Tell me about your half-marathon experiences! - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 03-12-2011, 11:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
Pepe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 343
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I'm getting ready for my first 13.1 and am interested in advice, tips, race stories, and the like.  I'm a relatively inexperienced runner--I got started (again--after being sporadic about it much of my adulthood) about two years ago with a 10K race and I'm rather committed if not incredibly speedy.  For this half-m, my goals are:

 

(a) to finish--I've only run as far as 10 miles a few times; if I complete my training as planned, I will have done one 12-mile run by race day. I've been running 3x a week with maybe two elliptical sessions, but am upping it to 4x + one elliptical (plus some other strength stuff).  Each week, I usually do 2 short treadmill runs of 3-4 miles and one longer one outside, 6-10 miles.  I'm switching to 2 short runs of 2-3 miles, one pace workout of 4-5 miles, and one long run of 6-12 miles. 

(b) to stay healthy and uninjured to achieve the above.

(c) to keep track of my pace--I'd like to run around a 10-minute mile if that feels feasible; sometimes my knees get tired on longer runs.  I think at least some miles will be marked out in the race, and I do have a digital watch, but I don't have that shoe thingy that goes with an I-pod (I'm considering it, but I haven't run with an I-pod).

(d) to do my best--I seem to hold back on longer runs, thinking I should save energy for later.

 

Thanks for any suggestions, stories, or encouragement!

 

 

Pepe is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 03-14-2011, 06:56 PM
 
sewaneecook's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,505
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Yay for you!  Your goals sound realistic if you stick with the training you described above.  I've found that if I listen to my body and follow a realistic training routine, I can do fairly well without injury.  My first half I didn't have a good training plan and I ended up doing too much too soon and I ran the race with an injured knee.  My second half I had a great training plan, a realistic time frame, and I had a GREAT race. 

 

As for training tips, find out the terrain of the race.  If it's hilly or flat, typically hot or cold ... train accordingly.  One way I trained for a very hilly half was to do a lot of hills on my mid-week runs, but kept my long runs fairly flat which prepared me very well.  From my experience with running (more seriously the last year, but semi-seriously over the last 8 years) I would suggest that if you have to choose between strength training (weights and core work) and elliptical, do the strength.  The elliptical is cross training, but the strength training benefits me more in a race and helps prevent injury better.   

 

You don't need to be high tech with running.  I've only used a stop watch for any training or races I've done and it's worked just fine for me.  I find it a fun challenge to figure out my pace while training or racing.  The only high tech thing I use is a good pair of running shoes fitted by a specialty running store.  Otherwise, I make sure I have non cotton clothes to reduce chaffing (Target has some that are cheap and work well), and body glide to really ensure I reduce chaffing (it's good for the feet, under the arms, between the thighs, etc.). 

 

One thing I don't know if you are doing or not, but I've found Clif Shot Bloks to be very helpful during longer runs.  They are jelly chews that provide electrolytes and give me a bit of a boost during runs.  I typically have one block every 2 miles or so (that changes with weather and terrain).  I've also used Clif gel packs and I like them, but I prefer the Bloks.  Some of them have caffeine and some don't, I typically get the most boost from the ones with caffeine (but I don't have caffeine on a regular basis).  I keep all my things with me using a SPI Belt while I run (my Bloks, cell phone, and inhailer).  This was one of the best running investments I bought (and it was only $25).  Here's a link to the SPI Belt: http://www.spibelt.com/

 

I hope you have a GREAT race!! 


Laura, Troy, Seth 6.24.06 , and Aaron 7.13.09
sewaneecook is offline  
Old 03-14-2011, 09:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
Pepe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 343
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Wow, thanks SO much for all the info and encouragement!  I especially appreciate the strength-vs-elliptical tip; I was sort of wondering about the best use of my time (and body!).  I am also interested in the gels.  I'll have to give those a try.

 

I was thinking today during my run that maybe I should amend my post to read "IN MY WILDEST DREAMS, I'd like to run a sub-10-minute mile."  Ha.  Really, though, your response was very inspiring and helpful.  Thanks very much!  Happy running to you, too.

