All about training for a half marathon

Hey guys! I feel like I haven’t posted anything in a while. The last few weeks of pregnancy have been exhausting mentally and physically. Up until now I have prided myself in feeling great and as soon as 37 weeks hit I felt like a different person. My joints started hurting and had to stop doing strength training.

There is a hormone that is excreted into your body during pregnancy that is called relaxin. It loosens your ligaments to allow your uterus and pelvis to expand. Unfortunately it ‘relaxes’ all your joints which can cause more pain and more of a chance for injury. The good news is it usually goes away 24 hours after you have your baby.

I have been walking twice a day and this has given me the strength to push forward these last three weeks. This is the only thing I feel comfortable doing right now because I do not want to injure myself right before baby and be out of commission after baby!

This has made me a little discouraged and I have been able to tell the emotional and mental changes as a result of the lack of physical activity. Exercise is a mood booster and usually does the trick for me anytime I am feeling anxious or upset. Since I have had to take a brief hiatus I decided I would look to the future and plan my post- baby workout plan, which involves half marathon training! Yay!

If all goes well with labor and delivery, I feel confident that I will be able to start working out strong two weeks after having baby Joseph.

I have done my research for training for my first half marathon and have provided some important facts and tips about the process if you want to train with me!

  1. Motivation- This is such an important piece of the puzzle when you are training for such an intense goal. There are many things you can do to stay motivated during this mental and physical challenge.

Number one is to sign up for the race! Once you have done that you feel obligated to see this challenge through.

Change up your route. Running the same road, trail or treadmill will most certainly get old if you are doing it several hours a week. Find a new route. Explore your neighborhood or someone else’s if you do not live on a pedestrian friendly road.

Cross- training. There is no need to run every day while training. Cross- training allows you to keep your aerobic fitness up, while your body to rest from the wear and tear running has on it.

Visualize what your goals are and the finishing result. Imagine what it will feel like to accomplish such an incredible goal. Keep your eye on the prize!

BLOCK OUT NEGATIVE THOUGHTS- This is very important for training for not only training for a certain goal, but also for life. There are going to be bumps in the road when training for a long-term goal. You cannot let it get you down. Block the thoughts of giving up and thinking ‘what’s the point now I’ve already missed a week’. It’s okay, that’s life. Things will pop up. You will get sick or maybe injured. You just have to keep going and start back where you left off! This is the difference between successful and unsuccessful people. Don’t give up. You started this for a reason and a goal in mind- you owe it to yourself to finish! Positive affirmations will do wonders for your mental well- being and accomplishing goals.

  1. Have the right gear- It is extremely important to have a good pair of running shoes that are not worn. It is best to go to a specialty store so they can find a shoe to fit the needs of YOUR foot. Everyone’s body is different and that includes your feet. When you find shoes that fits your needs you are taking care of your body and preventing injury.
  1. Goal- What is your goal for starting this challenge? Losing weight, the satisfaction of finishing, or a time goal? It will be harder to complete training if your only goal is to lose weight. Some people who do not see instant weight loss goals when training throw in the towel. For most people there needs to be a deeper goal. MY goal is to get back in shape after my baby. It is about the mental and physical stability training for a goal gives me. I am not naïve; I know having a new born is wonderful, but also hard- emotionally and physically exhausting. Training for something will give me relief from the trials of such a life changing event.
  1. RECOVERY- This is extremely important when training for such a physically strenuous activity. Your body needs time to recover from the stress running this much has on it. It prevents injury that can set you back weeks or even stop the training all together. Your muscles need rest days to get stronger.
  1. Hydration and nutrition- Staying hydrated is extremely important when doing such strenuous physical activity. Dehydration is dangerous and can lead to headaches, muscle cramps, dizziness, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. It is important to drink at least 16 oz of water BEFORE you run. While running you should consume 6- 8 oz every 20 minutes. After running you should drink 20-24 oz of water for every pound your lose during your run.

Carbohydrates are important for half marathon training. 65% of your calories should come from carbohydrates. 10% should come from protein and 20-25% should come from unsaturated fat. This is vital to get the most out of your training AND recovery.

  1. Stretching- This is extremely important for any runner. It is also something that I slack on. Running this much will give me NO CHOICE but to stretch to avoid injury. Stretch immediately after the run. It will decrease your soreness, increase flexibility and range of motion.
  1. Core Strength- It is vital to have a strong core to get best results out of your run. It provides stability, power and endurance. When you have a strong core you are less likely to suffer from injury.

Okay, so now that we have the basics covered I will share with you the training plan I will be following. It is important to note that just because your plan says something DOES NOT mean you have to follow it precisely! This will just stress you out more and lead to frustration. You need to be flexible with your plan. If you find a plan you like online, but there are a few things about it that doesn’t fit your lifestyle than change it! The most important thing is to have a plan that FITS YOUR LIFE. Considering I have no clue what my schedule is going to be after baby I am sure I will have to tweak my plan and I KNOW I will have to overcome the setbacks I will inevitably have.

I plan on starting two weeks after Joseph is born.

Week Mon Tues Wed Thurs Friday Sat Sun Total Miles Run
1 Rest 2 miles Rest 2.5 miles Rest 3 miles 2 easy miles 9.5 miles
2 Rest 2 miles Rest 3 miles CT or Rest 4 miles 2.5 easy miles 11.5 miles
3 Rest 2.5 miles 2 miles 3 miles CT or Rest 5 miles 2 easy miles 14.5 miles
4 Rest 3 miles Rest 4 miles CT or Rest 6 miles 3 easy miles 16 miles
5 Rest 3 miles 3 miles 3 miles CT or Rest 7 miles 3 easy miles 19 miles
6 Rest 4 miles 3 miles 4 miles CT or Rest 8 miles 3 easy miles 22 miles
7 Rest 4 miles Rest 4 miles CT or Rest 9 miles 3 easy miles 20 miles
8 Rest 4 miles 3 miles 3 miles CT or Rest 10 miles 3 easy miles 23 miles
9 Rest 5 miles 3 miles 4 miles CT or Rest 11 miles Rest 23 miles
10 3 easy miles 4 miles Rest 3 miles CT or Rest 12 miles 3 easy miles 25 miles
11 Rest 4 miles Rest 3 miles CT or Rest 5 miles 2.5 easy miles 14.5 miles
12 Rest 2 miles 20 minutes Rest 20 minutes Race Day! 13.1 miles Rest 15.1 miles + 40 minutes

I will add my core exercises and stretches that I decide to do to compliment my training routine. I will also add my cross- training exercises as well!

If you have any questions or advice for me about marathon training just leave a comment below! Next time I talk to you all I might just be a mommy! Have a great night!

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