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!
Share on Google Plus

About Bozidar Spirovski

    Blogger Comment
    Facebook Comment


  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.

  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.