Half training: weeks 1 & 2

Although not perfect, the first two weeks of my half marathon training have gone reasonably well. I’m happy with where I currently am and feel confident about the next six weeks of training. I’m slightly behind last year’s volume and quality, but I don’t foresee August falling apart like it did last year (a week of vacation + a week long school orientation).

Week 1 – 35.5 miles

Two quality sessions this week with an additional 18 easy miles. First workout of the week was 12×400 @ 5k pace. It was hot as hell and kind of miserable, but I kept my focus on working through one interval at a time. The second quality session was a 13 miles w/ 3 @ half pace. Usually I will finish my run with the hard portion to practice running hard on tired legs. However, when I left for this run I realized I was out of shot blocks and gels. I didn’t want my final miles to be a total sufferfest, so I ran sandwiched them between 5 miles at an easy pace. I averaged 7:28 pace, which is perhaps a touch fast, but not too far off the mark.

I missed a scheduled 8 mile run this week causing my weekly mileage to be a bit low.

Week 2 – 45.4 miles

Week two was better than week one, but not perfect. My first workout of the week was 6×800 @ 5k pace. I slowed down a bit this week in order to jog my recoveries instead of walking them. Overall I felt better this week than last, likely due to slightly easier paces and slightly cooler weather. Instead of aiming for paces in the 6:30s, I aimed for around 6:50. My recovery run the next day was kind of a bust. My calves were extremely tight with pain reminiscent of a calf strain. I cut the run short and took several long walk breaks.  Fortunately the following day was a rest day and my next run felt 100% normal.

My second workout of the week was 14 miles. I had planned for 4 miles at half pace, but did not execute that plan. I forgot to take my inhaler before my run and although my breathing felt clear, I didn’t want to push my luck. Also on my mind was a failed 14 mile attempt a few weeks earlier. On the plus side, although I kept my effort the same through the run my pace naturally quickened with each mile. I was so surprised to see several miles in the second half that were sub-9. An additional 22 easy miles rounded out my weekly mileage.


I have been strength training too! Not super consistently, but I’ve managed to complete a core routine and myrtl routine twice a week. Hopefully I can continue to build upon this as my training continues.

I need to be sure to emphasize recovery after hard workouts. Foam rolling and compression gear after my speed work out might have helped with the calf tightness the following day.