Training for first half marathon

4 messages
02/10/2013 at 19:22

I've entered the Cheshire half on November 5th and have been training since the end of August upping my distance by one mile each week so I'm now up to 11 miles.  I do three shorter runs as well as the long one each week (two of these are off road hilly runs).  The problem I'm having is that the last mile on my longer runs, now I'm past that ten mile mark is pretty excrutiating and I'm worrying I won't be able to pull the last couple of miles out of the bag on the day.  Is the pain normal?!

The other thing I'm worrying about is that today in my long 11 miler I stopped and walked about four times, the last couple of times because I literally could not carry on.  I stop my watch when I walk so my time is quite respectable at an 11 minute mile average pace but the real time is probably ten minutes more overall.  Is there any shame in walking during a half marathon as I think I'll feel I've failed if I do end up walking even for a little part of it.  

I'm only taking water on my runs and find I'm getting very hungry towards the end.  Should I be taking something a bit more energy providing.  Sorry for all the questions and thanks in advance for any advice 

03/10/2013 at 15:21

Only you can decide what shame is for you and it seems you are determined to not walk, so make that your aim. If you can do 10 miles in training now without stopping i would have thought come race day you should get round the full half. Don't let the mental aspect of hitting 10 miles beat you, Is the pain normal? Unfortunately yes it is. When you start upping training it is tough going as your body gets used to it, but provided your not over doing it, it will click into place and you will feel great during those long EASY runs.

As for getting hungry you need to eat something before the long run, though how early before your run depends on you really.

Water on its on own should be fine for a half marathon, i don't take anything during a half (but i have always been weak in the stomach, have to take during a marathon tho).

04/10/2013 at 07:59

Sally,

 Do you do a long run every week?  If so, try lowering the mileage on your next planned long run to just 5/6 miles at a very easy pace and then the following week try for 11 miles.  The rest from the 6 miles might be just what you need.  There is no shame in walking, try doing it when you take a drink and then set off running again (if you have to walk that is!).  Generally I will use energy gels for any distance over 12 miles.  I use Hi-5 gels.  They are easy to swallow and I have not suffered any stomach upset with them. 

 That said if you can run 10 miles, adrenaline and spectator support will get you through the last 3 miles.  Just learn to relax when you are running and just enjoy the experience.

04/10/2013 at 08:03

Thanks guys .. I think I just needed reassurance that I was up to this and it's normal for it to hurt!  I'm going to do a shorter 'long' run next week and then up it again the week after.  I did a club run the night before my long run this week .. only five miles but I flew home and felt really strong so know the training is paying off.  But with hindsight, maybe that didn't help then running the morning after.


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