Thursday, November 29, 2012

Beginner's Half Marathon Training Plan

Sorry for my slightly "downer" post yesterday.  I'm feeling a lot better today! Actually, I started feeling better last night when I worked out (go figure).  I taught my bootcamp class and after that was more alert and energetic than I had been all day. 

I help with the Youth Group at my church on Wednesday nights so I usually go straight there from class. But, because we didn't have any food at home, I stopped at Cafe Roule, a great coffee shop in Temple City that does some amazing sandwiches (pictured last Saturday).

So I think the combination of exercising, eating a healthy veggie sandwich, getting some caffeine and then being at church and worshiping God got me out of the funk I felt yesterday.

I was so energized I even suggested we do our grocery shopping on our way home last night, at like, 9:30. At first I was worried that they might be closed but apparently our grocery store is open until 1 AM! Score! 

"here, babe, take a picture of me and our full cart!"
Last night at church I was talking to my friend Danielle who is also running the Tinkerbell Half in January.  She's struggling a bit to organize her workouts so since you all know how much I love making charts, I offered to create a schedule for her.  The most she's run so far is 3 miles, and the race is in 8 weeks so I have her peaking at 10.  Some weeks she does have to add a decent amount of mileage but she's already in good shape and health.  I figured some of you might appreciate this so here it is:
Here are some notes about Danielle's plan.
*She uses the run/walk method taught by my hero, Jeff Galloway.  Because of his method I was able to complete my first ever half marathon, and not only that, actually enjoy the race and feel GOOD after. Jeff is partnered with RunDisney so if you do any of their events, they usually come out with a training plan tailored to your race.  If you're thinking about signing up for a race and are looking for a beginner's training plan I highly recommend following Jeff Galloway's advice to a T.  You will not get injured, and you'll have a great time. (the reason I'm not using his specifically - it's actually very close - for Danielle, is because his Tinkerbell plan is 22 weeks and we just don't have that much time).

Jeff encourages you to find a run/walk method that works for your skill level.  Danielle, for example, is running for 4 minutes and then walking for 1. She'll do this the entire race.  The reason being, it gives you both a mental and physical break from running.  It helps chunk it out in your mind so you can say to yourself, "just run for the next 4 minutes and then you can take a break", opposed to "just run for the next 12 miles and then you can take a break"

It also gives your running muscles a break which helps prevent overuse injuries.  And along that same vein, because your body is not as fatigued, you're also more likely to keep a better running form, which is also vital to preventing injury.  Really, I could go on and on about why the run/walk method is so so so good for beginners - but I think you get the point. Here are some other notes I included for Danielle for her training plan:
*Do the run/walk ratio for every run – even if you’re feeling good. If you want to cut out the walk breaks, wait until the last 30 minutes of the long run
*If need be, switch days around, but avoid running 2 days in a row
*Feel free to cross train on days off, but try to avoid cross training the day before a Saturday long run
*The point of the long runs is to just get the distance on your legs, so if you need extra walk breaks, feel free. Take the long runs very easy
*Don’t do any cross training the week before the race
*You should never be so out of breath at any point that you can’t talk in sentences. If you feel that winded, take more frequent walk breaks
Again I learned all of that from the mighty Jell Galloway so please head over to his website for more concise and smarter advice.

Please note that I am not a registered personal trainer and these opinions are only based on my personal experience - not medical knowledge.  

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