This past Saturday I ran my first long run in about 18 months. I went very slowly, taking care not to go out too quickly, because I knew I wanted to run the entire thing. It was a beautifully cool afternoon, sun hidden behind clouds, and the air had a faint hint of fall to it.
It was glorious.
It’s those moments, those long(ish) runs, and those small steps that help me feel like myself again. Because I’m back to training.
I have found, over the years of having babies and in between, that I need something to work for. I have times where I haven’t been training for something, and it becomes far too easy for me to shrug off a workout or a run because it doesn’t matter. I have nothing keeping me going when I feel lazy or unmotivated.
So I signed up for another half marathon.
I’ve used many races to get back into shape after baby, but the half marathon, is my favorite, by far. It’s long enough to get big sense of accomplishment and really test yourself, but not too long that you can’t fit in training or that it’s too taxing on your body after having a baby, like a marathon might be. (You can read about a few of my other post-baby races here and here.) A 10k might work just as well, but I actually haven’t done a 10k yet!
I’ve decided during this training cycle to record and reflect on my workouts and training here. Mostly, I want to be able to track progress, but also, I thought it might be helpful to some of you who are interested in training for a longer race, or maybe just looking for a little motivation.
My goal is to get in at least 4-5 runs, 2 weight training sessions, 1 bike workout, and squeeze in yoga/pilates/swim when I can.
Right now for paces, my goal race pace is about 9:45-9:30, steady pace is about 10:00 and easy pace is at 10:30-10:45 and I’ll base any speedwork off of those paces.
I should first warn you, I am not a running coach. I create my own plans loosely based on other running plans and adjust to meet my own schedule, needs, and preferences. By all means, use this to help you, but while it works for me, it may not work for everyone.
- Monday – 3 miles, on the treadmill, not ideal, 10 minutes core
- Tuesday – 4 miles, was going to add strides, but legs felt dead
- Wednesday – 30 min bike, wind was terrible
- Thursday – 2 miles and 30 minutes yoga
- Friday – unscheduled rest day, I was sore and wanted to be fresh for the long run
- Saturday – 7 miles @10:46, felt light and easy, 10 minutes core
- Sunday – Rest
I got most of my miles in and managed to squeeze in some yoga, and some core. Overall I’m pleased with how the week went and am looking forward to next week. This is what I have planned:
- Monday – 3 miles steady run and core
- Tuesday – 4 miles progressive run (each mile gets slightly faster) and lift legs
- Wednesday – 40 minute bike and pilates
- Thursday – 30-45 minute swim and/or yoga (depends on my husband’s schedule)
- Friday – 3 mile steady run + 3 hills and lift upper body
- Saturday – 7 miles and core
- Sunday – Rest
We’ll see how everything turns out. Often I’m at the mercy of the baby and whether or not she’ll let me sleep. I used to not care as much about sleep, but I can’t get away with not sleeping enough anymore.
As far as nutrition, I’m completing a round of Whole 30 the month of September just to make sure my milk supply doesn’t suffer. I’ve done several rounds of Whole 30 while breastfeeding and it’s always a game-changer for me. I share some of my Whole 30 tips and experiences below if you’re interested.
Are you training for a fall race this year? I’d love to hear from you!