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September 2, 2014

6 Week Half-Marathon Training Plan

I am running my second half marathon in just under seven weeks. It’s about that time to start training for it, no?

The first time I started training for a half marathon, I documented the entire process with a ten-week plan, followed by a check-in of how every run went along with what I learned that week.

You can view all of my training week recaps under the Half Marathon Training section on the Fitness page. (Please excuse the weird fonts and formats in the early weeks, as they are back from when I used Blogger!)

This time, I am sharing my own six-week plan along with a weekly check-in.

What made me go from ten down to six weeks of training?

After I crossed the finish line of my first long distance race, I knew I wanted to complete more of them. I kept a mental note in the back of my mind that there would be a time I would need to train again, and the last thing I wanted to do was start from square one.

Over the past two and a half years, I have kept up the habit of being able to run a 10K (or 6.2 miles) without struggle. For those of you who aren’t familiar with races, that is half the distance of a half marathon. So, as long as I feel good about running six miles, I feel confident in starting a little before the halfway mark of last time.

Before any length of half-marathon training, however, it is important to pre-train. Go on a few weeks worth of leisure runs where you aren’t necessarily watching your pace or distance, but get in the habit of running for at least thirty minutes at a time without stopping. Once you complete a couple of runs this way, you are ready to start training!

Before I trained for any race, I could barely run for thirty minutes at a time. Slowly, I built that up to four miles, then five, and now I can run seven or eight if I have my head in the right place without training whatsoever. Running really has become a sport I have learned to love and wouldn’t be so determined to race if I didn’t!

Without dragging my explanations on further, below you will see how I plan to train for my half coming up in mid-October. Here we go!

Six Week Half-Marathon Training Plan (Intermediate)

6 week half marathon training plan

• Strength Training can be anything that involves lifting weights to circuit workouts like HIIT or Fitness Pilates. Some weeks will include more cross training or bodyweight workouts barre or cardio (other than running) and core circuits, and others will take me back to the weight room. It all just depends on how my body is feeling!

• Tempo Runs are “comfortably hard” runs, according to Runner’s World.

They always include a 10-15 minute warm-up, a steady and challenging pace at an assigned mileage in the middle, followed by a 10-15 minute cool-down. While some plans suggest certain paces and longer distances for race training, I am going to take it easier and start with what I charted.

• Easy Pace runs mean I will go for the distance but keep a slower pace I could easily hold a conversation at. I will go faster than a jog, but won’t even look at my pace. They are mainly there to log in the miles.

• REST days are meant for muscle recovery and are important to prevent injuries. On rest days, I make sure to complete an extra long stretch or even take a yoga class to help me from soreness. Also, foam rolling will most likely take place here as well as after all of the longer weekend runs!

*Please keep in mind that this is what I plan to do for my personal training. I consider myself to be a pretty decent runner and if I couldn’t run the distance I can now, I would start right back where I did last time with a longer training plan.

If you are looking to train for your very first race, there are plenty of beginner training plans out there to guide you along the way. I would recommend starting small with a 5K (3.1 miles) and even go for a 10K to get you in the groove before going for a half distance, but the choice is completely up to you.

Here are a handful of half plans that look great:

• Half Marathon Training for Beginners via MarathonRookie.com

(What I used the first time around.)

• Half Marathon Training for Beginners via Runner’s World

• Step-By-Step Half-Marathon Training Schedule via Shape.com

4 Month Beginner Half Marathon Training Schedule via FitSugar

I plan to get in a couple of runs this week, but won’t start my official training until next Monday.

Neighborhood Walk and Run

I am looking forward to sharing my progress with you!

Questions of the Day

• Have you ever trained for a long distance race?

• What is one race you have yet to complete on your bucket list?

September 2, 2014

Arts, Beats, and Eats 2014

Hi friends! After a long and busy four-day weekend followed by a night and morning of cleaning and gearing up for the week, I am here to share our whereabouts and highlights of it all.

Spending eighty percent of our time in Downtown Royal Oak, I am slowly getting back into the groove of a normal day of working at home again. Kind of. (Are any of you struggling at work today?)

But enough about that. Here’s what went down over the weekend!

Arts, Beats, and Eats 2014

Arts Beats and Eats is considered to be Oakland County’s favorite summer festival celebrating art, music, cuisine, and humanity. It’s certainly ours!

