Half Marathon Training for the Beginner

This is a walk/run training program.

I typed up my training plan and I thought……why not post it here? Maybe, I can get some “virtual” support. Maybe there are a few of you out there that think……NO WAY could I do something like this.

That is when I step in and say YES, YOU CAN! If I can, you can.

A month ago, I weighed over 200lbs and started exercising for the first time in four years (at least regular exercise).

I am now under 200lbs and I can finally feel my stomach muscles again. I can run three minutes without stopping and recover in a minute walking. I am not even having to push myself too hard (not saying it’s easy).

I’m slightly ahead of this training plan, but I am still going to start at the beginning.

The numbers represent run/walk time. So, week one is running 2 mins and walking 1 minute until you complete the mileage.

As you can see, the progression covers 12 weeks to gradually build you up to a half-marathon. I do NOT run fast. It is slow and steady (so I don’t get winded).

You will know your pace when you start, it’s the one where you can talk (or sing) without dying (sorta).

Can I encourage you? Do you need a plan?

This week starts week 1….

Jan. 23-29
Week 1-

    Tues- 2 miles – 2/1 run/walk intervals
    Thurs- 2.5 miles – 2/1 run/walk intervals.
    Sat- (long run) This is our Frosty Frog 5K
    Sun – 2 mile recovery walk

Jan 30-Feb 5
Week 2-

    Tues- 2 miles- 2/1 run/walk intervals
    Thurs-3 miles- 2/1 run/walk intervals
    Friday- Cross training (elliptical) or rest
    Saturday-(long run) 3.50 or 4 miles – 2/1 run/walk intervals
    Sunday- 2.5 mile recovery walk

Week 3-

    Tues- 2.5 miles – 2/1 run/walk intervals
    Wed- Cross training (elliptical)
    Thurs- 3 miles – 2/1 run/walk intervals
    Saturday- (long run) 4 miles – 2/1 run/walk interval
    Sunday – 2 miles recovery walk

Feb. 13-19
Week 4-

    Tues- 2.5 miles – 3/1 run/walk intervals
    Wed- Cross training
    Thurs- 3 miles – 3/1 run/walk intervals
    Saturday- (long run) 5 miles – 3/1 run/walk intervals
    Sunday- 2 miles recovery walk

Feb. 20-26
Week 5-

    Tues- 3 miles – 3/1 run/walk intervals
    Wed- Cross training
    Thurs- 3 miles – 3/1 run/walk intervals
    Saturday (long run) – Cowtown 10K (6.2miles) 3/1 run/walk intervals
    Sunday – 3 miles recovery walk

Feb. 27-Mar. 4
Week 6 –

    Tues – 4 miles – 3/1 run/walk intervals
    Wed- Cross- training
    Thurs- 4 miles – 3/1 run/walk intervals
    Saturday (long run) – 7 miles – 3/1 run/walk intervals
    Sunday – 3 miles recovery walk

Mar 5-11
Week 7 –

    Tues – 4 miles – 3/1 run/walk intervals
    Wed- Cross training
    Thurs- 4 miles 3/1 run/walk intervals
    Saturday (long run) 8 miles – 3/1 run/walk intervals
    Sunday – 3 miles recovery walk

Mar. 12-18
Week 8 –

    Tues- 4 miles – 3/1 run/walk intervals
    Wed- Cross training
    Thurs-3 miles – 3/1 run/walk intervals
    Saturday- (long run) 9 miles – 3/1 run/walk intervals
    Sunday – 3 miles recovery walk

Mar. 19-25
Week 9 –

    Tues- 5 miles – 3/1 run/walk intervals
    Wed- Cross training
    Thurs- 4 miles – 3/1 run/walk intervals
    Saturday (long run) – 10 miles – 3/1 run/walk intervals
    Sunday – 3 mile recovery walk

Mar. 26-Apr. 1
Week 10 –

    Tues- 4 miles – 3/1 run/walk intervals
    Wed- Cross training
    Thurs- 3 miles – 3/1 run/walk intervals
    Saturday (long run) – 11 miles 3/1 run/walk intervals
    Sunday – 3 mile recovery walk

April 2-8
Week 11 –

    Tues- Cross Training
    Wed- 3 miles 3/1 run/walk intervals
    Thur- Cross Training
    Saturday (long run) – 5 miles – 3/1 run/walk intervals
    Sunday – 2.5 mile recovery walk

April 9-15
Week 12-

    Tues- 2 miles – 3/1 run/walk intervals
    Thurs- 20 mins – 3/1 run/walk intervals
    Saturday (day before race) – Walk 20 mins.
    Sunday – RACE DAY — Big D HALF MARATHON (13.1mile)

I’m ready. I’ve set my goal (without fear).

What about you?

Goals are the fuel in the furnace of achievement.
Brian Tracy, Eat that Frog

My Top Five Music Picks

I don’t post a lot about the music I listen to, mainly because, it’s everything, or Channel 10 on Sirius. But with my new spring goal of running/walking a half-marathon, I need to have some playlists handy. So, I have surfed iTunes and other sources (Pandora!) to get my favorites together.

I just can’t run or walk without beats, mostly because, I don’t like the sound of my breathing. I will over analyze the crud out of it.

Am I breathing too fast? Can I talk? Do I hear a wheeze? Oh gee, if someone runs by me they are going to think I am DYING. Oh crap, I am dying. Listen to my breathing!

And so, I crank up the tunes to drown out the “voices” in my head.

