Kicking Off Half Marathon Training

Here we go again!

This week I am kicking off training for my sixth half marathon, the Smuttynose Rockfest in New Hampshire in October, which I’m running with Dr. G. and two of our friends.

Six! I can’t believe it.


It’s kind of surreal. I went from being someone whose goal was to run a half marathon before her 40th birthday (check!) to someone who finds it a weird to be running her first (and maybe only) half of the year all the way in October!

While I’m happy with my decision to not train for, and run, a half marathon this spring in order to let my foot fully heal, part of me missed having that big spring race. In some ways, I wonder if I’m putting too much pressure on myself (like I normally do) with one half marathon, kind of like putting all my eggs in one basket, so to speak? Will I walk away disappointed if I don’t PR or break two hours?

Maybe it’s time for a new approach.

So instead of training for a specific time, I am going to train over the next ten weeks to run stronger and be more confident. Here’s how:

  • I’ve joined our local running group so I can attend their Wednesday track practices. First one is next week!
  • Run three times a week: one day of speed/track work, one day of a tempo run, and one long run.
  • Be smart about my pacing during training. Do a variety of speedwork drills (not a problem with my running group), start my tempo runs at 4 miles at an 8:40/pace and one long run on the weekend at a 9:30/pace.
  • Keep. Up. With. My. Cross Training. This is where I dropped the ball last time; I was so focused on my weekly mileage that all I did was run. Not this time around. My cross training will include Body Pump 1x/week, boot camp 1x/week, barre class when I can, and lots and lots of core work.
  • Note my progress each week in my new running journal. 

That’s it. No formalized training plan or Excel spreadsheet or special app on my phone. 

Race day is Sunday, October 4, which gives me about 10 weeks — not too long where I might lost interest, but long enough to realistically improve my performance. 

Even though the Type A in me is a little nervous, I have to admit, I’m feeling pretty good about this. So here we go!

A photo posted by Jessica (@sanemommy) on