My half-marathon journey: I am currently training for my first half-marathon which will take place on May 21, 2011. I have never run farther than 10 miles, and I have had trouble with injuries when approaching that mileage in the past. I am taking a different approach this time. I am following a training program by Jeff Galloway, and I will be sharing my experiences along the way. Previous posts on this topic: Jeff Galloway – Week 3 Recap.
After a full week without a real run, I was SO HAPPY to make it to the track on Sunday. You may have read about my pseudo-runs last week, which involved running inside my house (no, I do not have a treadmill), because I was unable to get out for a real run. It felt GREAT to get out and get moving!
Week 4 of training involved a pretty light running schedule: two 30 minute runs and a 2.5 miler on the weekend. The Jeff Galloway plan not only allows for rest days within a week, but also easy weeks within the training program. Every few weeks there is a reduction in total mileage to allow your body to recover from the accumulated stress of running.
Week 5 had me running two 30 minute runs and a 6.5 miler on the weekend. The 30 minute runs were the crazy living room runs, and thankfully I made it to the track for my 6.5 miles.
In order to follow this program, I am running at a slower pace than I normally would. Some things that I have noticed:
* This has been really humbling. I was surprised just how much I had to cut back my pace in order not to huff and puff on my runs. Huffing and puffing used to be a normal feature of my runs, since I was trying to go as fast as I could manage. Now I am going one to two minutes per mile slower on training runs.
A side note on doubt: A little voice inside has said, “Surely Jeff Galloway didn’t mean YOU need to slow down one to two minutes per mile. He probably didn’t imagine anyone would be this slow.” My answer to the little voice: Sure, the individuals he tells about in his book were competitive runners, and certainly kept a faster pace than I do, but I think the same principles apply. If I have to go slower in order to gradually build up my endurance while allowing adequate oxygen in my bloodstream, so be it.
* My joints have been A-OK so far. This is coming from someone who has had knee and ankle issues in the past, and the ankle discomfort seemed always to return regardless of time off. Slower pace = less pounding on my joints = happy me.
* When running at an easier pace the entire time, I do not find myself wearing down early. My 6.5 mile run on Sunday, the longest run I have done since sometime last summer, felt pretty easy. Yes, it was slower than it would have been last summer, but it felt easy.
A side note on perspective: During my Sunday run, I looked at my Garmin and thought to myself, “Only two miles to go.” As someone who started with Couch to 5K, and did not find that a bit easy at the beginning, it is so funny to hear myself thinking “only two miles.” Anyone who may be starting out, yes, you will probably hear yourself saying those kinds of things sometime. Likewise, there are people who would say it’s only a half-marathon. 😉 It’s a matter of perspective.
* I worried that my body would become accustomed to the slower pace. It does seem like that is happening. Time will tell if I will be able to pick up the pace later on.
I did have to set the Jeff Galloway book aside to allow time for this month’s book club selection. I am almost through with that, and then I will get back into Jeff Galloway. Just in time, too. My training calendar has something new coming up, so now I will have to read all about it.
I will share more about the book and my progress soon!