Preparing for a Half Marathon: Part One


Every time I have a flick through my diary I am reminded of two things. One – Christmas is just around the corner and that’s amazing news. Two – the Half Marathon that I signed up to yonks ago is fast approaching and that is slightly more terrifying news. Now it’s not until February, so we’ve got a bit of time to play with here, but after a three week break from my ‘sweating a few times a week’ fitness routine, I needed to get my arse back into gear and back to pounding those pavements. In the two weeks that I’ve been back I’ve managed to turn it around somewhat, am happier person for it (I actually missed exercising – who am I?) and followed these steps so that the latter diary entry doesn’t make me feel so much like weeing my pants… 

1) Run other races. Build up to it, you know? I ran a 5 mile one a few months back and plan to do a 10K sometime in November, which should hopefully prepare me a bit more for race day. Running with a crowd of people is way different to dodging pedestrians solo, plus there’s the added pressure of a crowd which actually on my last race I completely forgot about halfway round when I stupidly didn’t pick up a bottle of water from the water station and spent the next 30 mins dreaming of sweet, sweet water at the finish line (note to self: always pick up water). Park Runs are a free and good way to get into running with others too. 

2) Record progress. I’ve said it before, but recording my progress is the biggest motivator for me. I’ve watched myself beat personal bests, all while having successfully not vommed at the side of the road with tiredness. Score. The Nike Running app is my favourite. 

3) Get a plan. A quick google of ‘Half Marathon Training Plans’ led me to this one by Nike, which I plan to roughly follow. It gives a guide as to what your weekly mileage should be and gives workouts to pepper your week with from the Nike Training Club app which should help to make things a bit more interesting. Although, with my monthly pick-ups of Allure I’ve also been lugging home a few fitness mags with me – Women’s Health is my fave – and there are always little plans and schedules to be found in there, especially at this time of year. 

4) Get back up to speed. Falling off the workout wagon doesn’t mean the end it just means you needed a little rest. I gave myself a three week one while I was away (my excuse was that I didn’t have room for trainers and gym gear in my suitcase – pah!). When I returned I wasn’t sure I had the puff for a run so got back into action with the aid of Fitness Blender’s 5 Day Workout Challenge series which is AWESOME. A Monday to Friday routine that targets every body part, with a decent whack of HIIT and cardio thrown in there. 

5) Choose a nail polish colour. Seriously. Though perhaps you’ll have to read Alexandra Heminsley’s book, Running Like a Girl, to get that one. A great read for anyone who needs a kick up the rear and 240 pages of inspiration. 

Anyone else been loony enough/peer pressured into signing up for a race. Any tips/nail colour recommendations are always welcomed.