The Ups and Downs of Half- Marathon Training: 4 Things I’ve Learned So Far

Only two months remain (or 62 days if we’re being exact) until my first half-marathon! I’m about halfway through my training plan now, and the mileage is really picking up. A few weeks back, I shared my 5 Training Tips from a Half-Marathon Newbie. Today I have a few more revelations to add; learning never ceases!

1) Listen to Your Body

I hit a bit of a wall last week. My legs were aching, I was exhausted from my cross-provincial trek on the weekend, and my motivation to run was nil. So what did I do? I look a week off of training. Le gasp! The tricky thing about training plans is that they seem so regimented; like you can’t deviate. This article does a great job at explaining how important breaks can be for peak performance, and convinced me that listening to my body was the right thing to do.

2) Stretch- no excuses!

Yes, stretching takes up precious minutes pre and post run and it can be tricky to fit it in when crunched for time. Despite this, it is so important! This article gives a few examples of stretches you can do before and after your run. So far, I have been pretty good about stretching as I wait for the shower water to warm up, and usually stretch a bit in to shower (it’s a great time saver). I’m resolving to do more dynamic stretches before my run to get my muscles warm, from now on.


It turns out that yoga is also a great complement to running, not only for the brain but the mind as well. Here are some poses to try pre and post run.

3) Switch Things Up

I’ll admit that I might have been getting a bit bored with my training program. Luckily, this week I started doing hill training, which is actually a lot more fun than it sounds. I found a great hill near my house and killed the hill repeats! Another thing I was slacking on was cross-training, which is also a likely reason for me being sore. I have reintroduced some solo spinning into my training, and I already feel better :)

4) Visualize

I have found that when motivation is lacking, a bit of visualization can help. I have been picturing the funny signs I am likely to see on the route, what I’m going to wear on the big day (so much temptation), and crossing the finish line with my aunt; pretty powerful motivators :)

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Bonus Running Funny: Woman Snaps Selfies with Unsuspecting Hotties During New York Marathon

Disclaimer: I am not an expert, all information here is based on my own experience. Please consult your healthcare provider before staring any new fitness regimen.

I’m linking this post up with Fit Tip Tuesdays!

Question of the Day: What are your training tips when you hit a wall? What is the funniest race sign you’ve seen?

Thanks so much for reading! Leave me a comment, or follow me on, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Bloglovin, and Instagram; I’d love to connect with you!

25. March 2014 by Suzanne
Categories: Fitness, Vegan, Yoga | Tags: , , , , , , , | 15 comments

Comments (15)

  1. My advice? Buy yourself a foam roller and clutch onto it with dear life. That thing will be your life saver!
    Davida @ The Healthy Maven recently posted…A No BS Guide to Food PhotographyMy Profile

    • Good call! I also really want compression socks; mostly because I have a thing for questionable looking socks :P

  2. Great advice lady! I’ve got a half marathon on my bucket list, to be tackled eventually…I’ll be keeping these things in mind.
    Sam @ Better With Sprinkles recently posted…My Strategies for Eating a High-Calorie Diet.My Profile

  3. Great tips! I like switching up what I’m listening to during my runs. For shorter runs, I’ll go music-less, and for long runs, I’ll either have a playlist ready, listen to a podcast, or go with an audio book. It’s keeps my attention away from how many miles are left :).
    Nicole @ Fitful Focus recently posted…Restaurant Focus: Suite ThreeOhSix ReviewMy Profile

  4. I agree with the previous advice; get a foam roller (I love my Trigger Point), compression socks are the BEST, and I also listen to podcasts for long runs. Good luck with your training!

    I just ran my 2nd half marathon on Sunday.
    Anna recently posted…Moov-A Revolutionary Mobile Fitness DeviceMy Profile

    • Thanks for the tips, Anna! And congrats on your HM!

      • I second that. I’ve been building a site all about Foam Rollers the last few weeks and I hear the name Trigger Point a lot in recommendations. But no matter what brand, foam rolling seems like a necessity for every runner, especially if your IT band starts giving you trouble.

        Good luck for your half-marathon, Suzanne! :)


  5. You know, I’ve decided to start building to running 5k. Not impressive by any standards but something I want to be able to do! I like that yoga infographic, definitely going to keep that in mind.
    Gabby @ the veggie nook recently posted…vibrant life cleanse program and cookbook launch and reviewMy Profile

    • I would totally suggest the women’s 5k in May!! It was my first race, and I’ll be with you at the start line :)

  6. OMG. I am seriously going to imagine that picture of Ryan tomorrow during my run!!! Haha. Oh, I couldn’t agree more with this post! I had to take a break today because I knew I was pooped from earlier this week. Also, I started doing pigeon pose with a vengeance after every run. One month ago my hips were so tight I couldn’t hardly even do it, let alone with my elbows on the floor. Now I can put my forehead on the floor and I can do compass pose as well! Yoga is my switchup, and TRX one day a week! In addition, visualizing is the greatest thing ever. I do it with races, cooking lengthy dinners, difficult patients, anything I know I will need a bit of mental help with! Great post!
    Katie @ Produce on Parade recently posted…Windy Hearth StewMy Profile

  7. Great training tips! I love that you listened to your body and took a break. When I first starting running, I NEVER did that and I think I enjoy running so much more now because I do take occasional breaks.
    My biggest motivation when I hit a wall is cross-training. I love running, but when I have to do it more than twice a week, I start to fall out of love with it. I really enjoy staying active with varied activity (tabata class, trx training, walking, hiking, biking, strength training, dancing). It really keeps things more fun for me.
    And you actually enjoy hill training? Must be nice ;p

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