5 Lessons I’m Learning Training for a Half Marathon

I gotta say, training for this half-marathon has been a blast.  I haven’t made a video in a couple weeks because it didn’t seem like people were finding them interesting.  But I am still going strong.  This past Sunday I did my first ever 10 mile run, and smashed it.  I felt like I could have definitely kept going, heck maybe even ran a half marathon that day.  But I am sticking to the plan in order to avoid getting injured.  Here are some of the most important things I’ve learned:

  1. Consistency is King.  You gotta do all the runs on your schedule.  Right now I do 4 a week.  Yes, sometimes I miss one of the smaller ones, but if you want to build endurance and speed, you gotta stick to the program.  Good news is, if you stick to the program, you reap the rewards.
  2. You gotta eat enough.  Now that I’m running 20-25 miles/week my appetite has gone up from 3300 cal/day to around 4000 cal/day.  If I don’t eat enough of the healthy stuff, I tend to binge on the junky stuff (burritos, anyone?).  So I have to consciously try to prepare more food than normal to keep up with my appetite.
  3. You gotta sleep enough.  I’ve been working at this for years, but now it’s more important than ever.  I try to shut electronics down an hour before bed so that I have an easier time falling asleep.  I’ve also been working in extra sleep on the weekends and have even taken short naps after my last few long runs.  Sleep or die.
  4. You gotta stretch after runs.  In the past I used to be able to get away without stretching after some of my runs (but not every time) and I would be OK.  Now, it’s mandatory.  If I don’t do it I usually end up cramping up later and getting sore the next day.
  5. Foam rolling saves the day.  My foam roller is my secret weapon to stay soreness-free.  Whenever I start feeling like my muscles are tight or I’m getting some soreness, I turn on heavy metal and roll it out for 3-5 minutes on the floor.  Best ever.
My race is 4 weeks away!  I can’t wait.

Vegan Gym Rat is a blog about health, fitness, and pushing your limits on a plant based diet. You can get in touch with me via email ironcladben at mailbolt dot com or on twitter @IronCladBen


About Iron Clad Ben

Just a dude who loves fruits, vegetables and exercise.
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9 Responses to 5 Lessons I’m Learning Training for a Half Marathon

  1. Jolene says:

    ~I like the videos, maybe I need to be a more active commenter so you’d know that. I do appreciate both the veg. advice but the running advice…I just ran my first mile tonight. Seriously, I have never been able to run that long at one time…it was a slow and tedious 12 min. mile but hey, I did it and I’ll claim all 12 minutes….plenty of room for improvement. Keep up the posts and the videos…I for one appreciate them!~

    • Cool, thanks I’m glad it’s inspiring you. Those first few runs can be the hardest, but just remember no matter how slow you go you’re still lapping everyone that’s home on the couch 🙂 Keep it up!

      • Jolene says:

        Thanks! Tonight’s mile was even slower. But I still did it. Resting tomorrow and we’ll see about running on Friday. Oh, and I’m sick…like on antibiotics for strep type thing, can’t breath, cough and hack…type sick and I still did it. So, this is future motivation to run even when I’m not feeling optimal.

      • Jolene, in the beginning I would recommend doing a run-walk combo program. That’s what I did when I first started in April 2010 It’s a lot more fun that just trudging through single miles. Plus it will help you progress and build endurance faster. Here’s an article on it here: http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-238-520–9397-0,00.html – but if you want to keep doing what you’re doing that’s cool. I just had a lot of success with this program because it was easy to follow and I could see progress every week which motivated me to keep with it.

  2. Kristabel says:

    I find a lot of your videos very informative. I hope they don’t completely fade out.

  3. calico says:

    Love following your blog. I am nowhere near running in any sort of competition. But honest, down-to-earth blogs like yours really inspire me. I am vegetarian trying hard to be vegan, and it’s also an inspiration to see all that can be done without subscribing to the mainstream American (animal product) diet. Keep up the great work!

    • Calico, thanks! Keep working at it. I was vegetarian for 6 years, wanting to be vegan most of that time but never pulled it off until February of this year. You can do it, keep at it. As for running, I didn’t start until April 2010. When I first started, I could barely run for 3 minutes without getting winded.

      If you have any questions, or any areas you’re particularly stuck at, feel free to ask me for help. I was there too once, not too long ago.

      Thanks for reading.

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