I have never done a half marathon, nor a marathon for that matter. My favorite race distance is 10km and my longest distance is the Paris 20 km race a few years ago. This race took place in 50 degree weather and pouring rain. It was such a bad experience, it really put me off.
Fast forward a few years to the end of February 2015… I was coming off 2 weeks’ vacation where I had exercised almost every day and I was feeling physically and emotionally really good. With all my professional travel in March, including two conferences, and several changes of time zones, I was looking for something to keep me focused. I wanted an objective that would keep me “on track” with my healthy lifestyle, because I knew I would be tempted by a drink (or several) with my colleagues, and dessert in all those great restaurants.
To keep myself focused I decided signing up for a race would be a good idea. So I scanned the internet for something in April and found the Fontainbleau half marathon on Easter.
Everything about it seemed to suit me. It was not all pavement, but also on trails, not a huge race but a more personal, fun race.
So I figured if I signed up for a race, I wanted to do it properly and try a training plan. Since I have had on & off problems with my knees, I figured that a training plan might help avoid injury. I am not racing for time, I just want to finish the race with no injury.
So I choose a training plan to finish the race in under 1 hour 50 minutes, but in all honesty, finishing in about 2 hours 15 minutes would suit me fine ! So I followed my training plan from a Runner’s magazine in France, with training 3 days a week. In addition, I was able to get in a lot of exercise in the many hotel gyms I frequented this pas week.
- Sunday (training) : 40 minutes at 8,8 km/h
- Monday : muscular reinforcement to avoid knee / leg injuries
- Tuesday (training) : interval training on the treadmill
- Wednesday : off
- Thursday : elliptical / weights / leg work
- Friday (training) : 60 minutes at 7,5 km/h
- Saturday (15 minute elliptical + 30 minute weights / abs + 20 minute airport walking
I am very proud of myself for having stuck with a plan while travelling. And it did keep me in line. I limited my alcohol intake to only one glass of wine if I went out and I avoided desserts most of the time.
My feet / knees ? they are feeling OK for the time being. I might have overdone a bit the exercise so I will listen to my body but I am looking forward to week 2. This week I am also travelling 3 days so it will be another training week with some treadmill work.
What is your PR on a half marathon ? Do you follow a training plan or just wing it ?