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Thread: 1st half marathon
05-19-2006, 11:31 AM #1
1st half marathon
I guess there's really not a running forum and I saw the other marathon post in here, so there you have it.
I want to run my first half marathon at the end of September. I'm planning on the Golden Leaf (it's a trail run) in Aspen.
I used to be a runner... then I got lazy and fat. I've got probably an extra 20# that needs to eventually come off (I know it's not realistic to expect that by the time of the race, but eventually). I was pretty competitive in cross country back in the day in high school, and then did a few 5 and 10k's in college, and played shitloads of ultimate frisbee, but haven't really been super active in the last year or so (hence the extra 20 lbs).
So, I guess my question is, does anyone know of a good half marathon training program out there? I've looked at a few online, but they all seem so different. So I guess I want to know what's actually worked for people.
Currently, I'm running 3-4 miles 4 or 5 times a week at anywhere from a 9-10 minute mile pace. I've done some interval runs but not consistently. My goal is just to finish the half, since it's my first, no idea what time I should be running for a mountain trail race- but definitely none of that walking bullshit.
My other concern is weekends. I like to climb, hike fourteeners, mountain bike, or backpack in the summer on my weekends. Am I going to need to give this up to run on weekends, or is it possible to run during the week and do my other stuff on the weekends?
Thanks for helping out this race jong.Not on here much anymore. Drop me an email if you want to contact me. Have a wonderful winter!
05-19-2006, 11:51 AM #2
My advise would be to begin adding some longer runs into your training. 6-8 miles maybe 1-2x/week to replace some of the 3-4 miles runs. This will slowly prep your body to handle increased miles and build some aerobic base. Build your miles slowly. No more than 10% incrase in milage per week.
So at this point you still have plenty of time to train if you aren't racing until Sept. So for your weekends, I'd say keep doing your normal stuff for a couple months, say Mid/late July. Then once mid/late-July hits start adding a long run in on either Saturday or Sunday something in the 10-12 mile range to begin to prep your body for your race distance.
Be sure to take a day off every week in there too. Your body need recovery time to keep from getting injured.
05-19-2006, 12:02 PM #3Originally Posted by snowfire
It's what I did - had very little training, too. and I was proud to finish a half-marathon in 3:09:30.. a time which would cause lots of people to commit suicide.
find a local running club and hang out with them. Go on group runs.. feed off their knowledge. Do that a a couple of times per week for summer, and you'll be fine in the half. Above all, don't give up your normal weekend activities if that's what you love to do. Hell, the cross training benefits of climbing/hiking/biking/backpacking are probably very beneficial anyway..
When you get specific goals, like finishing under a certain time - that's when you measure those goals against your lifestyle and figure out what your priorities are.
05-19-2006, 08:48 PM #4
No reason why you can't wear your running shoes and a minimalist pack when you're out hiking14ners (did I spell it right?). Then when you're out there, alternate running and walking while going up and down them there hills. It sounds as if you're going to do a trail race, so this is the kind of terrain your should be training on.
Have fun!¡Órale, vato!
05-20-2006, 03:59 PM #5Registered User
- Join Date
- Nov 2005
If your goal truely is just to finish, you don't really need to change anything you're doing. Just keep upping the pace of the runs, or the length of the runs, gradually, maybe every other run longer or faster, & you'll do fine.
IF the local running club has a good vibe and a group with similar goals to your own, running in groups is great -- one example of a sorrow shared is a sorrow lessened in terms of the pain of training.
Have no idea what the terrain of the Golden Leaf is like, but definitely mimic the terrain with your training runs.
If you really want to do more than finish, www.davidholt.bigstep.com/generic16.html hopefully is a good link.
Re: 14ers etc. on weekend, they're totally consistent with a training schedule except for the backpacking. If you're backpacking in and out of somewhere, consider running in and out instead. If you fish, running in to fish a remote area, then running back out at the end of the day can make the fishing experience more special over all. In terms of long runs in wilderness areas, a key imo is not carrying water where possible, and depending on water issues carrying filtration, etc. instead if need be.
05-22-2006, 07:33 AM #6
Snowfire, I don't know how close you are to the open spaces in Jefferson County, but you could check out the Denver Trail runners. They meet every Thursday evening for group runs.
