Run a Half-Marathon in 10 Weeks: Beginner Training Plan
Pages in this Story:
- Be a Runner: The 10-Week Beginner Training Plan
- Casual Runner to Racer: One Woman's Story
Casual Runner to Racer: One Woman's Story
Tracey Spedden, 42, a mother of two, started running after quitting cigarettes almost two years ago; she signed up for a half-marathon as a way to keep from gaining weight. "When I smoked I couldn't even run to my mailbox," Tracey admits. "I thought that if I were going to get healthy, I should go all the way and start exercising, too." But after walking most of that race, she hoped to one day run the full distance.
Tweak your schedule
Tracey's mission was to turn her walk-jog habit into a regular running routine."You can become a better runner by being consistent and slowly increasing your mileage," says Kislevitz, who had Tracey follow our beginner training plan to steadily increase her mileage over 10 weeks. "Being a wife and a mother means it's hard to put myself before my family," Tracey explains. She carved out runs by getting up an hour and a half earlier, before her husband had to leave for work.
Make it a family affair
On weekends, Tracey started taking her daughter, Kristin, and son, Shane, with her to ride their bikes alongside her as she ran. "It became quality time with the kids rather than time away from them," Tracey says. Try these other mommy-and-me tricks from Kislevitz: Let your children fill up your water bottles or time your laps if you run at a track.
Track your progress
Getting more serious with your running means knowing how much you've improved from day to day. Kislevitz suggests recording the distance and time and how you felt after each run. Tracey logged her runs on a calendar: "Seeing this every day made me realize I was getting better each week." Having those markers, like how fast your average mile is, gives you a mini goal to aim for each time you head out, Kislevitz says.
Get over the mental hump
Tracey knew she could finish 13.1 miles, but having a plan this time made her confident that she wouldn't resort to walking. She chose a new mantra every week to get her through long runs. Her favorite phrases: "The goals we set are the goals we get" and "If it were easy, everyone would do it." Kislevitz also gave her a strategy for running uphill: "Don't look up, just hunker down and take it step by step. Before you know it, you're at the top."
She did it!
Tracey's race time: 2:36:18 (11:55-minute-mile pace)
Originally published in FITNESS magazine, March 2012.
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