Arts Beats and Eats Labor Day 2014

Falling on Labor Day weekend this year, the four-day festival featured hundreds of local artists and shows, ten music stages with over two hundred live performances, and specialty areas like the deaf arts festival, carnival, and kids zone.

Deaf Arts Festival Arts Beats Eats

Arts Beats and Eats carnival and music stage

Correctly labeled, this festival is one of the biggest I have been to and features the best in the area when it comes to seeing, hearing, and tasting what is great in the Metro Detroit area.

Located in the heart of Royal Oak, I always enjoy walking the surrounding streets to find new places to check out and bookmark for later. On our breaks from working our corner in NBA Nation, we admired the arts.

Arts Beats and Eats Art

Stayed after hours for the beats of popular bands.

Arts Beats and Eats Michigan Lottery Stage

And consumed our fair share of eats!

Bozii at arts eats and beats

Bozii chipotle chicken at arts eats and beats

arts beats and eats food loaded corn on the cobb

(That loaded corn on the cobb WILL be re-created at home!)

Baja Smoothies at arts beats and eats

We spent the majority of our time, however, on the courts with NBA Nation.

NBA Nation Arts Beats and Eats 2014

NBA Nation Detroit Pistons entertainment teams

Last year, the Detroit Pistons had a booth and area for entertainment, but this year surged with activities and exhibits specifically centered around teams and players from all over the NBA.

I tested my high jump (nothing impressive), compared my shoe size to the giants in the league, and measured my wingspan!

NBA Nation wingspan test

NBA player shoe size exhibit

Feeling extra short, we went to the back and tried our best to shoot the 18 and 25 foot baskets. Scott made his in and I gave my best attempt with the granny shot style.

NBA Nation hoops at Arts Beats and Eats

Throughout the weekend, almost all of our entertainment teams made an appearance. I specifically helped out with the Flight Crew dunk shows and our crazy horse of a mascot, HOOPER.

HOOPER with detroit sports 105.1 knockouts

He can’t always be trusted to stay in line, ya know.HOOPER on the basketball backboard NBA Nation

Between the events, I got to hang with a few familiar faces I miss seeing on an every day basis.

arts beats and eats NBA Nation Nichole

(Oh hey, Nichole!)

Scott kept busy at the booth and helped out wherever he could. The two of us left the festival completely wiped each day… except for Saturday.

friends in royal oak

We caught a second wind and joined some friends for late night beats and eats of our own, then went back to the festival to catch the tail end of Third Eye Blind!

Third Eye Blind concert Arts Beats and Eats Detroit

They started an hour later than planned, played a lot of current music not a lot of people recognized, but it still proved to be a blast.

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t obnoxiously jamming out to How’s It Gonna Be on their double encore. But really, that was to be expected.

Yesterday was our shortest day on the courts, so Scott and I took the rest of our late afternoon to walk the festival. We saw art we would love to buy for our imaginary foyer in our one-day dream house, treats like homemade fudge, and almost anything you can imagine fried on a stick.

Detroit Lions Drumline Arts Beats and Eats

Taking a break from the crowds, we ran out of tickets and had our last meal of the weekend at a local restaurant while listening to the beats of the Detroit Lions drumline followed by a nearby local artist on stage. We were pooped, so it was a great way to enjoy the experience while taking a couple of minutes out of it.

ferris wheel arts beats and eats

Another year of AB&E is in the books and it was fun to be a part of it over the past two of them. We had our admissions covered, but for those of you who are near the area and are interested in attending next year it’s definitely worth the $5 entry fee.

Arts Beats and Eats Royal Oak 2014

You then, of course, have to factor in parking, and ticket purchases to use on food and such, but overall the experience is well worth the investment. Hope to see you there next year!

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I am not a registered dietician, nutritionist, or certified fitness professional. The workouts I post are what work best for me, but might not be the right type of exercises for you.

I do NOT post everything I eat. All content I post on this blog stems from my personal experience and knowledge, and I recommend consulting a doctor or health professional before making changes to your diet or fitness routine.

Also, please understand that affiliate links may pop up on the blog from time to time. I acknowledge when they appear and always genuinely appreciate your support! ♥

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