Fitness

6-week Half Marathon Training

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Sometime in the past week, one of the thoughts going through my head, in the middle of the night was OMG the half-marathon is soon! Next I was trying to calculate weeks in my head as I “slept”.

This morning, I went for a run. Strava told me I ran 10.96 km. But, if I map it out on the trusty old GMAPs Pedometer, it’s around 9.5 km. It was a good run.

A screenshot of Nicole’s run from Strava for the day. Shows Distance 10.96 km, Pace 6:17/km.

When I got back from my run, I looked at the calendar. 6 weeks until May 1st. Not 12 weeks, which is what I am used to, for a gradual and responsible training half-marathon program. Usually the goal is not to increase distance more than 10% a week. This is to try to prevent injuries.

I have other tools in my chest for minimizing injury. Strength training. Stretching (not as much as I should be doing, ever). Some yoga. Long spins on my stationary bike when the sidewalks have been too icy to run.

Here I am. Part of me is happy that MAY is so close. The other part of me is uncertain about training faster than usual.

“YAY! SPRING!” made of flower-filled font on white background

I read this article today. Will it help my normally risk-adverse self just go for it and not worry about the outcome? The article talks about the Polish phrase,

‘Jakoś to będzie’ (pronounced ‘Ya-kosh toe ben-jay’)

Literally, the phrase means ‘things will work out in the end’ – but it’s so much more than that. Rather than sitting around and hoping things will work out by themselves, ‘Jakoś to będzie’ is acting without worrying about the consequences. It’s reaching for the impossible. It’s taking risks, and not being afraid.

Training for a half marathon, for me, is not really taking risks. It’s very possible. I’ve done this many times before. Just more measured. Not after a couple years of pandemic, when there haven’t been any regular running events. Not after February and early March, where I haven’t been going for long runs because WINTER. What I did today was my max distance for a long time. My brain can be overly cautious though. I may use this phrase as motivation to quiet that part of my brain.

I have been able to keep my fitness up throughout the pandemic. I am aware of my privilege to have the time, health, ability, etc., to do so. Because I have kept up my fitness, this is doable. I can do it (barring injury or other unforeseen obstacles).

While I’m running, I also think about things such as letting myself settle into the discomfort of the parts that feel sticky and challenging. Running is good for my brain because I am impatient. It forces me to tap into my ability to BE PATIENT. The end of the run is coming but it’s not now. I will need this patience when ramping up my distance in the coming weeks.

My current plan, entered into my calendar, is to increase my long run by 2km each Sunday. Also, to get out at least 2x week for shorter runs. Right now, I’ve only been doing one long run (usually Sunday) and a shorter run. I know from experience, I do not need to reach 21.1km before the race. I can get to 18 or 19km and the adrenaline on the day will get me through the rest. Also, I am an endurance runner. I don’t run for speed. So, whatever the time is, will be good.

In addition to my running plan, I plan on hitting up one of the health professionals I know for some extra mobility exercises to do during the 6 weeks to help with injury-prevention. I tend to get stiff in the glutes and hips in the longer distances. I will ask for work to prevent that.

Here I go with my 6-week half-marathon training. Wish me luck!

Readers, have you ever trained for a fitness event in less time than desirable? How did it go? What did you learn?

Nicole P. is prepping for a half-marathon taking place on May 1st.

As a side note, I do not usually raise money when I run marathons. However, I have decided this time, I will be raising money for the Odette Cancer Centre at Sunnybrook Hospital. My Mom has been/and will be getting care from them for her non-small cell lung cancer. Thankfully, she is currently symptom-free and it is slow growing, but this cause is near and dear to my heart. Raising money for the Odette Cancer Centre will help her and many others with their journey with cancer: http://support.sunnybrook.ca/SupportCancerResearch.

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