Sunday, February 22, 2009

The "art" of training....huh?

Now that I am trying to get serious about my training for my half marathon in May & I am starting to get to the loooonnnnng runs. Ok to some of you these are jaunts, but for me - 6 miles is Today I ran 6.6 in 1 hr & 19 min. This is a 1/2 mile longer than my previous time (1 hr 17 min) which I was so happy! And hell - I even "braved" the elements! (it was sprinkling & was spitting some snow).

Today was the 1st time I tried a gel. It was a Hammer gel - espresso. Very tasty. Honestly - I'm not sure if I noticed a difference. See - I swear I am a better long distance runner than a shorter distance runner. It takes me it least 2 miles to "warm" up - hell, by the time I warm up in a 5K it's over!! After the 1st 2 miles - I feel great! I'm breathing better, my legs don't feel like bricks & I don't want to cry anymore. I could have ran longer today if there wasn't a time constraint.

With this training - I have bought tons of books, bookmarked many websites, perused plans & yet I really haven't learned a thing. So I am reaching out to anyone to maybe answer a few of my questions.

1.) How do you determine when to use your fuel? Is there a guideline out there? Do I drink water with it & how much?

2.) How do you determine your "half-marathon" pace etc. I've been to the McMillian website (which I love - geek heaven! crunchin' numbers ha!) & calculated things. But if I actually ran the "long run pace" given - I might as well walk!!

3.) When training, do I actually need to run all these types of runs (tempo, hills, s peed work) or can I just "run". I a m not a competitive runner - nor do I want to be. I just want to accomplish a goal doing what I like.

4.) When do I need to get a "belt" to run with. I know this sounds so silly but I need to plan on these things :)

5.) Can I run everyday? I'm not looking to do hard, long runs everyday, but can I run a mile or 2 instead of the elliptical?

6.) What type of strength training is recommended while training?

7.) Is it better to focus your runs around distance or time?

8.) For a half-marathon, what "tools" w ill I need for the race?

9.) Most importantly - how in the hell do you all drink water when you run/walk? I am breathing a bit to deeply to make it to my mouth. Nicole from 4Feetrunning (great site & awesome podcasts - check them out!! ) says it gets easier in time. I'm being patient...thirsty....but patient.

Now keep in mind I am not your typical runner - sleek & compact. I am let's face it....husky. I check the Clydesdale section whenever available since I need whatever edge I can get. I am averaging now 10-14 miles per week & still am not losing weight. No - my eating patterns have not changed (increased/decreased) & no please do not suggest that I am packing on more muscle - my BMI hasn't changed. It sucks! But I trod on.

Any insightful answers a re greatly appreciated!! Thanks all!!

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