I’m Training for a Half Marathon—Did I Really Just Type This??

Yes!! Yes!!

This past week I started training for the Des Moines 1/2 Marathon. It is not until October so that is a good 18 weeks to train! Sweet!!

I have several goals in not only how I want to run the race but also in preparation. I feel that everything I have been doing up to now has been the lead in to training for this event.


Race Goals

  1. To Finish! (Speed will always be in the back of my mind because I am a competitive person, but I’m being very realistic)
  2. To enjoy the event!
  3. To Finish injury free!

So…13.1 miles. I am not going to run the whole thing. It is going to be a run/walk event. I’ve been doing a lot of reading on the subject and also talking to one of my running partners as she has done one before. So the plan is to run a mile/walk a minute. Everything I have read says that if you add walking to your running that it makes you stronger and increases your endurance and I have no reason to argue with the pros!

Specific Training Goals

  1. Improve my breathing. Brenda, one of my running partners told me that the reason that people in the military sing while they are running is because it forces them to breathe through their noses. Wow! So when we chat on our runs or I talk to myself (yup) during my solo runs it helps! I’m actually breathing in through my nose much of the time now and it makes a HUGE difference!
  2. Increase Endurance. I’m able to run/walk about 4.5 miles right now. I’m following the conventional wisdom of increasing my length of run by 10% per week but my increase will be smaller than that. At the end of next week I plan on being up to 5 miles.
  3. RUN HILLS! Nuff said, this is critical for my conditioning.
  4. Cross Training. This includes strength training, step aerobics, yoga and anything else I decide to do. I don’t have access to a pool without paying for it so that’s out.
  5. Clean Eating. This means planning the healthiest meals possible so I can continue to cut weight. I want to be down another 30 or so by October and I know I will increase my pace just by dropping significantly more weight. I’ve been flirting with 229 for the past few days now. That will be HUGE when I get into the 220’s. I seriously cannot wait.
  6. Massage. I’ve decided to reward myself with massage once or twice a month.
  7. Run one 5K a month up to the race. I have most of them scheduled!!!


  1. Hydration. If I don’t keep myself more hydrated than I have been, especially in this horrible heat I not only won’t run well, I put myself at risk. I’ve got to up the ante on my water intake.
  2. I’ve started getting tingles in my fingertips after I run about 2.5 miles. I know there is no underlying issues from my doctor and I hold my arms at 90 degrees when I run. I’ve read up on it and I’ve heard it’s pretty common but it sucks. If anyone reading this has any suggestions please let me know. I may go to a sports medicine doctor just in case but I’m not overly worried.
  3. Mental. My mental game is actually really great but it’s the mental component that can break any of us. So I am going to meditation every Tuesday night just to get centered.

Anything I haveĀ forgotten?

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6 Responses to I’m Training for a Half Marathon—Did I Really Just Type This??

  1. Good for you.

    My 2 cents on hydration is to stop drinking atleast 30 minutes before the race starts. This gives your system time to clear out what you have drank and helps to keep from having to make a pit stop during the race. Go to the start line with something to drink and sip it in the last 5 – 10 minutes before the race starts. This will get the water into your system when your body needs it. You will swet most of this out and not have to stop.

    I also advise standing in line for the porta potty even if you don’t feel that you need to. Because you will. I’ve had some fun conversations standing in line at races.

    Your walking strategy is right on target. One idea that may work for you and make this more efficient is to walk the water stops. If the stops are every mile then you are all set. Start walking as you come into the water stop, grab your drink and continue walking for your full minute. Water stops can get jammed up so watch out for other runners, especially those that run through the stop.

    If the stops are every two miles you can still walk the stops and just keep an eye on your watch or the mile markers to know when to walk between the stops.
    Walking 1 minute every mile will increase your endurance and allow you to get further into the race before you feel fatigue and walking is no longer just an option!

    Steady, consistent workouts with no more than 10% mileage increases each week will get you to the starting line. Have fun and good luck!

  2. Awesome advice thank you so much!! I love the idea about the water stops!

  3. fitnessgall says:

    Ah, training for your first half – that’s so awesome and exciting!
    Goodluck with training, and most of all – enjoy the journey!

  4. John says:

    Will have to try the breathing through my nose!

  5. hemingwayrun says:

    Good luck! I’ve just entered my first half marathon too, Great North Run in Sept. Looking forward to it but hard work getting motivated so far (hence reading other runners blogs!)

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