Run 2 Your Own Beat

Run 2 Your Own Beat

A Health & Happiness Blog

Half Marathon Training Progress [Endurance Leg Workout!]

September 3, 2014 | Comment

Happy Hump Day! I like Wednesdays. I like them because Thursday comes after, and what comes after Thursday is Friday! I love a good Friday :)

I wanted to talk a little bit about my half marathon training thus far. I signed up for the Runner’s World Half & Festival on October 9th at the Steel Stacks in Bethlehem, PA. This will be my first ever half marathon, but my second year participating in this particular race series. Last October, I completed the 10K (my first 10K to be exact) and was so proud of myself! You can read more about my 10K experience here.

Unfortunately, I haven’t run more than 5 1/2 miles since I did that race. I don’t know what it is. Perhaps it could be the lack of having a ‘real’ reason to attain the goal of a longer distance. I decided that I should probably stop making excuses and give myself some real motivation. I signed up for the half marathon, and there is no going back. 




I’m. SCARED. I’m extremely nervous and I won’t be able to sleep well at night if I don’t run that entire distance without stopping. I’ve never really had to train like this for an event before. I was never a hardcore athlete in high school, or even as a kid – I’m in uncharted territory! :O

Let’s recap my runs for the past week:

Wednesday 8/27: 5.1 miles in 1:01:22, 12:01 min/mi pace

I was feeling okay the first 1.75 miles, but then I started to feel a little pukey. It may have been because I’d just eaten a banana and almond butter before I left the house, but I felt that I needed fuel before a longer run like this. I did a run/walk type thing until about mile 3, when I pulled it together and finished the last two miles an 11 or 12 minute pace without stopping. I was glad I conquered the distance, but not too happy about the fact that I didn’t fuel myself properly to endure.

Thursday 8/28: 3.32 miles in 38:34, 11:38 min/mi pace

This run ended up being relatively unsatisfactory as well. I still hadn’t fueled myself right and felt some stomach upset throughout the run. I found myself stopping 4 or 5 times, and switching between fartleks and walking and jogging. Started to feel discouraged at the idea of ever being able to complete a full 13.1.

Friday 8/29: Leg day. 5 minute walking warm up, 1 mile of fartleks. Endurance training with squats and deadlifts, and strengthening stabilizer muscles in the lower leg compartment. (Descending weight, ascending reps)

I decided that I needed to focus more on muscular endurance trainign in the gym, instead of trying to lift heavier, for fear that I would put on too much muscle mass and it would be harder to run for distance. I’ve also been doing a lot more core, abs, and stabilization exercises due to some articles I’ve seen stating that a stronger core can help improve pace and endurance for runners. After treadmill warm up/intervals, the workout went as follows:

10 squats @ 95 lbs

20 squats @ 85 lbs

30 squats @ 75 lbs

40 squats @ 65 lbs

50 squats @ 55 lbs

1 set x 7 reps @ 135 lbs

Between each set:

10 stability ball scorpions

15 leg lifts


20 plank side-to-side hip dips

10 deadlifts @ 115 lbs

20 deadlifts @ 105 lbs

30 deadlifts @ 95 lbs

40 deadlifts @ 85 lbs

10 deadlifts @ 65 lb5

Between each set: 

10 stability ball pikes

10 weighted side bends (each side)

20 weighted stability ball ab pulses

Calf press using leg press machine (3 x 30)

Finagled the leg extension machine to target the anterior compartment of my lower leg (3 x 12)

3 sets of 30 leg extensions (10 reps lower range of motion, 10 reps upper ROM, 10 reps full ROM)

This was a KILLER workout, and I burned around 900 calories. Holy cow!! I espeially liked it because the times when my heart rate was moderate and when it was very high were appropriately varied.

Saturday 8/30: 45 minute spin class

After the previous day’s leg workout, I was TOAST and definitely not feeling running.

Sunday 9/1: Rest day

Monday 9/2: 4.2 miles in 43:37, 10:26 min/mi pace; core & shoulder workout at the gym

This is the day I really felt an improvement after that one day of muscular endurance training on Friday. I ran at a local park that has a 1 mile loop and a .6 mile loop. The 1 mile loop has one big hill in it towards the second half of the mile. When I’ve run there in the past, by the time I get to the big hill, I definitely feel muscle fatigue in my legs even the first time going up. During this particular run on this day, however, I did not feel any muscle fatigue at all the first 2 or 3 times I went up the hill. I know this run wasn’t my best distance, but I felt my best overall. I stopped a total of 3 times, but it was within the last .75 mile or so because it was so hot and humid out. 


So – conclusion? I should do more muscular endurance and core training. Despite not being a seasoned athlete, I want to do my absolute best in this half marathon, and hopefully run in more half marathons in the future. We’ll see what this week brings with regards to training! 

Stay tuned for a tasty, on-the-go healthy recipe coming this Friday!! :)

Have you ever trained for a half marathon?

How did you avoid feeling discouraged after a bad run, or several bad runs?

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