Half-marathon training – week 2 update

Week 2 of half marathon training is done. This week I’ve learned that life gets in the way sometimes…

Gem smiling and giving a thumbs up to the camera with a cap and running vest on.
All smiles before the run…

I have successfully completed every workout and every run, but not always on the right day and in the right order. It’s really emphasised how important it is to have flexibility in a programme. You just never know when life is going to just get in the way. Plans change or come up unexpectedly and you shouldn’t feel like you have to turn down fun experiences because you have to go to the gym or go for a run. Training for your physical fitness is supposed to add to your life, not leave you sacrificing time with your friends and family.

So last week I only had 1 rest day. Which isn’t ideal, of course. And let me tell you I will do my best to make sure I have 2 whole rest days for the rest of the programme. I didn’t manage to get to the gym on Friday, but did manage to do my run. This meant that on Saturday I had to go to the gym for my 3rd strength session of the week, which meant sacrificing my rest day. It was an upper body and a reasonably light session and I also spent about 20mins at the end focussing on stretching my hips, hamstrings and quads. Gotta look after my legs with all this running!

Then Sunday comes and here in the UK we’re getting quite warm weather, like 20 degrees. Hot for us and particularly for me as a Scot! I waited till about 5.30pm before I headed out for my 60min run hoping it’d be a bit cooler. It may have been cooler than it had been at midday, but it was still rather warm. I managed the first 45mins and really concentrated on slowing my pace so that I could push the distance. I tracked my run on Strava on my Apple Watch so that I could keep an eye on the pace. I was aiming for 6.30mins/km. As I said, I got to 45 mins before I felt like I was running through sand… I often think that running is very much a mental game. I don’t know if you’ve heard that saying; ‘your body will go as far as your mind will push it.’ And I am a believer in that, to an extent. There is always that stage in a run where things feel hard, where you don’t think you can keep going, where you’re convinced that everything hurts. That’s the wall. If you can push through it, or at least for me, if I could push through it, then I’d be able to just keep going (providing my pace was right). Well that wall just wouldn’t be broken on Sunday. I couldn’t get through it, or over it or round it. It was a wall of epic proportions. After 45mins I started to take walking breaks. And once I’d started to take walking breaks I just couldn’t get a good run going. So I alternated between walking and running for the last 15mins and managed to cover 9km in the 60mins.

It wasn’t the best run I’ve ever done. I reckon I was hampered by the lack of a rest day and the heat. But either way it’s still a training run and it’ll still have helped my fitness; my cardiovascular system and my strength. Mentally, I learned from it. I learned to take rest days and that the wall is more of a hurdle these days than it used to be. I’ll go into my next long run equipped with that knowledge and more determination to conquer it.

I’ve still got loads of time before half-marathon day and I’m nearly half-way to the distance already. There’s plenty of time to get stronger, fitter and faster. I am now worrying about training for a half-marathon during the summer months, particularly if we get the same heatwaves as last year… How do I run for longer than an hour in 30+ degree heat…? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: