In just over a month’s time I am taking part in the Southampton Half Marathon. I am taking it pretty seriously this time around and have been training for the last month; at least twice a week. I am currently on top of my running game, more than ever before. I am very determined to try and get a sub two hour half marathon; just like I’ve been trying to for the last few years. So how am I training for this half marathon?
Tracking my journey
Okay, “journey” was a tad millennial. But I’m seeing my training for this half marathon in a completely different light to how I have before. While I’ve always loved running, when I’m training for an event, I usually feel obliged to smash out a long run at the weekend, but this time, I feel excited to run a ten miler on a Sunday.
I’ve felt extra motivated to track my progress; I always Strava my runs (if you didn’t Strava it, did it even happen?!) (of course it did) and I write down all of my workouts in the notes section of my phone. However, I’ve been taking a selfie after most of my runs. I’m really enjoying finishing my run and taking a sweaty selfie. I think, in the long run (wahey!), I’ll also be able to see any weight loss around my face. Although I don’t run for aesthetic reasons, I started a 9-5 in the last half a year, so the snacking has gone to my face.
I ultimately think tracking my training (on Strava, via my notes section and with the old selfie) is really helpful in seeing some progress! I’m particularly happy to see how my 5k runs are really improving speed-wise.
Keeping up with the gym
While I don’t think my arms, shoulder and back training contribute all too much to my running, I am also keeping on top of my legs training. I’ve always been a big believer in supplementing your running with other training. Although I haven’t been swimming at all lately (which has always complemented my running really well), I have been frequently doing leg day. I think my legs feel way more supported when I’m building muscle in at the gym; lunging and squatting and all of that good stuff.
I am, however, neglecting the old abs. I try to get some crunches in after my runs (especially my shorter runs) but I’m very aware I could be doing way more… Which I’m planning on getting into this week; some at home abs workouts and some at the gym workouts to ensure my stomach can handle 13.1 miles as well as possible.
Little and long
Regardless of how many times I go to the gym each week (somewhere between one and three times), I have been very consistent with my running. For the last month or so I’ve been running one 5k during the week (more recently, two) and one long run at the weekend. So while I ran a 5k on Monday evening and a 5k yesterday evening, I ran a 11.1 mile run this morning. (I have to admit, it was meant to be a 13.1 mile run today but I think last night’s run might have hindered this a little.)
I have found this approach really helpful in keeping me motivated. I finish these shorter runs, just wanting to add on a good few more miles. So when it comes to a Saturday or Sunday morning, I am PUMPED to get out there. I am particularly excited for the clocks to do whatever they are doing next weekend, so I can take on some longer runs after I get home from work.
Tracking my short and longer runs, as well as ensuring I’m still doing other forms of exercise has meant I’ve remained very excited about the half marathon in early May. Even after my long run this morning (which was way tougher than my ten mile run last week), I can’t wait to get outside to run again once my legs are no longer achy.