Half marathon training: Winter Running and hitting PRs

Just over 7 weeks to go now. 50 days. January still seems to be taking an age (how is it still not pay day?!) but the race feels like it’s coming fast. Soon enough I’ll be running 13.1 miles for the first time and yeah, I’m scared!

Half marathon training: Winter Running and hitting PRs

Running Schedule and Fitting Things In

I’ve said it before but I don’t doubt that I can do it. I know I can. It may not be the fastest time, but I know I’ll be able to finish the Half Marathon. If Park Run has taught me anything, it’s that I can push way harder than I generally do and I have that determination in me. Speeding up on 5k runs is obviously a lot different to slowing myself down and being on my feet for more miles, but you know, the mentality needs to be strong for both. I’m getting there.

My schedule at the moment is generally a long run on Tuesdays, Park Run (or random 5k) on a Saturday and then a shorter 20-25 minute run on either Monday or Friday depending on my work shifts. Running on Weds/Thurs is the hardest thing to do, and really these are the days I really need to add in cross training. I am struggling to get the third run in some weeks though which is something I especially I need to work on!

My next long run needs to be around 1h30 so I’m going to plan a good scenic route to keep my mind happy! I also could do with trying out a gel mid-run, as I may need it once I hit the 2 hour mark and I don’t know how my stomach will react… Water alone probably isn’t enough! I am fully expecting the half marathon to take me up to 2h30 to finish but we’ll see!

Half marathon training: Winter Running and hitting PRs

PRs and Nutrition

Back on the subject of Park Run, I’ve now completed 10 altogether and I’m really loving taking part each week. It’s hard because I work Saturdays so occasionally don’t get the morning off, but I’ve had a good run this year! I’ve ALWAYS struggled with getting my 5k under 30 minutes. It’s got to be a mental thing, because I’ve proved to myself over these past few weeks that I can run it under 30. And I can run it under 30 on a 3 lap course that has two horrible hills to contend with!

My Pennington Flash 5km PR is now 29:05, and I’m super happy with that. I feel like my weekly long runs have definitely helped with being able to increase speed on my shorter runs, and it’s obviously paying off! Just to keep it up now!

One thing I am struggling with is food. Eating enough. Not just after my run, but also when I’m working. Most of the week I could be working late shifts, like 5pm-11pm and I just don’t eat proper meals on them days. I need to sort out proper meal prep to get actual meals in on those days. I’m most likely going to do a full post on this once I figure it out myself! (In the meantime, if anyone doing a lot of fitness has any tips, send them my way!)

Half marathon training: Winter Running and hitting PRs

Contending With The Weather

The weather lately has been pretty horrible to be honest. Absolutely freezing on some days, making it hard to get out. When I can, I’ve been running at midday because it’s generally warmer and that’s the time I’ve managed to finally kick myself out of the door…! Park Runs have been icy, icy with rock hard ground, or very wet with ankle deep muddy puddles. No in between. This is where I’ve always struggled in the past with keeping up my runs, but I think Park Run especially is keeping me going. And hey, occasionally you’ll get a gorgeous sunny morning like the above and that makes everything better!

Isn’t that an amazing view though! ^^