Wellness Wednesday || Running Essentials + Half Marathon Training

In high school, running wasn’t my thing. I was lucky if I could get through a mile without cramping up, or needing to walk. In college, I did a little bit better… I’d run a mile, walk a little, and pick it up again… and in grad school, 3-4 miles was my max. It wasn’t really until right before our wedding (8 years ago….), that I upped my running game, and decided to start training for a half marathon. I scoured the internet for half marathon training guides, and followed them diligently. I invested in new gear, committed myself to a long runs on the weekend, and made new playlists like it was my job…. I signed up for the San Diego Rock n’ Roll half marathon and I was hooked…

I’d always loved running, but during that period of time, training my body towards a goal, I found something else in the process. Running, for me, became a time when I could clear my head, think things through, and push myself. Over the years, my passion for running has remained, and I love when I hit my runners stride… it’s as if everything is in sync and it feels so good….

I ran during my pregnancy with little miss… up until the day I gave birth (obviously at a much slower pace, and shorter distances), and since having her, I’ve had the goal of running another half. Yet, I haven’t quite gotten there, for various reasons. So, I randomly decided one morning, in the middle of my run, that I was going to push myself a little further…. just an extra mile. And there it was, that adrenaline rush all over again. The feeling of pushing yourself a little further than you thought you could go. After my run, I came in and told TJ that I was committed. I was going to train for a half and just do it…..

I’ve been sharing the journey over on instagram and have received a lot of questions about running in general….. and while I’m no expert by any means, I thought I would share a few of the answers here, just in case you’re looking to pick up running, or wanting to train for a race yourself…. which, if you think you can’t, you most definitely can!

1. What do you eat before your runs? I always run first thing in the morning, right when I wake up, so I have a 100 calorie perfect bar. It’s enough to sustain me through my run. On race day, I typically have some oatmeal and a banana. It’s mainly carb based which means it will burn slower and give me energy throughout the run.

2. How did you work up to increasing your mileage? When I first started running, I would run 5 minutes and walk a few minutes…. and repeat that cycle for a pre-set amount of time (say 30 minutes). Yet, when I started to train for the half marathon, I followed this training guide that I put together based on my fitness level and interests. It combined strength, cross training, and run days (I created it by picking and choosing elements I liked from various guides).

3. What pace do you run and how did you increase speed? I generally run between an 8:45-9 minute mile… it all depends on the day. When I first started I was running a 10 minute mile. I found that the most effective way, for me, to decrease my time was by incorporating HIIT + sprints into my workout. I follow treadmill workouts such as this one to increase my endurance. When I started doing speed work, I noticed a drastic decrease in my pace.

4. What shoes do you wear? I’ve always been a Nike girl for my running shoes. I’ve tried all the other brands out there, and have had to return them. They just don’t work for me. When I decided to start increasing my mileage, I bought this pair and have loved them. They’re great for distance runs, super comfortable, and provide just the right amount of support. They also didn’t require a “breaking in” period.

5. It’s so cold! What do you wear? Southern CA hasn’t been hit with super cold weather this winter, so I’ve gotten away with 50 degree morning runs. That being said, when it was in the low 40’s on a few mornings, I wore a down vest, long leggings, pullover, and tank. With the mornings being a little warmer, I wear a cropped pair of leggings (this pair is also a favorite that I own in gray and blush), a lightweight long sleeve tee, and my go-to sports bra. I also bought some new, lightweight socks which feel super good in my shoes (I know that sounds weird, but super thick socks make my feet feel really constricted)… and you can’t beat the motivational saying (photo at end of the post).

6. What do you use to track your runs? I use Nike Run Club to track my mileage and pace, and I wear this watch to track my steps (I love seeing how many steps I take…. and I find the iPhone to be slightly off).

7. Where do you run? I do my sprints on a treadmill where I have more control over my speed, and my longer runs outside… and I just run around my neighborhood.

A few fitness items that I have my eye on for race day include this lightweight tank to wear under the pullover…. and these shorts (or this pair) or possibly these running tights in the rose quartz color.. (depends on what the weather will be on the morning of).

(Outfit Details || Top | Leggings | Socks | Shoes)

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