Friday, October 12, 2012

How NOT to Train for a Half Marathon

There are a lot of running bloggers out there writing about how to train for a half marathon.  Who wants to be like other bloggers?  I thought I would go against the grain and tell you how not to train for a half marathon. What makes me an expert on what not to do?  Well, quite frankly, these are all the things I am doing right now to not prepare for the Rock 'n Roll San Antonio half marathon on November 11th. 

My Best Tips on How NOT to Train for a Half Marathon:

1.  Talk about signing up for a half marathon for months.  Talk about it some more.  Don't actually register.  Wait until the pricing structure is at the highest cost possible before finally taking the plunge and registering for the race.

2. Don't run any long runs until four weeks before the race.  After all, you have run seven half marathons to date, who needs to train?  Get cocky.

3. As a matter of fact, barely even run at all.  Once a week should be fine.  Forget all about speed work, hill repeats, and tempo runs. 

4. Get off track on your diet and gain a few pounds in the weeks approaching the race.  Being properly fueled is probably not that important. 

5.  Wait until four weeks before the race, then panic that you are not properly trained.  Beat yourself up over it a little. Tell yourself that you will probably finish with your worse half marathon time ever. Tell yourself this over and over. Feel bad about it.

6.  Don't have a plan, just wing it.

7.  Increase your weekly training mileage more than you should every week to play catch up on those long miles you haven't been running.

8. Let your ego get in the way and run too fast for the distance. After all, you wouldn't dare want to post a training run on the internet, for all the world to see, with a pace over a 9 minute mile (gasp). You know people out there are probably judging you by the pace you run.

9. Don't overly concern yourself with safety or avoiding injury.  All that matters now is that you finish this race without a minute of walking and that you PR, despite the fact you have not been properly preparing or training to do that.

10.  Write a blog post about it dripping with sarcasm.

I kid! I kid! Please do as I say, not as I do.  Please do not follow any of the above terrible advice.

It is true, I waited too long to sign up for the race and paid more than what was necessary.  I haven't been training for long runs like I should have been.  I sometimes have moments of panic that this race will be a total disaster.  However, I do have a plan.

I plan to do the best I can and not put too much pressure on myself.  I plan to walk if necessary and not beat myself up about it.  I plan to not even try to run fast or achieve a new personal record.  I can't expect the reward of a PR when I didn't put in the work.  I plan to take safety and injury prevention very seriously and listen to my body during training and during the race. I plan to think positively and just do my very best.  I plan to enjoy every moment of the race and just have fun!

Wish me luck!  November 11th is just around the corner!

What is your best advice on what not to do to train for a race?

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Keep Running,


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  1. I feel like you read my mind! Accept for the fact that my first half is in one week from this Sunday. I've let work and everyother excuse in the book get in my way and have been toying with the idea of not running the race because i know I haven't prepared properly....or....just do as you said. I know I'm fit enough to do it. I know it won't even be close to a good effort because of ill preparation. But should I just go and enjoy the moment to run/walk and finish?

  2. HAHA! Awsomeness. I like the pace thing - I'm around 10 pace and who cares?! I've worked up from 13! At least you see the humor in it :).

    Advice? I don't have any, I'm too much of a newbie but I'd say cramming just isn't the way. LOL

    This was a great post, made me laugh. Thanks Lea!

  3. Haha.. great post! I'm considering signing up for one even though I hate running.. Eeek!

  4. Great post! It's not like you have spent the last few months sitting on the couch eating bonbons though. You have a great base of training behind you, running and fitness and what will be will be. Some of my best runs were the ones when I left my Garmin at home and enjoyed the run, OK they were shorter distances, I just moved up to half marathons but the concept is the same. Be a cheerleader for others on the course, enjoy the day and enjoy being alive and being able to run.

  5. Bahaha this is awesome! Even if you're undertrained, it's still fun to participate in a race because of the atmosphere of it all! Like you, I found that the more pressure I put on myself in terms of performance just made the actual race suck. Way more important to have fun!

  6. It is always nice to know that those we look up to are human and aren't doing the "right" thing all the time. Thanks for this! Perfectionism is a character flaw I have and it helps me when I read things like this.

  7. You've nailed it! :) I've also learned the hard way to avoid racing in hot weather... not fun at all. Hope your race comes together well for you. You're absolutely right, they can't all be a pr! Run for the enjoyment of it!

  8. It's funny cuz it's true! :)

  9. holy cr*p!! Sounds waaaay too close to home! Except someone offered me a FREE bib!! How can you turn down FREE?? Now my palms are sweaty thinking about this race in 2 days!!

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