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Posts Tagged ‘Half Marathon Training’

September 17, 2014

In Need of Some Tempo Run Advice

Hello! How’s the day going for you? Mine has been pretty darn good with these gorgeous views.

running path with trails and rivers

I’m sorry that I keep throwing our “perfect weather” at you this week, but really… it’s the best. And, hey, after the winter we had last year I feel like I’m long overdue for those types of bragging rights.

Today’s training run called for a 5 mile tempo run. Do ya’ll do tempo runs? I’m still trying to get the hang of them.

I stuck with the suggestions I read online to do a 10-15 minute warm-up and cool-down run and decided that 1.5 miles each at that pace would do the trick. I aimed for my “race pace” for the middle 2 miles, whatever that is. My fastest 5K time is 22:07, but I’m not sure the 7:07 pace is feasible to go for all the time. I had some kind of fire lit behind me that day. Instead, I have been aiming anywhere in the 7-8 mile/min. pace mark.

It’s been a challenge to really track my pace anyways. I love my Polar FT60, but I wish it came equipped with speed and distance tracking. For the moment, I guess the measurements on my Map My Run app will do. But who really knows how accurate those numbers are either?

tempo run tracking

Right at the 3.5 mile mark, I went from a sprinting pace to a power walk. When tempo running do any of you go directly into slower paced running (even if it’s a jog) right away? I feel like I always need at least a minute’s break of walking included in my transition.

I have to say, however, that my tempo runs have gone by faster that any of them. I guess it’s similar to doing on and off sprints on the treadmill. You constantly have to look at the clock and track what you are doing, so it makes the time fly by. It does for me at least!

I finished the full 5 miles at an average of a 8:56 min./mile pace, according to my tracking app. I’ll take that.

As soon as I walked in the door, I was greeted with puppy eyes and grabbed Roadie for a walk around the neighborhood before lunch. It’s too nice out not to let him enjoy it a little too!

fall day with roadie

We parked ourselves next to a nearby pond of water and enjoyed watching the geese and swans for a bit.

neighborhood pond and animals

Ha! Remember the swans?

I still think the fact that they aren’t real and someone put them there is hilarious. I didn’t realize I sat in a huge pile of mud until we got up, but it was still worth the few minutes of sunshine and serenity. Whoops!

As soon as we got back to the house I made myself a monster salad that turned out fantastic. I loved the combination of flavors!

healthy salad with eggs vegetables and corn

Spinach, spring mix, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, black olives, hard boiled eggs, corn (fresh off the cob), shredded cheddar cheese, ground pepper, and drizzled balsamic vinegar for dressing.

healthy vegetable and egg salad

It’s been one of my favorite fall days so far! Now it’s time for me to sign off and work on a project before study time. Woo hoo!

Questions of the Afternoon

I need some advice…

• Any tips for tempo running?

• Have any of you ever included tempo runs in your race day plan?

I would love to be able to transition from sprinting to a jog without walking. Also, I think it might help the miles go by faster if I put a few tempo miles in my half on race day. Is that a horrible idea? Thoughts? Thanks in advance!

September 15, 2014

Half-Marathon Training: Week 1

I wasn’t sure if I was going to share a breakdown of how my half-marathon training weeks are going this time around. After a handful of email requests to cover more about my training, I decided to bring them back!

To be honest, knowing I am going to do so really helps me to stay on track. At this point, I don’t plan on skipping any training days and include all of my workouts and rest days, along with my post-run and post-workout meals.

Please keep in mind that this is a six week half-marathon training plan I came up with on my own, specifically catered to what works best for me. Feel free to take a look in the archives for my first half-marathon training plan (you will find the section under the Fitness Page) that lasted a duration of ten weeks if you are looking for something closer to a beginner level.

Here’s how it all went down!

Half-Marathon Training: Week 1 Recap

The plan…

6 week half marathon training plan

What I did (Week 1: September 8 – 14, 2014)

• Monday –  3 miles

I kicked off my half training with Alex! I already mentioned it this morning, but she is also racing with me for the Hope Water Project and runs about the same pace as me.

post run half marathon training

Her adorable pup, Macy, is twelve years old, so we dropped her off after a short walk and continued onto our run with Roadie. It was an easy, breezy first run around my neighborhood!

Distance: 3 miles

Time: 30:00(ish) – didn’t stop my watch

Pace: 10:00 min./mile

Neither of us cared much about time this run. We crossed a few busy streets without pausing and had to stop several times for Roadie.


