ipod are crazy as hell but they get my butt moving!

  4. Great job! Thanks for the tips too, they're awesome!

  5. Wonderful tips Natasha! Your motivation is contagious! :) I've been starting to get in a routine of working out and it feels great.

  6. Congrats! You are going to rock this race :)

  7. i've been wanting to run a half marathon for a while. i just need to dedicate myself to a training plan like you have. i'm going to check out your past post & read about your training tips!