And with the click of a button, Nate and I are now committed to training for a half marathon. We signed up to run in the Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) Half Marathon on July 31 in Estes Park. While that is a little more than three months away, I know the time is going to fly by, so we’re fighting to keep ourselves on track despite Colorado’s frenetic weather.
Training for a half marathon as a total newbie.
You should know, I was not a runner. In high school, I laughed at the idea of organized and for-fun running. I had never considered running in a 5k, let alone a half marathon at that time in life. But, after six months living in the forests of Sweden, that changed. You can read about how and why my opinion on running changed, here.
Since then, I’ve found that running longer distances is more doable than I could have imagined. I have yet to reach 13 miles, but I feel confident that I’m going to make it there come July. Here are some of the ways that I am training for this half marathon.
1. Pick a program.
When I decided this was the year, I started looking for a half-marathon, training program to follow. For the past couple weeks, Nate and I have been semi-following a 10-week, training program from Run Eat Repeat. We started it a little early, running three-mile stretches and sprinkling in lifting where we can
2. Get a mile-tracker.
For Black Friday last year, when I was pretty sure that a half marathon would be my postpartum motivation for getting back in shape, I bought myself a Samsung Active 2 Smartwatch. It’s been great. It tracks my route, distance, time, pace, etc. and provides personal running metrics. You can also download apps like Map My Run and use your phone to track your mileage.
3. Find a buddy.
There have been several days that I did NOT want to run, but because Nate and I are in this together, we did anyway. There is something about having another person trudging up those hills and pushing to the next mile with you that helps keep you going. Plus, in our case, I don’t know that I could push Josiah in a stroller by myself for an entire half marathon.
4. Run cool places.
Find pretty areas to run. Places that make you want to look up from your feet and see the view. In Colorado, there are so many trails both paved and otherwise to run along. From Garden of the Gods to the Santa Fe Trail, we have a lot of great options that make training for a half marathon easier.
5. Drink more water.
Let me tell you, if you’re breastfeeding and trying to run three-plus miles regularly, you need to drink a lot of water. The breastfeeding part probably doesn’t apply to most of you, but the concept is still the same. Hydration is critical, which is why Nate and I bought these cool 40 oz., Thermoflask water bottles from Costco to encourage us both to drink more. It’s kind of like how buying new workout clothes can motivate you to work out, buying a new water bottle can motivate you to drink more.
Okay, so technically there should probably be a sixth bullet here, but we have not been implementing this part of training yet: diet and nutrition. Yaa, about that, do apple crumb muffins with coffee that bring my heart joy count as good nutrition? Probably not. I think at some point Nate and I might get a little more serious about this part of any well-rounded training program, but we’re not quite there yet.