We both ate (filling) Chipotle chicken salads for lunch, so we kept our post-run meal on the lighter side with a couple of fruit and protein smoothies.

post-run smoothie

Pineapple, watermelon, strawberries, blueberries, frozen grapes, Vanilla Designer Whey protein powder, ice.

• Tuesday – strength training

Taking a break from the miles, I joined Scott in a trip to Fitness Pilates class Tuesday night. It was killer!

fitness pilates class and equipment


chicken and egg veggie salad

Romaine lettuce, spinach, carrots, tomatoes, red and green pepper, cucumbers, green olives, kalamata olives, a sliced hardboiled egg, feta cheese and rotisserie chicken drizzled in balsamic vinegar for dressing.

See a full list of Tuesday’s eats on last week’s WIAW.

• Wednesday – 4 miles (tempo run) 

This was my first time attempting a tempo run. Since the mileage wasn’t crazy high, I decided to break it up into a mile of slow/warm-up running, two miles of hard running, and finish with a mile of slow/cool-down running. I found a break between heavy rain clouds and did my best to dodge the puddles!

running in the rain

Distance: 4 miles

Time: 35:19

Pace: 8:49 min./mile

This average pace is very close to what I trained at last time. I hope to keep it under 9 minutes for most of my shorter training runs!


recovery pasta and friends

Gluten-free spaghetti noodles in marinara sauce with sweet Italian turkey sausage, mushrooms, and yellow and green peppers.

(With a glass of red wine with a side of Friends. Why not?)

• Thursday – barre class + 3 miles (easy pace)

Since this training day called for a slow run, I took advantage of it and wanted to try a new (to me) barre class at my gym that morning.

Life Barre class and eqiupment

It was definitely a challenge!

I originally planned to knock out my easy paced three miles after class, but my legs were too weak. I held off and took Roadie out for a run around the neighborhood later that afternoon. It was chilly enough to wear a sweatshirt, which I still can’t decide is a good or bad thing.

post fall run

Distance: 3 miles (easy pace)

Time: 30:56

Pace: 10:18 min./mile

I wasn’t expecting much out of this run. It was slow and steady. I’m assuming the point is to actively recover from the harder runs while upping my weekly mileage!



turkey italian sausage and gluten free pasta

(same pasta that is pictured above!)

• Friday – REST

Friday was a much needed rest day for the muscles. I spent a lot of our down time at an event I worked in the back stretching, massaging my legs, then foam rolling when I got home. Hey… you gotta do what you gotta do!

• Saturday – REST

Instead of completing my long training run for the week on Saturday, I pushed it back a day and enjoyed an easy two mile sunset walk around the neighborhood with Roadie.

PUMA casual sneakers and pants on walk

The weather was glorious and it was just what I needed to unwind.

• Sunday – 7 miles

I included the details about this run in this morning’s post. Alex and I decided to run together and she took me down to the Paint Creek Trail. It was filled with gorgeous views and perfectly cool running weather!

running near rock graffiti

Distance: 7 miles

Time: 1:09:39

Pace: 9:57 min./mile

Neither one of us are used to running longer than 6 miles at a time. In fact, this was Alex’s first time attempting it! I was so proud of her for powering through, and we pushed each other to keep going the entire time. I was very happy with how the run went, but I’m hoping to include at least a mile of faster running next time.


A grande non-fat cinnamon dolce cappuccino (<- thanks for getting me hooked on those, Julie!) while grocery shopping, several handfuls of corn tortilla chips with homemade guacamole, and chicken fajitas.

healthy chicken fajitas

It was all so delicious!

Week 1 Thoughts

I am not training as “hard core” as I did the first time. I have confidence in my training plan and know that if I keep up with it and don’t miss any training days that I will be just fine come race time.

Since I am running with friends, I am not as worried about my time and have an overall goal of finishing the race. If I happen to cross the finish line anywhere close to the 2 hour mark, I will be thrilled!


After running around like a mad woman most of the morning and taking care of some adult responsibilities this afternoon, I’m excited to get back outdoors with the pup and knock out the first training day of Week 2 as soon as I sign off. See ya back in the morning!

Questions of the Afternoon

• Have you ever trained for a long distance race?

• If you have done more than one at the same distance, how similar was your training the second or third time around?

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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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