Half Marathon distance training in the morning


This weekend I did 22 kilometer self-test run. I've been training for a month now, pushing myself to increase my pace and endurance at high efforts. Although I didn't do runs longer than 11km, I felt ready for a mental and physical status check at half marathon distance.

It's always good to have a plan, so i took some time to plan my route, eating and pace distribution. I took three small packets of carbs for in-run nutrition, and a small bottle of water.

First 5 km
Jogger, adapted from photo by Atamari via Wikimedia Commons
I started the run fresh and easy, careful to pace myself and leave more energy for later. Several times I let my mind wander and my legs accelerated, so I had to make a conscious effort to pace myself. At 5 km distance I ate my first carbs packet without stopping. The eating disrupted my breathing rhythm, and I had to slow down to catch my breath.

Second 5km
I slowed the pace and continued to run. I let my mind wander and just crunched the distance. Up till 10 kilometers, things were quite easy. I ate my second carbs packet at 10 km, this time with less adverse effects on my running rhythm. Even proper eating is all about training :)

Third 5km
Things got slower on the third segment. I started feeling pain in my legs, and my pace suffered. I started thinking about how long I still have to run, which is always a bad choice. I resorted to several exercises to overcome the mental fatigue - i focused on the environment, assessed the speed of other runners, focused on my technique and visualised the next mini-objective.

Final stretch 7km
I paused for a minute at the start of the final stretch and ate some carbs. I used the rest to compose and refocus my effort. Then I went faster, and I set myself some targets - i ran just a bit faster, catching up to other runners in front of me. I ran out of stuff to do at the last 2 kilometres. These last kilometres were very difficult. I thought about the pain in my legs, felt tired and just wanted to stop. It was time for a mental exercise again - run to the next tree, to the next corner, to the next trash bin.

I finished my after 22.4 kilometres, at the planned finish location.

It was a great run, especially after only 1 month of training. The day after there was so much pain in my calves, quads and evens shoulders. If I plan to run a full marathon, it's clear that I need much more endurance and mental preparation than i currently have. My mental strength needs work, as well as pain endurance.

What is your status check at long distance running? Tell us in the comments!
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About Bozidar Spirovski

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2 comments:

  1. Since reading this post, I have come across a few other people talking about the possibility of running. You caused me to take a closer look at my cycling training, particularly in the off season.

    Winter training can be particularly difficult especially when the snow starts to fly. And running can be a simple and easy way to augment your training.

    Really enjoy hearing about cross training on your blog. It gives me the motivation to keep my own training fresh.

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  2. I find that running is excellent for long distance cyclists. It's great for mental training - crucial in cycling on long hard climbs.

    It also trains your heart , and lets you keep up with training whenever you don't have the time, weather or equipment to do a ride.

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