Half-Marathon Training Uncertainties


Uncertainties that flood my mind don't serve me well in the gym.

The countdown to the start of my training program for my first half-marathon is around week to go. I’ve been running for a few years now, and I’ve run in five 5Ks and one 3K in that time. I was training for a 10K last year until I suffered a stress fracture which impeded my running for a few months, and I never did find another 10K locally to attempt.

So while I don’t really believe that I’m a complete neophyte when it comes to running, I know I still have a lot to learn and a lot more miles to put under my soles. So as I get closer to starting my 12-week training program, I have some trepidation:

  • How do I know which training program is best for me–Hal Higdon’s Novice 1 or Novice 2? My goal is to keep a 10 minute mile throughout the race.
  • How will I keep myself from getting bored? I like to run, but I also like to lift weights, hike, take spin classes, and cardio kickboxing. What can I do that won’t jeopardize my running training?
  • I’m used to working out at least 5 days a week, and I love to sweat. Am I going to go crazy on the days that I’m supposed to rest or do yoga? (I do yoga twice a week in the mornings I don’t run before work, but after work I then go to the gym and weight lift and do some other type of cardio.)
  • I’ve had some IT band issues in the past as I have added mileage, and I fear that might impede my training and my race. I don’t want to be limping across the finish line.
  • I will be travelling to Reno, Nev., four weeks before the Half–I don’t know how much I’ll get to run while competing with my Corgi, Dally, at the AKC National Agility Championships, and I’ll be away from home for five days. How much will that affect my training? I hope to try to at least run a mile here and there during the event, but I really doubt I’ll be able to get in my scheduled 10 miles. (Would taking almost a week off be a hindrance or benefit that close to the race?)
  • And finally, I’m concerned about my nutrition and eating habits during training. I can be a binge eater after being so good with my meals, and while I’ve increased my mileage, my appetite has become ravenous lately. I was hoping to use this training as an opportunity for a little more weight loss and toning towards my wedding day. I’m not sure how to manage a healthy, but filling nutrition plan during training.

Have other runners felt these uncertainties? Any tips or reassurance would be much appreciated.

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2 thoughts on “Half-Marathon Training Uncertainties

  1. I think everything you’ve said here is perfectly normal. To be straight-up honest, you won’t get answers to these questions until you start training. Much of it will be based on how you feel. Don’t spike your mileage too much too quickly and you’ll have a great 1st half marathon.

  2. I’m training for my first half as well, and have spent lots of time reading different sites, blogs, and talking to people to gain as much information as I can! I built in a slow week every 4 weeks with lower mileage to help try to reduce my chances of injury, and am only running 3 days a week and cross training one…

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