sharing my go-to half marathon training plan and answering your fitness questions!
Okay guys, as promised, I’m giving you the low-down on my fitness today. I’ve gotten a lot of questions on Instagram since I announced that I signed up for my first post-baby half marathon as well as about BBG so I wanted to do a whole post where I round up everything in one place so that you have it as a reference!
First up, my half marathon training plan!
I got A TON of great advice from all of you (thank you!) and I definitely took a lot of it into account. I’ve grouped it all and summed it up since many of you asked for me to share the tips I got:
- Be kind to yourself throughout the process
- Don’t worry about being slower than you used to be, just enjoy the miles
- Feel proud of yourself no matter how your run felt, you still got out there!
- Remember to hydrate
- Fuel appropriately (will write a post on this!)
- Be patient, it will come back
- Try Emily Jackson of The Ivory Lane’s running guide (I bought it and will let you know my thoughts on it!)
- Incorporate strength training (I truly believe in this one!)
Okay, so now onto my training plan. For all my half marathons I’ve always used Hal Higdon’s training plans. They’ve worked the best for me so I figured there was no sense in changing it up now! I don’t follow them exactly, but pretty close. Here’s what a typical week looks like for me:
Monday: Strength training (BBG Legs)
Tuesday: Run (between 3-5 miles, building up as I go)
Wednesday: Strength training (BBG Abs & Arms)
Thursday: Run (between 3-5 miles, building up as I go)
Friday: Strength training (BBG Full Body)
Saturday: Long run (between 5-12 miles, building up as I go)
Most half marathon training plans don’t recommend going beyond 10 miles as your longest run, but I like to do 12 just to build confidence that I can actually run it come race day. You ABSOLUTELY do not have to go farther than 10 miles, come race day you’ll easily be able to run the full half marathon.
I generally only strength train 2x/week when training for my half marathons. I may end up giving up the BBG Full Body once I build up my mileage and start doing longer runs – I’m just going to play it by ear and see how I feel. In general though, I find that strength training makes me a MUCH better runner. It builds up all the auxiliary muscles that are so necessary in helping support your runs. It’s tempting to skip out on strength figuring that building endurance is all you need, but you will be a much happier, healthier runner if you add it in, I promise!
In a perfect world, I would never miss a workout, but unfortunately life gets in the way sometimes and it happens. In terms of half marathon training, I aim to always prioritize my runs, and most especially my long runs. If I miss a strength or a shorter run, I care much less than if I miss a long run. And sometimes runs don’t go to plan and that’s ok. If you don’t make it the full length of your planned long run, you’ll be ok. Just keep going with the training and you’ll catch back up.
Last note on my half marathon training: I did buy Emily’s running guide and I thought it was good. Actually I felt like it was really similar to the Hal Higdon training plans which is why I ultimately decided to stick with that (since I’ve used it in the past and know that it works well for me).
A LOT of you have asked me how I like the program so I wanted to include that here too. I really love it. I love that it’s only 3 days a week so that I can include cardio (that’s my biggest gripe with the 21 Day Fix workouts which I’ve used in the past and also like). The workouts are hard but not unmanageable and you really feel it the next day (in a “hurts so good” type of way).
In terms of how I follow the program, I use the Sweat app. They offer a 7-day free trial so you can see how you like it. I immediately bought the 1 year subscription after my free trial because I knew I would use it. In my opinion, it’s one of the best fitness apps I’ve ever used. I think it’s set up really well and is very user friendly. The ONLY thing I find somewhat annoying about it is that you can’t back-log workouts. So if you ran on Tuesday but forgot to go in and log it or use the app during it, you can’t go back to Tuesday log that workout. You have to just log it on whatever day you’re on. Not really a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but just an annoying quirk I figured I would mention.
For those of you that follow me on Instagram, you obviously know that I don’t follow the meal plan, but I do think it’s generally fairly balanced from what I’ve seen of it.
I started doing it once I was cleared for exercise after Owen and have done it one and off since then. Now that I’m training for the half, my plan is to be more consistent with it!
If I missed any questions, let me know in the comments, happy to answer them 🙂14