Last updated on April 26th, 2016 at 04:22 pm
I mentioned on Wednesday that I’m running my first half marathon ever! I’m excited and a bit scared at the same time since I’m a late in starting my training. I’ve turned to my identical twin sister Julie, who has one half marathon under her belt already and has trained very hard for her second coming up in May. I decided to do a little question and answer period to find out what I need for a successful half marathon training.
So, here are my questions (in purple), and Julie’s answers.
What half marathon are you training for and when is it?
I am training for the Sudbury Rocks Race on Mother’s Day, May 8, 2016. I have done the 5 km and the 10 km in this annual race, but this time I will run the half marathon. This is my second half marathon, I completed my first in September of 2015 at the Ramsey Tour.
Your first half was a very challenging, hilly course, how does this course compare?
According to the Sudbury Rocks Marathon website, this course is described as “flat to rolling with a few small hills. The route would be considered fast.”
How is your training different from the first time? Did you learn anything from your first experience?
I’m not scared this time around because I know I can do it. This time I am not doing any core workouts (probably a mistake) but much more cross-training, like swimming, biking (can you guess why?) I know that drinking water while running causes stitches and that I can handle Gatorade better than water. I drink lots of water starting early in the morning to pre-hydrate. I like gummy candies for energy every 4 km after 10 km.
This time around 13, 16 & 19 km training runs are not hard, I actually really enjoy 16 km runs.
Also, my training started in the winter with lots of snow on the streets. Running was slow and sometimes unpleasant, or cancelled because of snow storms. In my first half marathon, I was training in the heat and humidity which was also a challenge.
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What training plan are you using, what week are you on?
I am on week 10 of a 12 week plan using the coach feature on the Nike+ app. I only use it as a guide for my long runs. I stick to 8 km runs at lunch (that’s all I have time for). I do speed runs (hills, intervals or tempo runs) two times a week, Tuesday and Thursday, and two maintenance/recovery runs Monday and Friday. Wednesday’s I swim at lunch and bike in the evening. Sun or sat is my long run.
It is except for the longer runs. Those are always hard.
How will you prepare differently for this race?
The only thing I will do differently is not start out too fast and I won’t forget to eat gummies. I lost energy at the end of my first marathon and maybe more sugar would have helped.
Any fueling/nutrition tips?
Test out different products, water vs. Gatorade, gummies vs. gels etc on you long runs to see what works best for you. Never run hungry. You are better off eating and waiting an hour or so.
Since I’m training for my first half marathon, what important nuggets of information do you have to share.
Don’t worry about keeping a set goal pace for your first. If you go too fast you will bonk and be disappointed in the end. For your first, set the goal to “finish” (or, maybe to not finish last is a good one too). This will set the bar for future halfs and then you will have experience and a better chance to P.R.
Did you buy any new equipment, if yes, what?
I bought a hydration belt that I find mostly a pain in the butt but I wear it in case I really need a drink and to carry gummies. I bought new running shoes on a whim because I liked the colour but they are inappropriate for a long runs like half marathons so I wore my old trusty ones. Also, I bought new compression capris and long sleeve shirt from Under Armour to look good in my race pic.
What do you think I absolutely need?
Hat and sunglasses.
What else are you planning on this summer?
Maybe an open water swim, a mountain bike race and a try a tri besides the Iron Girl triathlon sprint.
Thank you Julie for taking the time to answer my questions, I find this information helpful.
Join the conversation
Do you have any tips for a first time half marathoner?