As some of you will be aware I have a list of 30 goals that a wrote a few years ago highlighting different things I wanted to do before I turned 30. Running a half marathon was one of these goals especially because my Mum, Dad and brother had all achieved this milestone (my Father’s fastest time was 1 hour 31 minutes and my brother’s fastest time 1 hour 20 minutes the speedsters!).
Last Sunday the 23rd of March 2014 I achieved this goal running the Brisbane Twilight Half Marathon in 2 hours 3 minutes and 8 seconds.
It was my friend Clare (the girl on the far left in the pink top) from Ashy Bines that encouraged me to go ahead with this goal. Clare had signed up and started her training. It was Clare’s confidence that inspired me to sign up to the same event and start training a mere nine weeks before the start date.
I already train 5-6 times a week with Ashy Bines as well as cycling to work and half marathon training meant adding a long run one day a week as well. I enjoy running normally but before this event 13km had been the longest distance I had run and the mere thought of running 21km was both frightening and exciting. Below details my initial training plan where I added in one long training run a week increasing my distance every week.
My actual training was not that different from initially planned:
I did a number of things wrong with my half marathon training and I still achieved my goal.
Some of my training mistakes included not eating enough calories in the first part of my training. I started seeing my nutritionist Phoebe Mawyer at Health Defined who designed me a nutrition plan that aligned with the sheer amount of training I was doing. The extra food and suggestions for training nutrition gave me the edge and allowed me to get the energy I needed.
This also included minimal stretching and foam rolling until the bitter end. My Achilles were in agony my last three weeks and with some solid foam rolling in my last week many of the knots went away. I found yoga amazing during this hard training period and it allowed me to stretch out my muscles.
I also didn’t realise that you are not supposed to do long runs two weeks from your event. I did an 18km and a 19km in the two Saturdays leading up to my event and I was extremely sore and tired. I think with better planning my time would have been faster and my body prepared for such a hard event.
I believe the HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) I do regularly at training would have helped but I planned no HIIT training of my own.
So… how do you run a half marathon in 9 weeks?
1. PLAN. Plan your workouts and training in your diary and log your progress. Plan ahead with events you have on. I had a wedding and holiday in the middle of training as well as birthdays and Australia Day celebrations and still trained.
2. TELL. Sign up to the event and tell everyone what you are doing. The more people the better. What kept me training was colleagues, friends and family asking me about how my weekly training was going and how I was progressing.
3. TRAIN. Train and train hard. Slowly but surely your kms will increase and you will achieve your ultimate goal.
4. HAVE FUN. I love training and plan fun workout clothes, amazing podcasts, runs with friends and tasty breakfasts after training and all of these keep me going.
Take it easy team
Lots of love,
Ms Spikybombshell XX