Pepe is offline  
Old 03-15-2011, 02:21 PM
 
sewaneecook's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,505
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I thought of a few other things:

 

Don't worry too much about pace for your first half.  Be there to finish and have fun.  Interact with the spectators, give the kids high-5s, and find other runners to talk to and cheer on.  I never do training runs with anyone, but another runner started up a conversation during my first full marathon and we really helped keep each other going.  We didn't stick together for long periods, we would simply be together for a few minutes, then get separated at a drink stop or one of us would slow down, and we would catch back up at some point (sometimes not even talking, just helping keep up a good pace).  It was a great way to keep motivated.  Try the shots or gels prior to the race.  For some, caffeine during a run makes for frequent bathroom breaks (and not just to pee!).  Another tip that I found very helpful during races is to make a sign with your name on it to pin to the front of your shirt so that spectators can cheer for you (or simply write your name in duck tape on the front of your shirt).  This is very helpful when you hit a low point during the race and others cheer for you by name! 

 

Some ways I've found to help reduce recovery time after a long run are to take a cold bath after a good stretching (fill it about hip level with cold tap water, wear a sweatshirt and hat in the tub and stay in as long as you can stand or about 10-15 minutes), take a couple arnica homeopathic tablets and rub some arnica gel on my legs (it reduces muscle soreness), and walk around a lot the day of a long run.  When I do these things I am only mildly sore the next day and 2 days later I'm rarely sore. 


Laura, Troy, Seth 6.24.06 , and Aaron 7.13.09
sewaneecook is offline  
Old 03-16-2011, 08:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
Pepe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 343
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Thanks a million for these tips!

 

It sounds like you're quite an experienced runner.  Are you readying for any races these days?

Pepe is offline  
Old 03-17-2011, 04:38 PM
 
sewaneecook's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,505
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I'm not a super experienced runner, but I am an experienced athlete (I swam through college) and I do a lot of reading and talking with other runners.  Right now I'm recovering from a foot injury that started as a very bad stubbed toe and running exacerbated in to a stress reaction (not quite a stress fracture).  I didn't realize how badly I stubbed my toe until it nearly fractured!  I'm currently doing a lot of cross training, core work, weights, and resting!  I will hopefully be back in to running in a couple months.  Even though this is a forced break, it is much needed after doing 2 halves and 2 fulls this past year (I don't think I'll do that much again with young kiddos).  I'm all about encouraging other runners, no matter the goals, distance, or speed! 


Laura, Troy, Seth 6.24.06 , and Aaron 7.13.09
sewaneecook is offline  
Old 03-18-2011, 06:38 PM
 
Penelope's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: West Papio Creek Trail
Posts: 12,199
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Come join the dingos thread! smile.gif

 

I've done - I think five? half marathons. It's a super, super fun distance - long enough to feel like you've really done something, but pretty manageable, IME, to train for.

 

People always say not to go out too fast, and it's really hard advice to follow, but don't go out too fast. In a big race, held concurrantly with a full marathon, there will be pacers, and running with a pace group is a good way to keep yourself at a good speed.

 

If you're doing 10m runs, you should be just fine on race day. It's a good idea to figure out what kind of liquid is available (Gatorade or whatever) and to train with that so your body is ready. I also take a Gu or some other kind of semi-liquid fuel as around mile 8 or 9 I get kind of tired. Getting your body used to that is important too. Your training sounds like it's excellent.

 

Have a great race!


Can't give up actin' tough, it's all that I'm made of. Can't scrape together quite enough to ride the bus to the outskirts of the fact that I need love. ~ Neko Case

