Friday, January 22, 2021

My Fitness Routine: Half Marathon Training

 Good morning friends! So at the end of last year I posted a little survey about what kinds of things you were hoping to read more of on here in 2021. One of the most common things you all asked for was an update on my fitness routine, specifically on running. I made a mental note to add that to my calendar at some point this year, and then this little email found its way into my inbox last week:

Last year one of my resolutions was to run two half marathons.. and we all know that didn't happen! I had signed up for a couple races pre-pandemic but then they obviously didn't end up coming to fruition. Then, last November I ended up running my first virtual race... and I LOVED it! It was the perfect way to ease back into running. So while I didn't accomplish my goal to run two half marathons in 2020, who's to say I can't try again in 2021? I signed up for this race and have plans to sign up for another one as well. Even if they are only virtual, I now know that I am capable of training for and completing a virtual race... so I can do it again this year!

 Today I want to share with you what my half marathon training regimen looks like, but I'm going to share two versions: my pre-pandemic training regimen and my COVID training regimen. Why two? Because my life and ability to train for races looks a LOT different when I have access to my usual childcare situation (our gym childcare) and access to a gym. During the pandemic I haven't always had a consistent option for childcare or gym access, so I have to be a lot more flexible/lax. I also have learned to set lower expectations for myself and to be okay with that. I'm not shooting for a personal record right now, my goal is just to get my training in and complete the races.

So without further ado, here are my half marathon training regimens:

Pre-Pandemic Training:

Years ago when I first started running, my friend Kathleen (who is also a runner) sent me a link to this training guide she used for her half marathons. I followed this guide pretty much to a tee for my first half marathon and honestly thought it was great. 

As I continued running and learning more about my own body and what my body needed, I have tweaked the program a little. For example, I've noticed that I struggle with tightness in my left IT band, so I make sure to do additional strength training which focuses on that area. I also don't do the run 8 minutes, walk 1 minute thing. I have just learned to listen to my body and know when I am able to run/when I need to take a walk break. But that's because I have years of practice in this!! If you are new to running, I would definitely say to stick with that guide until you become familiar with what your body needs/how your body performs during long distance running. Here's the simple plan I usually follow:

What Training Looks Like Now:

Now that we are in the midst of a pandemic and life is MUCH different than it normally is, my race training is very different. I used to be the person who woke up at 4:30 and was at the gym when it opened at 5:00. That isn't an option since our gym's hours and capacity are limited. I used to be that person who took my kids to the gym childcare area and took my time running/stretching/cross training. That isn't an option either. Why am I sharing this with you? Because if you are also a mom and you are wanting to get into running (or back into running), I don't want you to get frustrated and give up because of how hard it can be to make it work.

While I don't have a spreadsheet or anything to look at, the most important takeaway here is to just do what you can. 

Just. Do. What. You. Can.

For example, technically I was supposed to run 4 miles yesterday but I only had time to get 1 in. It's not ideal, but 1 mile is better than nothing. I used it as an opportunity for speed training and ran that mile as quickly as possible. Some days I can't find childcare so I load up both kids in the Double BOB stroller and take them with me. On those days I might be a lot slower, but at least I'm out there doing it. Give yourself some Grace. We are all doing our best right now. 😊

 My memories from training for and running my races have been some of my favorites. I have countless memories taking my kids with me on runs, or them meeting me at the finish line for a big hug. I have memories of Devin and I running our full marathons side by side, struggling together and supporting each other to get through it. I am looking forward to more happy memories like those in the future, hopefully in some in 2021!

A little trip down running memory lane:

Today I am linking up with Andrea and Erika for Friday Favorites. Have a great weekend!


  1. I just love posts like these! These are such great pointers! I love the couch to half-marathon plan! So cool! Hope you have a great day!

    1. Me too Abby! I love to read posts like this on other people's blogs. I always leave feeling so inspired to get off the couch and move

  2. Love that you get out even for 1 mile if that's what you have time! Such a good reminder to do what we can. I'm going to sneak a 30 minute work out in at lunchtime today :)

  3. I started running again this year. I had done a half marathon in the past and don't think I'll do it again, but I'm enjoying doing what I can. I used the couch to 5 k to get back into it!

    1. I'm so happy you started running again and that you're enjoying it! It can be so hard to start back up again-- great job!

  4. I would love to get into running. I even did Beachbody's running program. My body just doesn't like it. It is probably the investment in shoes too

    1. Hahaha I hear you! You know your own body and what works for you-- for me, cycle is the thing I can't get into... but I have so many friends who love it!

  5. I have learnt various good stuff right here, and I’m sure everyone will get advantage of it.