Friday Five – April 18th – My Training Goals for Half Marathon #3

As you all know, each week I link up with the DC Trifecta Bloggers (Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC, Mar from Mar on the Run, and Cynthia from You Signed Up For What?!).


While reading Cynthia’s blog yesterday morning, I noticed at the bottom of her blog post that this week’s Friday Five Theme is Fitness Goals.  This was PERFECT timing for me since yesterday afternoon this happened:

vb registration

That’s right folks, I registered for half marathon #3!  Over Labor Day weekend I’ll be returning to Virginia Beach to complete my third half in nine months.  You may recall that last year Preston ran Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach and I ran the Mini Marathon (aka 5k).  While Preston is still undecided about whether or not he’ll run Virginia Beach this year, this is where we’ll be closing out summer.

There's no better way to celebrate a summer race than with your feet in the sand!

There’s no better way to celebrate a summer race than with your feet in the sand!

If registering for half #3 weren’t exciting enough, I will earn two medals for running this race: the usual finisher’s medal as well as my first Heavy Medal for completing two Rock ‘n’ Roll races in one year.

Ill receive my Rock Encore medal in the mail as a reward for completing both Rock n Roll USA and Rock n R

I’ll receive my Rock Encore medal in the mail as a reward for completing both Rock’n’ Roll USA and Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach

Since Jeff Galloway’s beginner 18 week plan worked really well when I trained for the Disney World Half Marathon, I’ll be following his “finish in the upright position” 18 week plan to prepare for Virginia Beach.  The fun starts on Monday, April 28th!

Knowing that spring and summer are always crazy for us, I have five training goals that I’ll focus on as I train for half #3:

1.  Stay on track with my training and make adjustments as necessary.

While training for Disney World my training calendar overlapped multiple holidays that we traveled out of town for, as well as traveling to Illinois for my mom’s surprise birthday party.  Spring and summer is usually very busy for Preston and I (we already have plans to be out of town four weekends in May and June with more travel throughout the summer in the works), so I know that it’ll be critical to keep my training calendar close by and move long runs around as necessary.  Spring and summer activities may mean that some weeks I have to move my long run to a Friday or Monday, and if that’s necessary then I’ll do so.  When training for my first half I didn’t miss any of my long runs and only missed a couple of my weekday runs, and I want to do everything possible to ensure that I stay on track with my training again.

2.  Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

Unlike when I trained for Disney World or Rock ‘n’ Roll USA, this training cycle I’ll be training during the hottest months of the year.  It’ll be more critical than ever that I ensure that I am constantly drinking water and as well as replacing my electrolytes that I loose during training.  DC is well known not only for its heat but also its humidity, and it’ll be important that I’m not just hydrating before and after runs but throughout the day as well.

3.  Get enough sleep and keep my stress level down.

Unlike with my past two training cycles, I will only be teaching for the first half of my training for Virginia Beach.  While I have lots of other events already on my summer calendar, and am hoping that I’ll hear soon about the curriculum project that I’ve worked on every summer since I started teaching, my stress level should be much lower during the peak of my training cycle and I should be able to get sufficient sleep to not only efficiently train but to also make sure that I don’t have another health issue like I did only weeks before Rock ‘n’ Roll USA.

4.  Properly fuel my body with mostly clean, unprocessed foods.

While eating some processed food here and there won’t have a huge detriment on my training, eating as much clean food as possible will ensure that I’m providing my body with the greatest nourishment possible.  This isn’t a shift from what I already do, but with a busy spring and summer calendar with lots of events with friends and family already planned, this will certainly be easier said than done.

5.  Watch the sun, heat, and humidity and adjust my runs as necessary.

At this point I’m not setting a finish time goal for myself, partly because I know from experience last summer that I’m a slower runner during the summer than I am at other times of the year.  It’ll be imperative that I listen to my body and slow down my speed if I feel too hot.  I’m not an early morning person (getting up every day for work at 4:45am might have something to do with that), but it’ll probably also be necessary that I focus on getting many of my long runs in before it gets too late into the day, or else I may be forced to complete many long runs on the treadmill in order to prevent the risk of heat exhaustion.

I’ll of course talk more about my goals for Virginia Beach as I progress through my training and get closer to the race.  Ready or not, my next round of half marathon training starts in just ten short days!

QOTD: What is your next big race?  What training goals do you have as you prepare for that race?

