Half Marathon Training – thinking ahead & some reservations

Happy 25th birthday to my “little bro” Marshall! I really can’t believe you are 25 now….

I will officially start training for the Rock ‘N’ Roll Half on Monday, December 17th! According to Hal Higdon’s Novice 1 Training Program I should start training three months prior to my race. Technically since the race is on March 16, I should be starting my official training a day earlier, but I didn’t want to start my training on a Sunday. Hopefully the one day won’t matter all that much.

Time to put these shoes to good use!

I’m really excited to start my training, but I’m concerned about two things.

One, I have not truly shaken off whatever bug I had earlier this month. I am still coughing and congested. This hasn’t slowed me down too much the past week and a half as I was able to complete the D.C. 5k Turkey Trot and I ran about 2.5 miles that following Sunday, but I am concerned I’m not 100% better yet. I have toned down my workouts this week to lifting and doing the elipitical instead of running, just in case I’m not really doing my body a favor by trying to shake this bug off with working out regularly. I’m a little conflicted, I don’t know whether I need to stop working out altogether (like I did earlier this month) or if I just need to power through. It is so frustrating, and obviously I want to be healthy when I start training so I can do it properly.

Two, six days of my half marathon training will be while Tommy, Violet and I are in Maine for Christmas. Call me a nerd, but I’m a little nervous to be out of my normal environment for my training, particularly at the beginning.

I love running outside as opposed to on the treadmill. Running in D.C. during the winter is pretty accommodating to this preference. It can get cold, but if I run in layers I can usually plan it just right so I am comfortable on my run. Maine in the winter is a totally different ball game (at least to me). Not only will it be FREEZING, but it could also be snowing. I don’t think I have ever run in the snow before (that didn’t involve building a snowman or playing with Violet). I’ll give it my best, but if conditions are too dangerous I may have to resort to a treadmill. (Tommy did say he was pretty positive we’d be able to go to his mom’s gym if I needed to do a run on the treadmill and for my strength training days). I should probably double check on this ;-).

What I could potentially find myself running in next month when I’m in Maine. Yikes.

You can call me a nerd again, but I am kind of stressing out on what I should wear when I run outside up there. By nature, I am always cold (whether I am inside our outside), so I always like to bundle up with extra layers. However, to make things a bit more difficult, I get hot easily and don’t like to sweat when I run. (This explains why I prefer running in the winter as opposed to the summer). How do I dress appropriately so I am warm when I start my run, but not dressed too warmly that I will be uncomfortable because I am too hot in the middle of my run?

Not only am I concerned about the weather, I need to make sure I know where I am running outside in Maine. I need to do some prep work with Tommy to figure out a running route for me to do on a 4, 3, and 2 mile run, all on separate days. Once I do this, I may walk it or drive it so I know what to expect when I’m out running. If I were at home, this would be no problem.

And the inevitable, I just hope I can stick to this training program when I am on vacation. There are so many distractions anyway, but with the holiday season it’s even more so. There’s always someone to visit, somewhere to go, something to eat. Don’t get me wrong, this is exactly what I LOVE about the holidays and visiting family, but it just makes it that much harder to stick to my training. Maybe I’ll set a “rule” that the first thing I do when I wake up is immediately do my workout for the day.

I am sure everything will be fine. It’s just the planner in me making a bigger deal out of something.

1. For you cold weather runner pros out there, any suggestions for running outside in freezing temperatures in terms of what to wear and how to prepare myself?


Filed under Health & Fitness, Life in DC

9 responses to “Half Marathon Training – thinking ahead & some reservations

  1. Layer, layer, layer in winter running. Wear breathable clothing and don’t overdress. Stay safe on icy, wet surfaces!

  2. Tina

    Lots of layers! Wear clothing that wicks sweat away from your body. I actually use this a guide: http://nparts.tumblr.com/image/13519702115
    For icy surfaces, shorten your stride and slow your pace. You can also wear traction aids over your shoes. Hope this helps. Happy Running!

    • This guide is fabulous. Thank you so much! So this may sound like a dumb question, but since I really don’t have that much experience running in really cold weather, I’m going to ask it. Is there such a thing as it being too cold or too snowy to run outside? Or does it all depend on how fast and careful you are running? Thank you!

      • Tina

        Everyone is has there “number” I personally don’ t run when it gets to – 20 because it hurts to breath. Eventually you will figure out what you can handle. As for snow, running in the snow is the best, it is the ice you want to say away from, it can be quite dangerous. You want to shorten your stride and slow your pace if your path is covered in it. I hope that helps šŸ™‚ Let me know how it goes or if you have any more questions.

  3. Kelly

    Lulu Lemon has great breathable clothes. Expensive but good & comfy.
    You should really go to road runner or some other good shoe place that can test your running to know if you need a stability shoe, neutral, or free/minimal shoe style. They can also test if you run on outside or inside of feet. If you don’t have the right shoes your knees and rest of body will hurt. Have a pair for training and then about a month before or buy two pairs and switch off so then you’re good for the race. It’s more mental then physical. Good luck!

    • Thanks Big! Love your suggestions. No one had suggested using my current pair to train in and then having new ones for the race. I was actually thinking about how to deal with this and you saved the day. šŸ™‚

  4. Pingback: Half Marathons I Would Like to Run | Bee in DC

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