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7/22/13 11:51 A

I've been training for a half, actually the ROCK N ROLL as mentioned LOL, I'm also having trouble getting past 8-9 due to time and boredom. I can only look at either the same walls or scenery for so long and I have a busy schedule with work dogs and children so it's been really difficult to fit it in. I recently flared up my back injury so I took time of and had to start low again and am now at even lower mileage. Trying to not feel so discouraged and get myself back up there so I can hopefully find a way to break through that wall!

KATIENIU SparkPoints: (5,014)
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7/22/13 11:15 A

When I was training for my first half I also had trouble getting past that 8 mile point. For me it was more mental than endurance but it still made me questions whether I was able to actually complete the distance.

What I ended up doing is finding a local running club and joining. That was the best decision I ever made. They cater to all levels and it's so much fun to run with people with similiar abilities and interests. Most running clubs have half marathon training programs for all levels and have weekly long runs. When I joined I found someone that was running the same half as me and we were able to run it together. Three years later I am now training for my 10th marathon. I still run with some of the same people that I started running with three years ago and have met so many new people along the way.

As for nutrition on the run, everyone is different. If I am doing a run that is less than a half marathon distance I stick with water. For anything over 13 miles I will either do Jelly Belly Sport Beans, Honey Stinger Waffles, or raisins. The only bad thing about raisins is that they don't have sodium but they do have fast acting carbs. I try to stay away from Gatorade simply because I find it to sweet. I also don't really care for gels. One word of caution: do not mix Gatorade with gels or sport beans. This combination can cause major stomach issues. If you do gels or sport beans make sure you drink plenty of water. Also, whatever you may choose to use (i.e. gels, beans, gatorade, etc), make sure you practice it on your training run so you know your stomach can tolerate.

I think targeting a fall/winter half is a great goal and something that is totally doable for you. Like someone else mentioned, most training plans cap out at 11-12 miles so you are pretty close to it. Good luck!!

NANLEYKW SparkPoints: (76,244)
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7/21/13 9:46 P

I'm running my first half in October, too! My long run is currently up to 8.5 miles, but most training programs don't get to that distance (for an October half) for another month or so, so you're in pretty good shape.

Hal Higdon's half training program only takes up you to 10 miles before the race, so it wouldn't be that much earlier to wake up to squeeze in another two miles.

I was getting up at 5:30 to run most days (well, the four days a week that I run) and was also super-reluctant to make it any earlier, but due to various circumstances, I've had to get up at 5 for the last couple of weeks, and honestly, it isn't that bad. Since it's summer, it helps that it's already reasonably light at that hour.

As for gels, I do use them on my long runs. I don't necessarily feel yet that I *need* them, but I want to train with them, since I very well might need them for the race and don't want to try them for the first time on race day. There are several varieties that aren't caffeinated. The Gu flavors strawberry banana and lemon lime have no caffeine, and I believe several Honey Stinger flavors are also caffeine-free. There are probably others, too. And really, the only way to know if your body can tolerate the nutrition during your run is to try it. Better to try it during a training run--ideally one where you're looping reasonably close to home in case it doesn't work out so well--than on the day of your half!

JCWIAKALA Posts: 347
7/21/13 11:56 A

I just recently read an article related to your issue. While the training plan is for a marathon, you might find a similar plan for a half.

AMANDAREB SparkPoints: (4,069)
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7/21/13 10:00 A

A lot of beginner half marathon training schedules top off at one 12 mile run. So you'd only be looking at 2-3 runs that go above your normal 8 mile long run. And just think.. maybe it is a little extra time away from your family.. but just think how proud of you they will be when they see you cross that finish line. When I did my first (and so far only full marathon), knowing my family was waiting for me at the end was what got me through miles 18-26!!

For calories while running, I prefer the Jelly Belly sports beans. They taste great and come with or without caffeine. When I don't have those, gummie bears or gummie Life Savers work just fine... as long as they have sugar, some sodium, and are easy to eat while running. I can't do gels.. ick.

Good luck. Halfs are a great time.. I try and do 2-3 a year.

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,456
7/21/13 5:27 A

In terms of time, 8 miles to 13 miles is what, an extra 40-50 mins? Given that running further doesn't involve any extra time in warming up or cooling down, putting on running gear, having a shower afterwards, etc.

I agree with Archimedes - most running programs have 1 long run per week. Hopefully your partner can cover for you for 45 mins once a weekend?