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33 Responses to Friday Five – April 18th – My Training Goals for Half Marathon #3

  1. Congrats on signing up for your next half! Maybe we will see you in Va Beach. I’d like to either do that one or may do the one in Philly. I’m already signed up for Vegas so loved to get the extra medal! My next race is Big Sur next weekend.

  2. Jennifer says:

    Congrats on signing up on half #3. I totally thought of you when I got the $13 off email for the race- and saw you registered on twitter! Training during the summer is def tricky and a challenge – you posted some great goals (lucky for us some of our area trails are shaded!) Happy Friday! I joined a Jeff Galloway training group when I ran my first marathon, and I may go with the PRR training program for New York (but I think I will incorporate JG for actual race day).

    • You know I kept putting off my registration, and then when I got the e-mail yesterday it was the sign telling me it was finally time to register! Jeff Galloway definitely knows his stuff, and since his plan worked for me the first time why change what isn’t broken?!?

  3. Congrats on signing up for VA beach! You are smart to watch your hydration cause as you may now that race gets very Hot!!!

  4. Great goals! One tip for summer training is to consider splitting your runs outside and on a treadmill. For several of my very long training runs for Marine Corps, I would take a break or finish my run at the gym on the treadmill. It really helped and enabled me to get as much water as I needed. My other suggestion is run in a place where you can get more water. There’s a Starbucks on one of my routes and they’ll graciously refill my water bottles. I turn into a crazy water-drinking Camel during the summer months so that helps me a lot. So excited that you’ll be running Va Beach!

    • Thanks for the tip, Christine. I’m sure there will be some days, especially as the mileage gets higher, when I won’t be able to complete an entire long run outside. One idea I had was to park at the trail, but not at the end, and keep extra water and Powerade in the car, so that I can stop at the car mid run to refill my bottles.

  5. Congratulations on signing up for your next race! My big one is next weekend for the Nike Women’s Half and I didn’t train as well as I should have! So a lot of my goals are similar to keeping on track with training for my next race after that.

  6. Congrats on signing up for your 3rd half marathon! I know all too well about training in the heat here on the Gulf Coast. My biggest advice to you….hydrate well and slow down. You won’t be able to run as fast in the heat…and that’s ok. Train smart! 🙂

  7. deborahbrooks14 says:

    Great goals! Getting more sleep is one of my goals too. It’s hard to do! Rock n Roll races are so much fun! It will be hot in Virginia Beach in August but lots of great crowd support. I will be helping at the Nike Water stop # 2 so I will be sure to give you a high five. I did the race last year-great fun! I didn’t get in this year unfortunately. Have a great time. Fun being part of the Friday Five with you.

  8. Awesome! I ran the half last year in Va Beach and is was soooooo hot!!! I had no time expectations on that one and was my slowest half all year. Didn’t care – was on the beach and it was fun, but definitely be prepared for that and hydrate well! I’m contemplating running it again just depends on my marathon training schedule. Have a great weekend, lady!

  9. Awesome goals! Mine are pretty similar for my upcoming half marathons! I do so much better when I pay attention to all the things you mentioned! Have a great weekend!

  10. Sharon says:

    Congrats on signing up for another half? They’re so much fun huh? 🙂

    My next big run is the Seattle Rock and Rolll half marathon in June. My goal is to just keep up with the schedule I have (it’ll probably be tweeked a bit) but just go with it and have fun and not get too stressed about it.

  11. Katrina Elle says:

    You’re going to do awesome!!

  12. you are going to rock this race — great thing about the beach is it’s FLAT 🙂

  13. How exciting!! I’m hoping to do the Rock and Roll Half in Philly in September and working with a coach for the first time. Your training goals look very smart…I have a feeling we’re gonna have a nasty summer, so important to hydrate!!

  14. So exciting!!! #2 and #5 are going to be biggies as it gets hot and crazy humid. But you will figure those out!

  15. Yay for Half Marathon #3, GOOD LUCK! Hydration is key especially in the humidity. I’ve found coconut water works well for me, as well as throwing in some chia seeds to soak overnight in my water bottle. My next race is an Olympic tri in May. My goals is to come out unininjured – the bike always freaks me out a bit!

  16. Chaitali says:

    Yay for signing up for another half! This one sounds like it’s a lot of fun 🙂

  17. The Rock ‘n’ Roll series seems like so much fun. Good luck!

  18. Pingback: Weekly Training Log – Week of April 14th | From Dancing to Running

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