Race Week: Training Update

So, as I mentioned yesterday, I am feeling pretty underprepared for the half marathon. I really slacked off on training towards the end, and didn’t make time for the long runs like I should have. I also skimped on a good amount of the speed training, and didn’t get nearly as many miles overall as I would have liked to.

I am trying not to be too hard on myself because I realize I take training more seriously and have higher expectations for myself than many people going into the race. I have heard from several people who have run 6 or 8 miles as their longest run before the big day, and I know speed training isn’t an essential part of training to be able to finish the race.

That said, I am definitely a bit disappointed that I didn’t stick with my training plan as much as I would have liked. My plan was to go up to 12 miles for training, and I only ended up doing 10 miles as my longest run. I wanted to do speed work every week for 12 weeks, and I ended up doing 9 out of 12 weeks.

Despite all the negatives, there have been some positives to training, which is what I am trying to focus on:

1.) Hills

I’ve done a much better job at doing hilly runs during training this time around. During my first two halfs, I barely did any hilly runs since I mostly ran on the treadmill. This time around, I only did my speed work on the treadmill and did my runs outside every other time. I picked hilly routes most of the time for the shorter runs and am proud of this part of training.

2.) Speedwork

While I did miss about 3 weeks in a row of speed work (tempo/interval training), I was very consistent about it during the first 2/3 of training, and I did do the hardest speedwork run this past Friday – 5 miles of intervals. I alternated between 5.5 mph (for recovery) and 7.0 mph (for speed), and while definitely difficult, I felt great afterwards and wasn’t sore one bit. I think this goes to show that I am definitely getting faster than I was, and that I have a good running base that will carry me through the half. Here’s what I looked like post 5 miles of intervals:


Cute, I know.

3.) Cross Training

I tend to be a very all or nothing person, and during training for the first two half marathons, I really only ran 3-4 times a week and did nothing else. While I would have liked to cross train more than I did, I definitely made an attempt to do something other than running about once a week. I also consistently strength trained 1-2 times a week for most weeks during training, and I feel like I am in good, well rounded shape at the moment, which I like.

Since I am not as prepared as I wanted to be, I am readjusting my goals for the race.

My original goal was to PR and finish faster than 2:10:43 (my current PR, and a pace of 9:59). There is still a chance that I may PR, but I am not going to stress about it and instead and going to focus on going at a pace that feels good, conquering the hills one by one, and running the whole time except during water stops. I want to enjoy the race, finish strong, and appreciate my body for what it can do, rather than get caught up in exactly how fast I am going and letting my pace take away from the overall race experience.

11 Comments on Race Week: Training Update

  1. Amy B @ Second City Randomness
    March 13, 2012 at 8:52 am (9 years ago)

    Sigh. I scraped my original goal of a PR for this race coming up. My longest run has been 8 miles (although I’ve done multiple 7’s and 8’s), but still. I’m mostly to blame, but I don’t think doing the majority of my training inside has helped one bit.

  2. Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning
    March 13, 2012 at 8:57 am (9 years ago)

    You do look cute! 🙂
    In my opinion, training on hills is the best thing you can do. When I did a half-marathon, I might have done one 11 or 12 mile run, but most of mine were around 8, and I did shorter runs that included tons of hills. You will be FINE- just try not to be so hard on yourself or stress about it! Think about why you want to do the race in the first place- to challenge yourself and to make yourself proud. Don’t let anything get in the way of that!

  3. The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh
    March 13, 2012 at 9:45 am (9 years ago)

    I think there’s nothing that says “strong woman” more than a sweaty pic after a workout. Good job on looking for the positives!

  4. Diandra
    March 13, 2012 at 10:28 am (9 years ago)

    Sounds like a great plan! Good luck!

  5. Kelly @ No Sugar Sweet Life
    March 13, 2012 at 10:40 am (9 years ago)

    You can do it!! I love your post-running pic, btw. Beautiful and glowing 🙂
    All you “runners” out there in the blogosphere are slowly but surely inspiring me to get out there, one foot in front of the other. First run (in like literally 10 years) planned for tonight, with my doggie Bella. Hoping to go about 20 minutes without stopping. No half-marathon, but I have to start somewhere 🙂 Looking forward to hearing about your race!

  6. Jennifer
    March 13, 2012 at 11:17 am (9 years ago)

    Frankly, I’m just impressed that you are doing the Half! That in and of itself is a great accomplishment, just don’t forget that. 🙂 Good luck!!

  7. Amy @ conquering self
    March 13, 2012 at 9:49 pm (9 years ago)

    I think your goals sound fantastic! It was about this time one year ago that you inspired me to run my first half…hearing you talk about this race is starting to inspire me to run my second!

  8. Lynette
    March 14, 2012 at 9:31 am (9 years ago)

    Just getting out there and doing the half is a huge accomplishment, regardless of your time. If you hit your PR, great. If not, it’s okay! I’m doing an 8k this weekend but I’m inspired by your story enough to register for a 1/2 in October! I’ll be following your blog for advice! Good luck this weekend and enjoy it!

  9. Jenny
    March 14, 2012 at 10:21 am (9 years ago)

    You’ll do great Beth! I’m signed up for the GW Parkway Classic 10 miler which I ran last year. I’m 5 weeks out and my longest run is 4 miles; talk about feeling under-prepared! If I can get back to at least 7-8 miles then I know I can do it – like you said, it’s about having the foundation in place.

    Have a fantastic race!

  10. Brittney
    March 15, 2012 at 4:28 pm (9 years ago)

    Good luck Beth! I think it sounds like you did pretty good on your training. I know you know that 10 miles is plenty to get you through 13.1. I also think that sometimes over training can hurt more than it helps, so maybe you’ll feel “fresher” to while running since you weren’t too crazy with training. Anyway, good luck and have a great time!!


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