How do you approach half-marathon training?
I am a distance woman, so running 13.1 miles is not a huge stretch in a pinch. I usually run at least a 10-mile long run every other week when I’m not “in training.” But, this past spring, I realized that I was disrespecting the distance. Between the National Half Marathon at the end of March and the Zooma Annapolis at the beginning of June, I was smacked down. I finished the National Half Marathon, but I had to take walk breaks after mile 9. I still finished in less than 1:50, but those were a brutal last 4 miles; I felt like I was finishing a tough full marathon. The Zooma Annapolis race offered two distances, a half marathon and a 10K. At race start, it was already 80 degrees, very humid and sunny, but still. About a half mile past the 10K turnaround point, I stopped, turned, and chose to finish the 10K course instead.
I didn’t start either race too fast. I think I was simply cocky. I hope I have learned the proper lesson.
I decided to treat the half as I would a full marathon. So, for the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half Marathon on Sunday, I have actually been following a training plan (Hal Higdon’s, if you must know, but I think the plan matters less than the following of one; they all seem similar).
I still may not sleep the night before (which may be the true culprit of my recent harsher race experiences), but I hope I have paid the proper respect to the distance.