First half marathon training tactics

A whole new way of running…

The first big obstacle standing in my way of this little half marathon I’ve found myself signed up to is that fact that I’ve never ran more than 5k. 13.1 miles is equivalent to 21k…. hmmmm.

I know that if I’m going to complete this, I need to completely rethink my approach to running. That means, yes, changing my pace and resisting my frustrations to run SLOWLY. Would it work, I wonder? I tested it out straight away last night. I live opposite a small green that has a running track. One loop of the running track is 333m. So I know if I do x3 circuits, I’ve done pretty much 1k. I don’t have a running watch and I don’t run with my iPhone, so currently this is the only real way I can track my runs. In any case, I know from previous runs that at my usual fast pace I can usually cover 1.5–2 loops before having to walk a loop to recover. So here was my chance to test if it made any difference if I changed my pace. It may be too early to see if that worked but it was worth a shot!

So I began the first loop and ran at a much slower pace than I was used to. It was… a jog. And as I reached the 2nd loop, I found I still had energy to keep going! And so I carried on. And as it was the morning and not my optimal time for running, I stopped after the 3rd lap. I probably could have carried on, and yes, I was being lazy, but I’d proven to myself that perhaps this COULD make a difference. Tonight I tried it again, and I got round to my 7th lap and realised I had well and truly got into a rhythm. This new method seemed to be working… the only problems were that a) I was getting bored and b) my legs were tiring a little. However I was not out of breath and I could have continued. With the first issue, I was running a circular 333m loop which yes, could conceivably become boring quite quickly! I gave myself the ‘treat’ of an 8th lap at my usual fast speed, and as my legs eased into that I think I ran the quickest lap I’ve ever done before getting winded about 75m ahead of the crossline.

My next step is to take this out of the running track and invest in a running watch so I can properly track my distance and get myself onto a training programme. I know I am a long, long time away from the race but I want to build myself up slowly and I know at least that I have time on my hands for now.

Currently reading: George & Martha Washington: A Revolutionary Marriage by Flora Fraser

Currently watching: Turn: Washington’s Spies

A 1D plaster… quite possibly