8 Week Half-Marathon Training with Strength and Cross Training

...cheaper than therapy...

…cheaper than therapy…

Have you ever run a race? Any race — a 5k, a 10k, a half-marathon, or maybe a full marathon (in which case, kudos to you because dang that’s a long way!)? I’ve done a sprinkling of 5ks, a couple of 10ks, a quarter marathon, one 10 miler, and one half-marathon. So far, the half-marathon has been my favorite race…it hurt the most, and I got the WORST burn from my sports bra elastic rubbing on my chest, but that race was the most satisfying, empowering, and just 100% FUN.

It was in November 2012 and was the Rock N Roll Half Marathon in beautiful Savannah, GA. I had just moved back to Georgia after being gone for 5 years. I was happy to run my first “major” race in a city I loved. And that was one of the best parts! I ran through parts of the city I had never seen, as well as parts that were familiar to me. We finished in Forsyth Park downtown, and even though I was in pain, I was HAPPY. Full of pride.

Official time: 2:38:09

Official time: 2:38:09

Backstory: I was never a runner before. I couldn’t run longer than 60 seconds without stopping to walk. Well, I probably could’ve, but I didn’t want to. Once my chest started hurting and breathing got difficult and uhhhh my body was tired, I was ready to quit. One day, I just decided I wanted to run. I have no idea where I got that goal, but it’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to be able to run longer than 60 seconds. Longer than a mile. I wanted to run 3 miles…and then I wanted to run more than that.

Never a marathon though, haha. Nope. I’m only “half” crazy. 😉

So I got the Couch to 5K podcast and started using it. Before I knew it, I had worked up to being able to run the full mile, a full two miles, and finally 3 whole miles without walking! I rewarded myself with a new pair of shoes and sports sunglasses. I signed up for the Triple Crown of Running, because I lived in Kentucky at the time. After I finished those three races, I was hooked and I wanted more. The Rock N Roll half marathon just seemed like the best one for me, so I committed. And I did it.

You know what else I did? I inspired these two awesome kids right here. I know they watch me. I know I have an effect on them. But I didn’t know that they would want to do what mom was doing. And that just motivates me to want to do more. How can I quit when I know they are watching?

Hunter's first 5k race - 2nd place!  Kaiden's 1 mile Superhero Run.

Hunter’s first 5k race – 2nd place!                  Kaiden’s 1 mile Superhero Run.

So now I’m training for my second half-marathon. I haven’t run a race since Fall 2013 when I did the Spirit of Survival quarter marathon (6.55 miles for you non-math people haha). I got a wild hair a couple of weeks ago and decided to sign up for the Colfax Half-Marathon in Downtown Denver. The only problem…it was 8 weeks away. So my training is going to have to be SERIOUS. Super serious.

I immediately sat down and wrote out my training plan. There aren’t many 8-week training programs, so I took a few popular schedules and made a plan that would work for me. I know I can’t run every day, so I am incorporating some cross training that I can do at home, as well as strength training. I don’t want to lose my upper body strength while I focus on endurance running, and I am well aware that lower body strength workouts will not only enhance my running abilities but prevent injury. (See articles here, here, and here for more information on that.)

8 week half marathon training, using cross training and strength exercises

8 week half marathon training, using cross training and strength exercises

As you can see, many of my days have two workouts a day listed. I’ll be honest though…my first/early morning workouts are the ones I am more focused on. The second workout of the day doesn’t always happen (it’s life), but is more of a “it would be really good if I can work this one in too” plan. So far, I’ve only done two-a-days a couple of times this month. Then again, it has been spring break and instead of having all this extra time to workout, I’ve been packed with appointments and events. Figures, right?

On the top of the calendar, you can see where my focus lies with my workouts. Obviously, not everyone has the extensive Beachbody DVD collection as I do (although there is Beachbody On Demand, so it’s available for everyone!). It doesn’t matter WHAT program or plan you use, as long as you have a solid plan for working your body and preparing for the big day.

Are you training for a race? Have you found a plan that works for you, or do you need help designing a training schedule? I would love to help you come up with one if you need it! Drop a comment or email me at amandaedenfield1@gmail.com and we can get started. But for now….it’s time to lace up and hit the road before the snow blows in.

Amanda ❤

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