The general advice on increasing distance is to add 10% a week. If you can run 8 miles comfortably, then adding 1 more mile a week should be well within your capabilities.

As a VERY rough guide, the body holds around 2000 calories in usable energy, and burns 100-150 calories per mile. 8 miles should be easily doable within your current reserves, and a full 26 miles will almost certainly require some replenishment along the way. 13 miles can have some people close to the point of depleting their reserves, while others are completely fine - so eating something along the way is probably a wise precaution, but not absolutely necessary.

Ideally you want something fairly high in simple carbs, as these are digested very easily and energy starts hitting the bloodstream in 20-30 minutes. While M&M's do contain simple carbs, a lot of the energy in them actually comes from fat (in the chocolate) which can take 5 hours to digest, which isn't of much use to you during a run. Jelly beans and gummy bears certainly fit the bill on this one, and many runners use these. There's nothing special about energy gels over more mundane sources of glucose, and if you want to steer away from them to avoid caffeine, then I think that makes a lot of sense.


PINKPANTHER444 Posts: 1,737
7/20/13 8:13 P

I had been considering the Philadelphia Marathon in November or a small one in Delaware in October (not even sure if that one will def take place). I just looked up the Philly Rock N Roll Half and it looks AMAZING!!! Live bands ever miles while running through the historic area of the city?!! The miles should just fly by! Now to find a running buddy....!

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (199,967)
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7/20/13 3:55 P

What a coincidence ! I've been looking for a new challenge recently and I too would like to try a half marathon. I've run off/on for several years. I recently decided to pick it up again. I too have been looking at training programs as well as races.

Which big one in Philly are you talking about ? September 15th is the Rock and Roll Half Marathon in Philly. That's huge. I am very seriously considering coming down from Boston to run in it. The problem ? I haven't run in a while and I need time to rebuild my endurance. I don't know if I'll be ready for September.

So, I was looking at the different programs and one thing I notice is that most only have you doing one long run per week. The rest of the days of training involves short runs, intervals and cross training. It seems to me, you only need one day for a long run. Can your hubby look after the kids so that you can take your longer runs on the weekends ?

I have a few friends who have run several marathons and they do their long runs on the weekends. That's what I plan on doing as I start training too.

And you may want to check out the Rock and Roll Half that's going to be in Philly in September. I've been looking into the various Rock and Roll halfs that are conducted around the country. I think a road trip might be fun.

Good luck !

KENDILYNN SparkPoints: (22,924)
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7/20/13 2:57 P

I've been contemplating signing up for a half marathon too, but it would be my first, so I don't have much advice for you. I trained for one two years ago and I think my longest training run was 10 or 11 miles, but life got in the way and I totally ended up bailing on the whole race. So I feel like I have unfinished business. I haven't done much running in the interim, but was thinking of starting up again when the weather cools off (October-ish around here) and training for a race in January. I also struggle with when to train that won't take too much family time away, as I can only run outside and will most likely have to hire a babysitter to watch my youngest anytime I run (unless I want to run at 4 a.m. before my husband leaves for work). Still thinking it might be worth it. Good luck with whatever you try!

PINKPANTHER444 Posts: 1,737
7/20/13 1:16 P

I have been running since the end of March after a ten yr stint of daily "power walking." I was able to increase my mileage without too much difficulty and have really come to enjoy the sport. Like many of you, I run in the early morning hours so it doesn't effect my time spent with the kids.
I think about running a half marathon all the time. I'm kind of obsessed with it. I've reviewed many training plans. Currently I'm running about 40 miles a week but that's broken down to my longest run only being 8 miles. I'm finding it really hard to get past that distance mentally and also due to the time commitment. I'm getting up at 5:30 on the weekends but my boys are usually waking up by the time I'm finished 8 miles so it makes it hard for me to continue further. The halfs in this area aren't until Oct and the big Philly one in Nov so I have time. But I guess I'm looking for some advice/ stories of how you all are able to get your long run in without putting in a ton of add'l miles/time. I don't know if there is an easy answer b/c I will be really upset if I have to walk a portion of the race!

On a separate note- I've never used an energy gel or eaten while I'm running. I am super sensitive to caffeine so may have to stick with something like M&M's or jelly beans. I haven't felt the need for them yet but wondering at what point I will. I am kind of nervous to eat while running bc idk if I will tolerate it.

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