Friday, March 01, 2013

Training Plan For First 1/2 Marathon

Runner's Equipment.

People ask me all the time how I stay motivated to workout & eat healthy, one of my biggest motivators in the goal of leading a healthy lifestyle is taking on new fitness challenges. My latest fitness adventure is taking on a 1/2 marathon, 13.1 miles. My sister Alicia & I setup a 10 week 1/2 marathon training program to be ready, we are currently 2 weeks out & 2 runs out from race day. PREPARE. PLAN. PREFORM. PREVAIL.

Fitness Goal
My goal was to stay athletic, lean & toned (keep my current lean muscle mass), & be able to add a half marathon, 13.1 miles, to my list of fitness adventures.

Designing a 1/2 Marathon Training Plan For The Athlete
In putting together a plan I considered several things:
1. I am lean & toned, have fast twitch muscle fibers, my body was built for speed, sprinting, power, & explosiveness.
2. Therefore I am NOT a natural long distance runner: slow twitch muscle fibers, endurance athlete, & lower lean muscle mass.
3. I am not an avid runner.
4. I love the challenge of designing a plan that will match my body type to my goals & achieve 13.1 miles!

At the gym one day my sister, Alicia, forgot her gym shoes. I took mine off & trained clients in my socks. At the end of her workout she gave me sweaty warm gym shoes to put back on to finish up my work day. Moral: When you hit an obstacle adjust the plan to get to the goal. Life is a team sport, invest in those that invest back in you, when your sister doesn't have you give her yours.

1/2 Marathon Training Plan
1. I got a coach & teammate that was a natural runner, who had run ten 1/2 marathons & 1 full marathon, who paces faster than me, & who I was excited to spend 1-2 hours running & talking with each week for 10 weeks. I was confident in her abilities: to be disciplined, positive, fun, determined, have the course mapped out, lead on running days, push me past my limit, motivate me to push myself further, would NEVER quit, & show up ready to sweat every week. I knew I needed someone that I would trust to lead the way & you have to be a BIG BOSS for me to let you take the lead....I was thankful & happy to be on #TeamAlicia & take the back seat. Alicia helped push me PAST my running limits.
Suggested Runners Equipment: Alicia's GPS watch was clutch!

2. Fueling For Runs: The day before I would fuel & hydrate all day. I would wake up early on run days & eat 2 hours prior to my run along with a full bottle of water, caffeine 30 minutes pre run, energy goo 1/2 way through runs that were 8 miles & longer, & protein shake immediately post run. I'm a big believer in training & fueling like an athlete consistently.

3. During the week I would do 4 High Intensity Interval Training workouts that lasted no longer than 1 hour. This is a combination of resistance training & cardio, where your heart rate goes up to 65-85% of your maximum heart rate. High intensity Circuit training is one of the best ways to increase cardiovascular endurance, stay athletic, & burn fat. This is where I took the lead for Alicia, she came to the gym & trained with me 2 days a week. She showed up every week ready to train & she let me push her PAST her limits. Alicia also got on my fueling plan at the same time, the results are her losing 2 clothes sizes in 8 weeks, she should be down 3 sizes by race day. Alicia's goal was different she had already accomplished 13.1 miles so she used the sweat training plan of training & fueling like an athlete to become lighter, leaner, smaller, & faster. In 12 weeks she will have lowered her body fat %, lost weight & inches, & became smaller losing 3 clothes sizes. In becoming lighter & leaner she has become faster as a runner adding to her natural running talent.

1/2 Marathon Running Plan 
One long run each weekend
Week 1: 6 miles
Week 2: 7miles
Week 3: 8miles
Week 4: 9miles
Week 5: recovery
Week 6: 11 miles
Week 7: 12 miles
Week 8:  13 miles
Week 9: 14 miles
Week 10: 6 mile, taper week
Week 11: Race Day 13.1 miles, this week in the gym keep same training schedule but no strenuous weight training. The goal is to be active but sore is not the goal

1/2 Marathon Flexibility Obstacles
Immediately my hips were getting so tight at 6 miles & beyond that point. My endurance was fine, but my hips were locking up making it painful to finish the runs. There was no way that I was going to make it to 13.1 miles if I didn't fix this problem. I had the will & training to get there, but my body was locking up. I immediately got my foam roller out & put a plan together to increase my IT band, hip, & back flexibility. The first 4 weeks I used the roller 5 days a week for 5 minutes post every workout. Additionally I spent more time warming up & then rolling out prior to my run. After 4 weeks my hip, IT band, & hip flexibility improved & I only used the roller as needed to workout knots. I worked through the obstacle & was on my way to get to my goal of 13.1.

This part, the plan is the work & the sweat & the build up to game day. Game day is the moment the journey comes full circle & the moment that fills up your heart & takes your breath away. I'm getting amped up for GAME DAY!

Get motivated & pick your 1/2 marathon to run! Life is a sport, train & fuel like an athlete, get in the game, & play to win. 

I believe in healthy relationships, a healthy lifestyle, & having a healthy impact on peoples lives. Race day is 2 weeks out, can't wait to share the experience with my sister that I'm thankful for. Invest in healthy relationships & healthy habits in your life...It's always a return on investment! #MOTIVATION #RESPECT

I want you to LOVE your Athlete Lifestyle, Life's a Sport! -Danielle

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