Pre-Training: Month 1

Today I finished my ‘pre-training’ for my half marathon in October! And during my long run this morning, something interesting happened:  I was about a mile into my run thinking about how I still have a long way to go in my training before I run the half marathon.  And as I was pondering all of this, a parked car I ran by was playing Coldplay’s “Nobody Said it was Easy”.  Care to take a guess which part of the song I heard when I ran by? “Nobody said it was easy, No one ever said it would be this hard, Oh take me back to the start”. Yes I had one of those eerie Twilight Zone moments. Maybe it was a sign that I should keep going even though the journey will be tough.  Or it could be just a coincidence.  Either way, I still plan on running that half marathon in October!

Why did I ‘pre-train’? Over the last year, I had a haphazard workout schedule.  I felt that I needed to get my body back into the rhythm of working out on a regular basis and ease into a new schedule. Now that I finished pre-training, I feel I can start my ‘real’ training (increasing to higher mileages/week) for the half. My goal was to build up to running 3x/week (start off with only 2-3mi at a time), swim 1x/week (no bike), and strength/core training 2-3x/week (my flow yoga class counts as 1x/week since it is a strength building and core work centered class). Some weeks were better than others, but I feel like I accomplished my goals.  Here was my pre-training schedule end result (what I actually did):

Before I started pre-training, I needed to figure out the best exercise plan for me (knowing my body and its capabilities). So I spent some time reading online guides and book reviews.  I really wanted to buy a book because I like having something to tab and highlight. After a few days, I ended up ordering “Smart Marathon Training: Run your best without running yourself ragged” from Amazon.com. Jeff Horowitz has a variety of strength/core training exercises (pictures too!) and intermediate or advanced training schedules for people running half or full marathons.  My overall training will include running and cross training to help build a good foundation (and to help prevent injuries).  I feel that this type of training plan will work best for me because I have lots of injury baggage from years of soccer (i.e. old injury flare ups and weak areas from those injuries).

To keep track of my training, I got a super cute binder (see below) to put my blank Training Diary Schedule into. I printed out weekly sheets using a free Word Document template I downloaded from the Microsoft Office website. I really liked this template because I could write the things “To Do” on the right, and then write more detailed notes on what it is I actually did on the left. I also have a calendar hanging up in my room to remind me of these same things ‘to do’ because I need redundancy in my life.

I also bought a notebook to write down my thoughts/feelings about workouts, track any weird pain, how I am dealing with everything… anything goes.  I also decided to subscribe to Runners Wold magazine.  It has lots of little great tips for runners of all types and some fun recipes to try as well! Now that I have completed my pre training, I feel that I can start gradually increasing mileage and get serious about this half marathon.  For me personally, the pre-training was a nice way to ‘ease’ into the training schedule and I am happy that I allowed myself time for doing just that.

Here are my other ‘tools’: (from L to R) Training binder (above image binder, but closed), training journal (with pen), and a couple of magazines (Yoga I just bought off the stand, Runner’s I am subscribing to).

More to come about the next phase of my training! But in the meantime just keep running, running, running!

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