(Half) marathon Monday

21 Feb

Happy Monday everyone! It’s a long weekend thanks to Family Day, which means I am not at work, but get to be at home. 🙂 This Monday is also important because I have decided to kick off my official half marathon training today….I am so excited! The half marathon is on May 1…so I counted backwards to determine how many weeks I have and to make up my schedule….I will share with you as a complete it.

Today will be a “long” run (8 miles….I put long in quotation marks because after running a marathon, 8 doesn’t seem so long to me). Other than when I have holidays or days off, I’m planning to do my long runs on Saturdays. I would have to get up too early to do them before work, and it is too dark to be running out in the country (where I do my long runs). And Sunday is my day off…as a a general rule, I always rest on Sundays (except for maybe a light walk or something).

I thought to kick off my training schedule, I’d share some of my favourite long distance running tips with you. I learned a lot while training for my marathon last summer (some of it the hard way :() so I thought that any runners out there could benefit from my experience (and if you’re not one of those insane individuals who runs for pleasure, you can just have a good laugh :P). I’ve just got three tips today…but I’ll be sharing more throughout the course of my training.

1. Running socks matter!!!!!!! I can’t stress this enough…I discovered this after getting terrible blisters, to the point where they were almost crippling (no kidding…just ask my family). Don’t do your long runs in regular old gym socks….running socks help in so many ways, from giving you extra support to being made of moisture-wicking material so your feet won’t sweat (which leads to blisters). A great website is sockgeek.com ….I discovered it via google and ordered 3 pairs of socks there and they made a HUGE difference….order these BEFORE you start training…don’t be like me and find out the hard way how essential they are.

2. Audio books are your friend. Let’s face it….long runs are, well, long. And as much as I love running, it can get monotonous, even with great music. Part way through my training, I started purchasing audiobooks on itunes for my long runs. You have to find one you’re really interested in (if you like historical fiction, try books by Tracie Peterson, she’s one of my favourites) so it draws you in. I find time flies by a lot quicker when you’ve got something interesting to listen to.

3. Mapmyrun.com is a super-helpful tool. This site lets you create routes and save them, giving you the exact distance in miles or kilometres…perfect for training when you have specific mileage goals to meet. When I was getting into the longer distances for my training runs (14 miles +)…I liked to created a “loop” that was half the required distance (ie for a 20 mile run, 10 miles) so I could stop at my house halfway to get a drink and go to the bathroom if needed. And now that I’m resuming training, my routes are all still there and saved, 6 months later.

Finally, here’s a helpful post I just read about training indoors. I found it helpful, as when I trained for my marathon, it was summertime, so outdoor training was easy. It will be different training this time in winter/early spring. I will have to do more treadmill work this time, I think…I’ll keep you posted on my progress!

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