It’s crazy to think I only started training for the SeaWheeze Half marathon 3 weeks ago.
I was terrified going into this training cycle that I simply wouldn’t have enough time to prepare to run 13.1 freakin miles but sitting here writing this post I actually feel pretty darn confident about it.
Even while I was injured and taking a break from running I was still staying active doing yoga, lifting weights and a lot of walking. I think the fact that I didn’t just sit on my butt has made transitioning back into running way easier. Also, I truly believe when you’ve been running consistently for awhile (for me the past 2+ years) your body develops some kind of muscle memory with running and you’re able to get back into shape faster than say someone who has never ran in their life…maybe not but hey it’s just my theory and I’m going with it.
Anyway, I had a really strong week of training last week! I was able to complete a 6 miler at an easy pace, 3 miler at race pace, 5 miles of speed work doing a pyramid type workout (see picture below), an 8 miler and 3 yoga classes.
My body feels good, my mind feels determined and going into this final full week of training I’m ready to crush it and get to Vancouver already.
Friday’s speed work was a pyramid style run where I did 1 mile at race pace, 1 mile at a push pace, 1 mile all out, 1 mile at a push pace again the finished off at roughly 10 seconds above race pace.
My best training cycle yet
Like I mentioned above after taking a break from running I really feel like I’m back and stronger than ever.
In the past I’ve really burned myself out training by trying to do too much. For example, I’d do 5 miles of speed work AND a yoga class or jump from 6 miles to 10 miles for a long run.
For this short round of training I really went into it with the plan of trying to keep my body healthy so I don’t re injure myself. This means shorter runs, less cross-training, lots of sleeping, stretching after every single run…etc.
What a concept right? Honor your body for the best performance.
Besides simply listening to your body I wanted to briefly touch on 4 things I’ve been doing during this training cycle that are helping me feel and perform my best:
- Food: During previous training cycles I was eating a diet that was about 50% carbohydrates. I always thought you needed carbs for running so I’d have bread, pasta, rice, fruit…etc with almost every meal. Well, after going gluten free for a month then reading Body Love my outlook on what you should be eating to fuel your body has changed. Now my diet is more like 50% fat, 25% carbs, 25% protein. I don’t feel bloated, I feel energized, I’m sleeping well, I’m not experiencing blood sugar crashes and my body feels strong so hey I’m sticking with it.
- Alcohol: Guys, I know this is not the advice you want to hear but you simply can’t be drinking 1/2 a bottle of wine then expect to have an awesome training run. Alcohol dehydrates your body and causes inflammation which isn’t ideal for training during the summer, or really any time. I have been really limiting my alcohol intake and I honestly think over the past 3 weeks have only had 2 beers at the San Diego Pride celebration then like 1 glass of rose last weekend. How you ask? Well, I’m obsessed with sipping on sparkling water and kombucha. Check out this post for some other alcohol alternatives.
- Rest/recovery: This is probably the biggest contribution to why I’m feeling so good during this training cycle. I’m 100% guilty of almost never stretching or foam rolling after runs BUT where did that lead me? Oh, to getting freakin injured. I’ve really made an effort to stretch after every single run (even it it’s just a 3 miler), spend 10-15 mins foam rolling my entire body and icing my shins to prevent my shin splints from coming back. Also, I’m taking more rest days with 1 day/ week doing absolutely no exercise. It’s truly been a game changer and I’m able to perform better than ever after giving my body a break.
- No expectations: My only goal for this upcoming half marathon is to finish. Normally I have some crazy goals of running a sub 2 hour half, chasing down a PR or something like that. Being a very competivie and goal driven person I get caught up in these numbers and it leads me to pushing myself harder than I should during training. For example, if my goal for training that day is to run at race pace (9:00/ mile) I’d probably kill myself trying to do the run at 8:00/ mile and end up so sore and putting myself at risk for injury. No thanks. This round I’m listening to my body, running slower and simply enjoying the process.
[Tweet “4 tips for having your best half marathon training cycle ever #runchat”]
We discovered the coolest beach front garden during Sunday’s long run so obviously had to stop and take a picture.
My long run this past weekend may have been slow but it was absolutely gorgeous running along the beach and my body felt great- 100% taking that as a win!
This week is my last full week of training before the SeaWheeze Half on August 12th.
While normally the couple weeks before a half should be focused more on tapering I still need to work up some strength and endurance.
Here’s my plan:
- Monday: yoga + stretch + foam roll + ice
- Tuesday: 3 easy miles + yoga
- Wednesday: 6 easy miles
- Thursday: REST + stretch + foam roll + ice
- Friday: 5 miles of speed work
- Saturday: yoga + stretch + foam roll + ice
- Sunday: 8-10 miles
What tips do you have for having an awesome training cycle?
Do you try to stay away from booze during training?
Are you good about stretching after every single run?