First Half Marathon & the Running Plan

I ran my first half marathon distance this summer. It was a low-key – no medal, no event, no one to cheer for me at the finish line type of run. (Is it really a half marathon if no one was there? Yes. Yes, the hell it is!) I just wanted to prove I could do it. Plus, feeling isolated because of the effects of COVID’s social/physical distancing and my wife’s ridiculously long deployment, I needed something to focus on during that time alone overseas. I read a few articles to get me started, but they all pretty much said the same thing. You have to put in the time. Focus on the time you put in, not the mileage. Because the mileage will naturally add up, and you find yourself feeling good and gaining the capability to run longer. However, I ignored that and only ran for a time block on Fridays during my “20 Minute Fun Run”.

I must admit that running is one of those things I hate doing, but I always admired people who did before or after work runs. Growing up, my Dad would go for runs after work. I always felt that was the ideal life I wanted – going to a job you love, having a family to come home to, and slicing time for myself to run. My wife is an avid runner and runs almost every day, so I asked her about her prepping for her first marathon. She had me terrified. It sounded like a horror story full of hills and too much time to think.

So as the person I am, I had to figure out a plan and document my progression. Below is the program I created to accomplish a half marathon (13.1 miles/21 km) over 12 weeks (that’s what the experts said to do), so I could close out the summer with a personal victory.

I work 8 hr work days – leaving little time on the weekdays to workout. Meal prepping on Sundays and sticking to a daily routine made it possible to maintain the workout schedule. I found running longer distances outside far more bearable, meaning I ran in rain or shine. Having the right gear helps.

Training to run longer distances takes commitment, planning, and lots and lots of planning. The biggest hurdle for me was the self-negative talk. I needed to get out of my head and stop doubting my abilities. I started saying a mantra, “I am stronger than I think,” which made the time pass. After running long enough, you get into the zone, and you forget you’re even running. I found myself making plans for decorating a room or what I wanted to meal prep for the next week.

The best advice is just to start moving, even if it’s not to run 13.1 miles. Being active running, biking, gardening all have so many benefits like cardiovascular health, lowering your risk of diabetes, and giving you a shit ton of confidence. Stat active, stay hydrated!

The Buzzed Badger

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