Life is all about trial and error. I learned quite a bit while training for my first half marathon, and I learned even more about myself as a runner as I trained for my fourth half marathon. I spent a lot of my time training for Shamrock Half Marathon focusing on trying to improve my speed and finish time. And clearly, what I did worked, since I crossed the finish line by PRing by over 10 minutes!
So what worked last time around, and what do I hope will work again as I train for Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach in September?
1. Speed work
I consistently focused on speed work at least once a week. The majority of my weekday runs were completed on the treadmill, which made it easier to increase the treadmill speed and increase my running pace. I hope to continue working on speed work, although I would also like to complete more of my weekday runs outside. With the temperatures and humidity on the rise, completing speed work outside might prove to be difficult.
2. I cross trained and lifted weights when time allowed for it
My cross training primarily consisted of walking and yoga, and some time on the elliptical thrown in. And every week when I went to the gym I tried to find some for some weight training of some sort. Both the cross training and weight training helped to make me a stronger runner. And I want to place an emphasis again on both of these as I train for Virginia Beach, especially once the school year ends and I have more time during the summer.
3. Being flexible
I faced more than enough obstacles and distractions during my Shamrock training, including a vacation at Disney World, Christmas, and my car accident. I also came down with a couple of colds during my training. Although I didn’t complete all of my planned runs each week, I didn’t let this get the best of me. I made accommodations when needed, and focused on the big picture of my training.
4. I didn’t give up
I could have very easily thrown in the towel after my car accident on January 28th, just seven weeks before I crossed the start line of the Shamrock Half Marathon. But I chose not to let the car accident define me. Despite the obstacles I faced during my recovery, particularly the back pain I endured and the time each week that I spent at the chiropractor which took away from the time that I had to train, I refused to give up. I know that I’ll face obstacles this time around, and it’ll be important that I keep my focus on the finish line.
5. I had support
Having a support system is critical, especially during challenging times. The seven weeks inbetween the car accident and Shamrock were difficult for a number of reasons, and one of the reasons I didn’t give up was because I had a great support system. Online, I received lots of support from all of you, and in person I received a ton of support from my friends, family, and Preston. Without each and every one of you, I’m not sure that I would have been physically or emotionally able to finish preparing for Shamrock.
QOTD: What worked for you during your last training cycle?