Hiking 14ers won't hurt your training, just make sure you do your running on trails. Gradually build your distance on your long runs by 1-2 miles/week. But you can't substitute a 14er for long run (10-12miles). You need to balance them. I had success hiking one weekend and running long the next weekend. (I ran the Road Kill 1/2 marathon in Kremmling after a summer of 13ers & 14ers)
Regarding pace, since you are just interested in finishing, don't worry about it. I have no idea what the Golden Leaf terrain is, but for a trail run, figure your per mile pace to be at about 1 min slower than running on roads.
Good luck & have fun
05-22-2006, 10:02 AM #7
I agree with Vinman, start having a long run once or twice a week. Try to find a nice flat 6-8 mile route. Pay close attention to nutrition and fluids, and build slowly. I've been training for a half on June 3rd, and I do 8 miles on Monday, a 5k/10k (depending on time) on Wednesday, Friday a punch out a fast 3 mile working on speed, then depending on how much fun I had on Friday night, I try to hit a longer run on Saterday. Last week, I pushed my Monday run out to 13 miles just to build my confidence for the upcoming race. It really wasn't the big deal I was expecting it to be.
At your pace, you could pump out an 8 mile run on Sat or Sun in about an hour and ten, would leave you all day to do other stuff. You're not going to want to do a huge climb after the run but it shouldn't effect you enough to keep you from doing other stuff.
I would also advise you to look for a good trail loop, much easier on the joints. Lastly, the basic plan I used was on Runnersworld.com. Look in their archives, there's a half and full plan. I have my first full coming up in Oct and I've been using their plan with good success. I haven't hurt myself, or felt overly fatigued. I adapt it a little to better fit my schedual but I pretty much stick to the basics.
Good Luck and let us know how you do!
05-22-2006, 11:59 AM #8
Thanks for the tips, guys. Odin, I just checked out the Denver Trail Runners site, and that looks awesome especially considering I'm moving to Golden on Friday.
Basically the impression I'm getting is that I need to train on the terrain I'm going to race on. The Golden Leaf is definitely a mountain run (prolly not a great first half marathon, eh?) and looks like this:
Race description is here, incase anyone is interested in running it:
I guess my car better get fixed soon so I can drive up into the mountains to whip my ass in shape!Not on here much anymore. Drop me an email if you want to contact me. Have a wonderful winter!
05-22-2006, 12:08 PM #9
A couple of nice climbs there. Practice "power walking". I knew people who could walk up the steeps faster than I could run, or about as fast. Whether you run or walk the steeps, train yourself to use your butt muscles as much as you can.
Don't go crazy on the steep decents or you'll kill your quads.
How far apart are the aid stations in this race? You may have to carry your own liquids. Edit- nevermind, I looked. Yeah, carry a bottle.¡Órale, vato!
05-22-2006, 03:01 PM #10Been there, skied that.
- Join Date
- Feb 2004
- Loveland, Chair 9.
dont know how your other activities apply to running, but having run 2 of those full marathons; the usual advice to train is 3 to 4 months for a full, so 2 month should be enough for a half.
-run every other day + alternate long and short runs.
-run 2 miles on on short, 3-4 on long. work in sprints on long days.
-run every other day + alternate long and short runs.
run 3-4 on short, 6-9 on long, increase your spint distance.
-go 9 to 10 one week before race, then cut down to short runs.
-the 1/2 will be your 1st at that long of distance.Eat em up Houston Cougars !
05-22-2006, 03:25 PM #11
vinman's advice regarding building up mileage is good- progression is key, both in terms of gradually increasing both the mileage and intensity of your harder workouts.
Not sure what kind of intervals you are doing, but I would recommend doing some interval sessions that are uphill-only and some that have both good uphill and downhill segments. On that course you will benefit greatly from conditioning your body to go fast on the downhills (it's easy to overlook that in favor of uphill training).