 
Penelope is offline  
Old 03-22-2011, 09:39 AM
 
LeslieB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Conway, NH
Posts: 1,165
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Congrats on your upcoming half! I think the PPs gave you wonderful information. I've done 3 road and 3 trail half marathons. I live this distance! I run longer distances, but the half is still the perfect distance for me.
I don't have much to add except that I use a Garmin GPS watch now for races and serious training runs. I never used to run with a watch, but my MIL got me the Garmin for Christmas '09. Wow, what a difference it has made since you can keep track your pace. One of my other favorite things about it is being to go anywhere, especially new places, when I have a specific distance in mind. I can just start running and measure the distance as I go. It's especially helpful for my trail runs when measuring with a car isn't feasible. It could be really useful for you if you want to run under that 10min pace. I'd skip the Nike one and get the Garmin.
I also second testing out some gels, blocks, etc. I prefer the Jelly Belly Sports Beans. And instead of Body Glide, I use 2Toms Sport Shield. Some type of anti-chafing product is such a good idea.
I think your training plan looks great; you'll definitely be ready if you stick to that.
Good luck! Post back to let us know how it goes. smile.gif

Leslie, mom to John :, 02/25/06
::::
LeslieB is offline  
Old 03-22-2011, 09:49 AM
 
LeslieB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Conway, NH
Posts: 1,165
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Oh, and can I recommend my favorite running apparel? Running skirts from RunningSkirts.com! I own 4 of them, and the Spring line should be out any day now. The sale page has some cool ones, too, for less than half the price. orngbiggrin.gif

Leslie, mom to John :, 02/25/06
::::
LeslieB is offline  
Old 03-22-2011, 12:58 PM
 
columbusmomma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Running
Posts: 3,243
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Love their stuff!!  I think I may order myself one for the half marathon I'm doing in May! Right now I am running about 3x/week. about 7 miles each time. I need to start increasing the distance a bit. One other day a week I do a bootcamp class. Trying to lift 1-2x/week.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LeslieB View Post

Oh, and can I recommend my favorite running apparel? Running skirts from RunningSkirts.com! I own 4 of them, and the Spring line should be out any day now. The sale page has some cool ones, too, for less than half the price. orngbiggrin.gif


 


Wife to DH(15 years)and Mama to: Jacob(5/02)kid.gifribbonpurple.gif, and Alina(7/07)energy.gifI luxlove.gifbellyhair.gif
columbusmomma is offline  
Old 05-17-2011, 09:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
Pepe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 343
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Hi all--thanks again so much for these tips and the encouragement.  My race was last week and I had a blast!  I was a little apprehensive because I had some random knee and leg discomfort and I wasn't able to run much for the last 2 weeks or so before the race, but I felt absolutely fine the day of the race and finished in 2:04.  Now I'm hooked and can't wait to race again.  Thanks so much for your advice.  Happy running to all of you!

 

Pepe is offline  
Old 05-19-2011, 10:05 AM
 
sewaneecook's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,505
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Way to go!  What a great time, especially for your first half.  I get knee pain when I need a visit with a chiropractor.  It sounds like the lack of running you did the last couple weeks prior to the race may have helped you to taper. 


Laura, Troy, Seth 6.24.06 , and Aaron 7.13.09
sewaneecook is offline  
Old 05-22-2011, 08:49 PM
 
justmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: beginning anew
Posts: 5,727
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 21 Post(s)

I'm so glad to see this thread.  I'm training for my first half in August and I'm a pretty beginner runner too.  I'm terrified!  Totally clueless. 


treehugger.gifjog.gifgreenthumb.gifknit.gifnamaste.gif

justmama is offline  
Old 06-11-2011, 02:22 PM
 
LeslieB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Conway, NH
Posts: 1,165
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Congratulations on finishing!! That's a great time. Good luck on your future races. :)
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pepe View Post

Hi all--thanks again so much for these tips and the encouragement.  My race was last week and I had a blast!  I was a little apprehensive because I had some random knee and leg discomfort and I wasn't able to run much for the last 2 weeks or so before the race, but I felt absolutely fine the day of the race and finished in 2:04.  Now I'm hooked and can't wait to race again.  Thanks so much for your advice.  Happy running to all of you!

 



 


Leslie, mom to John :, 02/25/06
::::
LeslieB is offline  
Old 08-09-2011, 11:13 AM
 
sren's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: a woodsy place
Posts: 10
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)

thumbsup.gif


and then when we get to the ocean
we're gonna take a boat to the end of the world

sren is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off