And I just go…..to the beat….to the words…..to the drums…to the energy or emotion of the tune. I listen and move to whatever it is that keeps me shuffling along.

Sometimes, when my mileage is up, I am sad I have to stop. It’s usually on my favorite! song. Ha.

Here are my top 5 picks. I am attaching what YouTube calls the “official” video.

    1. Snow Patrol – Called out in the Dark. The album was just released. It is amazing. Love this band!

Stadium of my Heart…this one is for you!

    2. David Guetta (feat. Usher) – Without you. I love how the beat is slow and then fast. Perfect for alternating a walk run.
    3. Cobra Starship – You make me Feel…. This is a fantastic song. I love the lyric – if you listen you can hear me through the radio in the bright white noise – it just reminds me of how big, and electronic our world is. Can we hear each other through the bright white noise?

      4. The Band Perry – If I die young. I am from Oklahoma. I love a good twangy song. It is a little disturbing that it’s a song about dying young, but there is something about it that haunts me. I just have to hear it. Maybe, it’s the sound of sad.
      5. The White Stripes – Seven Nation Army. Just so you have an older song on the list. I just discovered it not long ago on Pandora and have loved it ever since. It has a super catchy beat to run to.


    I’ll keep you updated on my tune list as my training progresses. It will be a very musical three months. Wish me luck!

Jiggle Butt Run – 2012

This is not a bad way to start the year out. I always said even years were my favorite.

The Jiggle Butt Run benefits the SafeHaven of Tarrant County, they are an advocate to end domestic violence. They offer shelter and support to battered women, and their children. They have many outreach programs, and really, they are just an amazing organization.

I am so proud to have been part of this walk/run that raised money for them.

Jason took the camera for the morning. He did a great! job capturing memories.

The little girls did the 1 mile fun run with their mom and aunt. My oldest stepdaughter ran the whole mile without stopping. SOOO proud of her!

They also added some jiggle to their wiggle, apparently they needed a little extra to work with. HA!

Team Sassy Pants - Pre-race.

This is most of our team pre-race. We are Team Sassy Pants…no extra padding needed for me.

A surreal moment.

When the call to line up at the start came, I really did have to take a moment. The memories of lining up for other races filled my mind. It was near four years ago that I lined up in downtown Fort Worth for the Cowtown half-marathon. I had a stress fracture on my shin, and the flu. Yet, I still FINISHED that run with a better time than my first half-marathon. I have not raced since that day. So to be here…..doing this….surreal.

The start of the race.

My plan was to walk 1 minute, then run three minutes throughout the race. It didn’t quite happen like that. Crowds make me a little anxious, and having to weave through SO MANY runners and walkers, made it difficult to keep a steady pace. And even though I did not stick to plan, I still finished at about the same time.

Running now versus four years ago is incredibly different. For one, I was more than 50lbs lighter. For two, I did not have an autoimmune disorder called Grave’s Disease (it’s a hyperthyroidism disease and can make my heart race). Plus, I was in waaaay better shape; like take three gym classes in a row kind of shape.

I am starting over now. And that’s okay.

Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.
– Carl Bard.

Last tenth of a mile before the finish line.
My photo finish (ha!).

So I finished, and I started at the same time.

The last of our team members at the finish.
Catching my teammate at the finish. I walk/ran. She walked.

That’s a great feeling.

This is the team leader and the one who got me to join the team for some run fun.
Team Sassy Pants for the Jiggle Butt Run 2012

It was so great to enjoy this race with friends. We hope to make it an annual tradition.

*On another note, I am fasting from the internet for 24 hours. Why? Well, because I am some kind of junkie. I play Word with Friends, Hanging with Friends, 101 Games, and Abble Dabble. Then, I hit up my email, my Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and Pinterest. It’s INSANE. I have had a computer (laptop, or iPhone) since November of 2007 in my (near) constant possession. I want to experiment what a day is like without that connection. My co-worker is convinced I will kill somebody during this fast. My husband does not think I can do it (and now I have something to prove). So, I won’t be around from 8pm-8pm. I will certainly be back tomorrow night to blog about the experience (if I’m not in the pysch ward…yes, I’m THAT addicted). Take care everyone..

Running With My Shadow

Sometimes she runs beside me….

Sometimes she runs behind me….

Sometimes she runs before me….

Each step I take, I follow her.

Pondering her every motion and appearance.

For where she is and what is she doing.

How much longer can my shadow keep up….

Is she falling behind or getting in front?

It’s a close race.

I hear the crush of shoes scuffing the sidewalk. The light moves and my shadow disappears.

I run without her.

In the quiet.

In the dark.

I wait.

And she appears as I pass under the next beam of fluorescent.

She looks more confident than me. Like she could run forever.

But I know I can’t. I have another minute.

I wish for her strength.

Two more shadows emerge from the front and the back.

There are three of us running in sync.

Our own little club.

In time, they drop away and it’s just the two of us again.

Running….. and ……breathing.

Breathing….. and ……running.

Into the night.

Under the lights.

With one goal in mind.

To finish what we started.

My 5K is Saturday….I have trained three out of the five weeks I had to prepare. Considering that, I am pretty happy with where I am at. My biggest success was leaving the treadmill and running with my shadow in the evening. It is my peace, my time, and my sanity. I hope to keep night running until I *do* finish my goal of a marathon. Looks like me, and my shadow will log a lot of miles. I can’t wait…..