I haven't raced the golden leaf myself, but I would bet that it's easy to go out way too hard early on and make life miserable, particularly with a long uphill start at that elevation. If it fits into your schedule you might want to try a shorter mountain race to get a feel for the uphill start at altitude. The Vail Hill Climb on July 2 is a good one that I've done in the past: http://www.vailrec.com/adult_runningrace.htm
05-22-2006, 08:32 PM #12Originally Posted by canyonrider
What about track speed workouts vs. hill workouts? Incorporate both or stick with speed workouts on the trails and forget the track?
I'm a little worried about the downhills during the race as I have shitty knees. I'll have to load up on ibuprofen before I head out and mucho ice afterwards.
The Vail race looks pretty neat... and hard. All uphill? Or both up and down? I guess it would probably be good to do an uphill 10K. I was looking on that website and there are a few different high-elevation trail races. I'll probably try and do a 10K before the half at some point.Not on here much anymore. Drop me an email if you want to contact me. Have a wonderful winter!
05-23-2006, 08:47 AM #13
The track is certainly a good place to maintain your leg turnover and develop speed, but given your goal of just finishing this race you might be better served by spending more time on hills and trails developing your strength, endurance, and comfort level on rougher terrain. A good time to work in some time on the track, though, would be in early September when you want to ease up on the hills a bit in preparation for the race. Some shorter intervals on the track at that time will help you maintain the strength and fitness you've developed over the summer without taxing your body too much.
As far as the knees go, starting with smaller downhills early on in your training will help your body adjust to greater stress later on. I would recommend soaking the legs in cool/cold water (45-55 degreees) after your harder runs for 10-15 minutes (I find that standing in a cold creek is easiest). I also find this to be more effective than straight ice.
The July 2 race at Vail is all uphill on ski area service roads (there is one flattish section that might be a bit "downhill," but it's only about 100-200 meters and isn't until about a mile from the finish). Other than the July 8 race, which is also uphill, the rest of the series is up/down. If your feeling a bit unsure of an uphill-only race, the other races are all great and would still give you some solid uphill practice.
Hmmm...now that I think about it a bit more, the up/down races would be better short simulations of the Golden Leaf, as they would help you practice similar transitions in rhythm, speed, etc. (I guess I though of the Hill Climb first because of that fairly mongo hill at the start of the Golden Leaf....) But really it doesn't matter too much, all of those races are fun and any would help prepare you for Aspen.
05-23-2006, 09:12 AM #14Originally Posted by snowfire
You ideally want to lengthen your stride and strike the ground with more of a flat foot instead of your heel. A heavy heel strike is like putting on the brakes every time you stride and it makes you very inefficient, this goes for running on the flats as well. This is definitly something you want to "practice" doing. Starting with a small/ gradual downhill at first.
Running with more of a mid-foot strike will reduce the amount of braking you are doing and make it a bit easier on your legs.
Also, many of the peeps I see with sore knees from running are very tight in the hamstrings. If you are one of those peeps you should really be working on your hamstring flexibility, your knees will thank you.
05-23-2006, 09:36 AM #15Originally Posted by Vinman¡Órale, vato!
05-23-2006, 09:44 AM #16
wow I feel all warm and fuzzy inside, thanks Viva
05-25-2006, 10:06 AM #17
For knees, maybe get some patella straps. Cho-pat makes a good version, or you can find them in any drugstore. I.e. I got one of mine at Target in the pharmacy area, and the other at Albertsons... http://www.cho-pat.com/
I have shitty knees too, and those things work wonders. Hold the patella in place, so less slippage/friction/irritation. And I'm running my first half marathon next month....June 17th here I come! Grin. Not in any hurry, just want to have a strong finish. (I.e. not limping / dragging across the finish, heh.)
Also, definately work on your hamstrings, and your IT Band. Tight IT Bands can lead to knee pain too, that's a large source of my problem. If you've ever used a foam roller for the ITB, you know it's super painful but makes a huge difference. If you haven't, you should try it.
(You lay on your side with the foam roller under your hip, and leaving your body weight on the roller, slowly roll across the roller, so that it is stretching the ITB as it moves down your leg.)
Finally, do some cross training like biking or swimming, so there's no strength imbalance in your legs, i.e. hams stronger than quads or vice versa. An imbalance can lead to knee pain and / or injury.
Ok, done now. Off soapbox. GOOD LUCK!!!!!This touchy-feely Kumbaya shit has got to go.