Judgement Day Half Marathon Training Recap
Hello and thank you for stopping by. I have been training hard over the last few weeks, but I have not been posting regular training updates. Something had to give in order for me to keep up with my responsibilities as a wife and mom; that something was the time I was spending blogging / Instagramming.
After my marathon on October 3rd I took about a week down from training and then started to ramp back up to prepare for the “Judgement Day” Half Marathon on November 15, 2020. The Judgement Day Half Marathon will be the first half marathon even approved in California since the COVID-19 shut down. I am very excited to get to be apart of it.
When I asked my coach to write a few weeks of training to “tune up” for the half marathon, I did not think he would suggest that I try increasing my mileage. A half marathon is shorter than a marathon, so I need to run less, right? While this is a logical thought, research has found that in both the marathon and half marathon, over 95% of the energy required to run the race is produced via aerobic metabolism. Therefore, building a stronger aerobic system, should always help your running at these longer events. Also, my body seems to respond well to lots of slow, easy miles. Here is a great article from RunnersConnect.net referencing this research if you want to learn more: https://runnersconnect.net/the-importance-of-aerobic-running/
Also, the AtoZ Running Podcast covered this topic extensively in this episode: https://www.atozrunning.com/episode39/
In order to increase my mileage, I added in “doubles” or running twice a day for the first time ever. I only ran twice on days that I did not have a workout and I kept the second run pretty short, about 3-4 miles. I did that 3 days a week, so it easily added 9-12 miles to my weekly mileage. I was surprised at how little stress the second runs put on my body. As long as I had eaten well and given myself about 5 hours in-between runs, I found the second run to be very relaxing and actually helped me muscles loosen up and feel less stiff and sore. I did not feel tired or drained after, but rather like I had gone for a very short jog.
In summary, my mileage over the last four weeks has been as follows:
- Week 1 – 70 miles
- Week 2 – 75 miles (I substituted a 2nd run for a swim that week)
- Week 3 – Just over 90 miles
- Week 4 – 103 miles
A year ago, I did not believe I could run 100 miles in a week. I had heard of other runners doing 100 mile weeks and I put it in the category of things that I was not capable of. I thought I would have injury after injury. I have to give credit to my coach to slowly building up my mileage over the last year, so I could handle this jump. My husband also made sure I kept taking all my vitamins and iron supplements, which I think I truly needed to do when pushing my body this hard. I also believe that running most of the mileage at an easy pace for me was key to my success. If I had been pushing myself through the miles, I am sure I would have fallen apart.
Getting in my second run of the day was tough. It took all different forms. Some days I would push my youngest son in the Bob Stroller I nearly got rid of a few months ago. Somedays, my oldest son would ride next to me on his bike for his homeschool “P.E.” A few times I got the second run in once my husband got home from work, but this ended up being my least favorite time. Once 6pm hits, I start to turn into a pumpkin and I am almost ready for bed. I found that I felt pretty depleted during my morning run if the previous day I had done my second run later than 5 or 6pm. This probably would not be as much of a problem if I ran a little later in the morning (I usually start my morning run at 4:45am), but I know a lot of people have to start really early in the morning like I do, so I thought it was worth noting.
I am very thankful that I was able to pull off these last four weeks of training and stay healthy. The plan now is to taper this week and then see how I do next weekend. I have never raced a half marathon with this much training volume in me; heck, I have never had this much training volume in me! I am excited to see how it goes.
Has anyone else ever done a lot of high volume training before a half marathon, if so, how did the race go? Also, if you do doubles, when do you fit the second run into your day?