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Training for 1/2 Marathon - Some questions for experienced runners

michelem2010-05-02 02:01:25 +0000 #1
Hi All,

Well, I've started training for the U.S. 1/2 Marathon scheduled for November 4, 2007. I'm training by myself, because the team is based out of San Francisco, and I am 2+ hours away in Folsom. I have the schedule e-mailed to me and then I go out and do it on my own.

Anyway, I don't want to give up cycling while training for the 1/2. For those of you who train for multi-sport events, how do you incorporate rest days and prevent overtraining?

On Thursday evening, I did approx. 5.75 miles on very gently rolling terrain (although the last 1 mile 2% climb back to the house felt more like a mountain). I am so slow, it took me approx. 75 minutes door to door (granted there are a couple stoplights on the way to the trail, but that probably added only 2 minutes or so). On Friday I did nothing. On Saturday morning I did a approx. 38 miles on the bike - hill climbing and strong wind. By Saturday night I was SO SORE and TIRED. Hubby and I took dogs for a walk and I was dragging. Went to bed at about 10:30pm and slept until noon! I NEVER do that! Sat around for the rest of the day and then dragged myself out the door to do my 5.75 mile loop. I went really slow (took 75 minutes again) and my legs were SO SORE. I felt like I could go forever aerobically, but thought my legs might just fall off. I really had to push. Got home and could barely move. I sat on the couch and could hardly get up to go to bed! Amazingly enough, I am not even a little bit sore today. I thought for sure I wouldn't be able to get out of bed! I plan to do some yoga tonight.

I'm supposed to start doing repeats and tempo runs this week. I used to run cross-country in high school, and we would run every day after school, but that was a LOOOOONG time ago and I know new data has come out on the importance of rest days for muscle recuperation and such.

Anyway, any advice is greatly appreciated! Thanks!

P.S. GI stuff is remaining at bay. I have a follow-up with the GI doc on Wednesday.

anakiwa2010-05-02 02:12:26 +0000 #2
Here's a couple of thoughts:

Be wary of training plans (or at least of feeling the need to follow them). I think they are sometimes written for people who don't have jobs, family, friends, hobbies etc. In other words, try to follow the concepts (building milage slowly, varying runs to include long runs, short runs, fast runs, slow runs etc), but if the workout isn't the right thing for a particular day, don't do it. If you can barely walk your dog, it's probably time to take an extra day off.

If the race is in November you have a ton of time. Try to do a long run that's one mile longer each week (but if it gets to be too much take a week off). Try to run 3-4 times a week if you can. You may get more rest days in if you can do one sport in the AM and one in the PM. Take at least one day off/week.

How much bleeding happened? (I can't remember the original threads.) It's possible you're anemic or iron deficient- (those things could make you feel draggy).

Have fun!
Wahine2010-05-02 02:10:22 +0000 #3
First off, it is very possible to ride and run. You just have to figure out the balance. Secondly, riding at a lower heartrate over long distances gives you a very good base for doing long runs and helps to prevent injury through cross training.

I also agree with Anakiwa - plans are guides and nothing more. I would figure out what the essential, core running workouts are and work around those. Don't do any tempo work until you feel like you've got a decent base. If you haven't been running much that could take a couple of months. Work your bike rides in around your runs and do your long ride after your long run and try to cluster them together. Eg Long run on Sat, long ride Sunday. You'll be a little slower on the bike but it's a lot easier that way. Take the next day off. Then try to cluster some workouts during the week.


Monday - Rest/Yoga

Tues - Run, shorter length, harder intensity. 30 min recovery ride if you want (sometimes helps the legs get rid of lactic acid)

Wed - Low intensity ride for fun 1 hour or so.

Thurs - light run, distance depends on how you feel but I would focus on form rather than intesity

Fri - Rest

Sat - Long run, low intensity

Sun - Long ride, low intensity

I would do something like this for 3 weeks then take one week to rest where you do about have the volume on any one workout and drop one ride and run.

Repeat, adding a mile per week on your main weeks as Anakiwa suggested and viola, you're there in no time.
luvs2ride2010-05-02 02:11:05 +0000 #4
Hello Michelle,

Wow, not much to add to the threads of Anakiwa and Wahine. It's sounds like these ladies have done this before !!! Congratulations on your decision to run a 1/2 marathon for a cause as noble as pancreatic cancer. Your aunt would be very honored and proud! Well, I would add that age is also a factor to add to any training plan. The older you are the more rest your body needs. This is not always factored in to your average training plan. I've found "Running for Women" to be a good all around training book. I am also a runner/cyclist. It's "OK" to favor one sport over the other when you are training for an event. While you focus on your running for this 1/2 marathon, you won't be doing as many miles on your bike and this is "OK." Think of riding as your "cross trainer." You'll be able to pick up your cycling miles again after your event in November. I think Wahine's idea of a long ride the day after your long run is a good one. Think of your long ride as a "recovery ride" and then take your rest day after this. Be sure to do your long ride with low intensity. I have ran 2 full marathons in San Francisco (Nike Women's Marathon in October 2005 and 2006). You need to know that it's VERY HILLY in good ole San Fran!!! I would suggest that you place a great emphasis on hill repeats as they will help you deal with the terrain. Once again, congratulations on your commitment to run a 1/2 and good luck to you!
michelem2010-05-02 02:23:21 +0000 #5
Thanks all!

I'm 38 y.o. and am currently up to 6 slow miles. Lately I've been running on gently rolling terrain, but we've got a nice 1 mile 11% grade hill just down the road that I can do repeats on.

I'm going to print out all your suggestions so I can refer back to them. Thanks again for the great advice.



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