It feels like I just started, but after this week I’ll be 1/3 of the way through my half marathon training program! It’s been a great way to keep myself on track with exercising past the initial new year fitness motivation in January.
In this post I’ll let you know how my training is going so far, what I usually wear for my runs, and what I listen to during workouts to stay motivated.
P.S. I added a fitness category to the Lifestyle menu at the top of the blog! All my half-marathon training posts can easily be found there.
So I’ve run 2 half marathons in the past, but without an actual training program and just as a general runner. I enjoyed them, but didn’t really have a specific goal in mind. My approach to this race is much more regimented, and my goal is to finish in under 2 hours.
I really REALLY enjoy this program. I’ve mentioned before that it is heavily based on Hal Higdon’s Intermediate 2 Half Marathon Program, and let’s just say he knows what he’s doing. With the day for yoga, weights, and at least one rest day, I genuinely look forward to the other 4 days of running during the week.
I run inside on a treadmill for 3 out of the 4 runs, and I guess I’m just one of those weird people that really likes the treadmill! I like to control my pace and not have to deal with the cold outside.
I do, however, run my long Sunday runs outside. Those are the hardest to motivate myself for but I’ve been running with a friend to help, and I do get some pretty views on these German trails.
I want to be careful that I’m not going too hard too fast. I’ve been pushing myself pretty hard on each run, and I need to remember that my body still needs moderate and easy runs in the schedule in order to recover and get better.
What To Wear
This flatlay is what I wear to the gym for my treadmill workouts. I really don’t believe you have to spend a lot on your workout clothes to get good stuff.
I basically buy only black leggings (and I have A LOT) so that I can wear colorful tops and shoes without feeling like I have too much going on. My favorites lately have been from Gap Factory. I refuse to pay more than about $30 for workout leggings (no Athleta or Lululemon for me), so I buy Gap Factory ones on sale. They’ve got a solid amount of compression, but aren’t too tight. At this point I have 3 pairs!
I buy running tops whenever I see them on sale from various retailers, but my favorite by far is the GapFit Breathe Tee. I have it in a few colors and I’ve definitely talked about them on the blog before. No clinging and super breathable. And even when they’re not on sale they’re still under $30.
It may seem silly, but a good sports bra and socks are just as important as the rest of your gear. I love the seamless Champion sports bras (again, I have in several colors), and this specific kind of dry wick sock. These socks are just thick enough to cushion my foot, but not so much that my feet get too hot. It’s a difficult balance!
Now wait till you see how stylin’ I look when I go on my long cold weather runs:
Yep, those are Adidas windbreaker pants from high school (maybe even middle school?). And an old college sweatshirt. There is NO messing around when it comes to working out in the cold! I don’t care how silly I look!
But on a more serious note the beanie (that goes over my ears) and gloves with touchscreen fingers are so clutch. If you have cold ears or hands during a run it’s all you can think about…which sucks for those days when you’re trying to get your mileage in.
It doesn’t matter if I run on the treadmill or outside, I always wear my Asics Gel Cumulus shoes. I’ve tried other pairs every now and again, but I always go back to these. They’re pretty much the only part of my workout gear that I don’t have a problem spending more on since they’ve been so trusty for me. I check Amazon Warehouse to try and get them a little cheaper, but they’re worth every penny if you can’t find them on sale.
But every person’s running style is different, so go with what works for you. You can actually do a free gait analysis online where you send in a video of you running on a treadmill, and you’ll get recommendations for the best shoes for your gait and training style.
What To Listen To
Sick of your music library and stumped on what to listen to during your workouts? I have two recommendations for you: Amazon Prime Music and Spotify Running playlists.
If you have Amazon Prime you can download the Amazon Prime Music app and listen to playlists for free. You can download them to your phone and listen to them even offline! This is great so you don’t waste your data over long runs. My favorite playlists are EDM for Cardio and Long Weekend EDM. There are no commercials and you can skip/repeat songs as often as you like. I haven’t explored too many other playlists, but I let me know if you find any others that are great running recommendations!
Let me tell you guys that I LOVE me some Spotify. I listen to my favorite playlists almost daily, with some I like for work, driving, blogging, and especially running. If you go to the browse tab in the Spotify app you can scroll down for the running playlists, and let me tell you these will change your running life.
You can pick from several different playlists (some tailored to your Spotify preferences, some curated by DJs and artists, like Ellie Goulding) and once you select one it will pace the playlist based on your actual running speed in beats per minute (BPM). How cool is that?! You can look up BPM for your goal pace and set it for your playlist as well, so your body naturally matches the beat of the songs.
These playlists with a consistent rhythm really help me stay on target when using treadmills. I don’t have a Spotify subscription so I usually deal with ads on other playlists, but the running ones don’t have them. Thank goodness!
Update: Spotify discontinued their Running feature later in February of 2018 🙁 You can still check out their running playlists in the workout section that are organized by a BPM.
The difference with these is that you cannot pick a curated playlist to be played at any BPM you want. The playlists are set at a specific BPM, so if you want to change your place, you have to pick a different playlist. And they have ads. Ugh.
I hope this is helpful if you’re training for a half marathon or maybe just getting into running. I plan on doing another update in another 3-4 weeks, and I’ll talk about specific running strategies I use to get myself through a workout. If there’s anything else you’re interested in reading about pertaining to half marathon training, drop a comment or send me a message!
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