Following my successful completion of the Leeds 10k I was confident that I would be able to double this distance and take on the Great North Run on the 10th September. So with 8 weeks to go until the big race I created my own training plan by mashing together a number of different plans I found online.
My 8 week half marathon training plan is built on my capability to run a 10k in 1:25. So I’m aiming to complete the half marathon and hopefully within 3 hours.
Week one didn’t go as well as I had hoped. I managed to get the miles in but I didn’t get any cross training done. Which is just as important as getting the miles in. Due to my ankle injury I believe I’m still over compensating by putting more weight on my healthy ankle and it’s giving me a sore hip so I know I need to get this cross training in to build my strength and stretch well.
My 3 mile runs were a good pace, one was actually the quickest I’ve ran that route all year. I felt string during them and enjoyed both of them.
My 7 mile run was a completely different story. As soon as I set off I did not enjoy it, however as with many runners I always hate the first mile. But even when I got to 2 miles, 3 miles I was still hating it. My legs were not tired and my breathing was fine, but my head was winning the battle and was convincing me that I needs to slow down, convincing me I needed to walk, convincing me that I’d never be able to run a half marathon. I came home with a slow pace, two huge blisters and feeling completely defeated.
It wasn’t until words of encouragement from my family came in later in the day that I picked myself back up.
“It will get easier darling, trust me. I’m proud of you”
“That’s what training runs are for, they’re meant to be horrible sometimes, but it’s another one in the bag. Keep on going.”
Week 2 again hasn’t been a 100% week. I’ve managed to get two runs in and two cross training sessions, and thankfully the miles I did were enjoyable compared to last week.
My 4 mile run, although a little slower than I hoped, was probably 95% running and 5% walking. I felt really good and felt like I could run forever so I forgot about my splits and just ran until I felt I needed a small rest and walked for a couple of minutes before running again. The only downside was the retirement of my old trainers. The bottoms had worn away and they were starting to give me blisters so I said the final goodbye and bought some new Adidas Ultra Boosts to try out.
My 8 mile run was a great run. I set off feeling ok and ran some pretty quick miles for the first 3 miles. I may have gone a little too quickly as I got to mile 4 and started to battle with my head. Again my legs and breathing were fine but my mind was telling me otherwise so continued a battle between my inner voice and me to push myself to keep running. Come mile 5 my ankle had a funny turn but it soon disappeared after about half a mile. I hit 8 miles steps from my front door and did a internal “whoop whoop” as it’s the furthest I’ve ever ran and I enjoyed it.
Next week I’m aiming for getting all my cross training sessions in to help build some strength. I already know I won’t be hitting that 9 mile run as I’m running the York 10k on Sunday instead. So the 9 miles may have to wait until the week after.