A few months ago I registered for my first half marathon. I decided to document the process of my training, hoping that it will help to keep me accountable to train strong. This is week six.
Monday August 11 – Sunday August 17
Total Miles Planned: 22
Total Miles Ran: 22
Favorite Run: I’m so thankful I decided to do the five mile run that was on my plan on Thursday after work, rather than save it for this weekend. Having the ability to run three easy miles the day after my long run to shake out my legs felt AWESOME, and I’m not sure that 5 miles would have felt the same.
And Thursday’s run was AWESOME in it’s own right, as well. I decided to run an unplanned course through The Stockade, one of my favorite neighborhoods to run in, and turned around at two and half miles to retrace my steps for a simple out and back. My plan prescribed intervals of 8 jog 2 walk, and I followed the plan to a T. It always feels great to hit a prescribed workout and feel awesome about it.
Least Favorite Run: Monday’s 3 miles weren’t horrible, but it was hot and bright, with little cloud cover. Not the most pleasant conditions, but I got it done and was happy to have checked it off the list.
Other Workouts: Two long walks and one short one. I haven’t been doing much of anything but walking for cross training thus far. I really want to add something NEW this week! I’ll accept that self challenge
I’ve also added a tiny bit of lower body strength this week, I’ve been doing sets of 10 of three leg movements a couple of times throughout the day when my legs need a break from sitting: calf raises, squats, and standing abduction.
Listening Notes: During Thursday’s run I listened to an awesome episode of Doug Loves Movies featuring a panel of comedians I adore: Marc Maron, Kumail Nanjiani, Kulap Vilaysack and Howard Kremer. They very tastefully talked about Robin Williams and his great work, as a genuine conversation about their own experiences with the comedic genius unfolds between friends who just happen to be on stage in front of an audience being recorded for all to hear.
Other podcasts enjoyed while running this week: A collection of recent Extra Hot Great Minis, The Because Show: Jammy Vu, Joy the Baker: A Mimi Riperton, The Art of Simple: Nerd is a Good Thing, and Doug Loves Movies: Live from the Pittsburgh Improv with Tom Segura, Matt Fulchiron and Aaron Kleiber
Fueling Notes: On days I run after work I change into my running gear and walk the 1.5 miles home, drop off my bags and enjoy starting my run after a full 25 minute walking warm-up. Lately I’ve started to drink a serving of NUUN Energy [in cherry limeade!] while I am on my walk home.
During my 11 miler this past weekend, I tested out some more fuel for the half marathon. As I’ve been reading about all these different products I’ve seen a lot of “15/45” references. For intense workouts and races, the recommended usage is taking one gel 15 minutes before starting the activity and then every 45 minutes of intense activity to follow. Up until now I’ve never used these sorts of fuels pre-run, so I decided to give it a try and see if it effected my performance and energy levels.
I started with a Clif Shot Gel in Double Espresso. I LOVED this flavor and that the 100 mg of caffeine in the shot means I can skip the coffee that I usually have before long runs. I planned a route with the hardest climbs at the front of the run, finishing all the hardest effort points before starting the fifth mile and I think using this shot with the extra caffeine helped me kick through it.
Since I was using a product with a large caffeine content at the start of the run, I made sure to choose non-caffeinated fuel for the remainder of the run. I went with the Clif Shot Bloks in Cran Razz but I didn’t read the package very carefully. I took one block after the first 45 minutes, and another 45 minutes later – along with sips of Camelbak water along the way and especially while consuming the bloks.
I’ve been trying hard to focus on listening to what my body is saying as I run to make adjustments when necessary. When I noticed I was still feeling “on empty” fuel-wise 15 minutes after taking the second blok, I took out the package and read the directions again. “For Best Results: Eat 3 to 6 CLIF SHOT BLOKS every hour during activity. Always follow consumption with water.”
Umm…no wonder I felt so crudy. I took two more bloks and just a few minutes later started feeling like I had more effort to give to my final miles.
After stretching when I got home, I was feeling woozy. I sipped some water and took a cool shower to cool down, but I still felt off. I made a post-run smoothie, but after the second sip, my body decided it was time to get rid of anything in my stomach. I felt instantly better afterwards, and spent the next hour reading articles after Googling “vomiting after long run.” I took things easy for the next several hours and started to slowly consume calories over time, making sure to keep an eye on my hydration and keep my body temperature in check. I felt better by dinner time and am fairly certain it was just a case of going out too hard on too little fuel. [I also didn’t eat much the night before, so my “reserves” added to the feeling under-fueled.]
#THS13Point1 Reflections: One of the reasons the Mohawk Hudson Half Marathon is my choice for my first half is the reputation it has for being both beginner AND PR friendly. [Of course, being that I live nearby doesn’t hurt either!] The reason for this racing being such a great race for newbies [and the corresponding marathon being known as BQ-friendly, at that!] is the course elevation. Take a look at the elevation decline for the entire course of the half marathon:
Nice, right? I’ve been trying to make sure not to completely avoid hills during my training and have been trying my best to run up them completely. I’ve also built in some specific hill repeats to my training [I have one on the plan for this week, for instance] to help me prepare for the few climbs that are a part of race day.
I’ve also taken to reading a bit about hill training, too. Here’s some recommended posts if you’re interested!
Hill Training Content from Around the Web:
- Simple Adjustments to Make Hill Running More Enjoyable from Runner’s World
- How to Run Hill Repeats from About Health
- 7 Reasons to Do Hill Workouts from Run to the Finish
- Mastering Hill Workouts from Running Times
- Three Tips for Running Downhill from Runner’s World
- How to Learn to Love Hills from Ask Coach Jenny
- 7 Hill Running Workouts That Increase Power from Active
- Hill Running: 5 Reasons to Love the Incline from Shape
- Hill Running Made Easy Video from The Starting Line, Runner’s World Program for Beginners
- Benefits of Hill Repeats from Happy Fit Mama
- How to Train for Heartbreak Hill from Run to the Finish
- Hill Intervals for the Treadmill from Meals and Miles
- Study: All Hill Repeats Improve 5K Performance from Runner’s World