Half marathon training: Weeks 1-4

Four weeks of half marathon training done, and four weeks of working with a coach complete.

It was a rocky start. I had an issue with my right foot whereby it was hurt walking around between runs but felt ok while running. It was really annoying and, as usual, I very dramatically thought the race was over before training had even got started. But here we are, week four and things are back to normal.

My training doesn’t look too different to how it did before I started having a coach take over, which is good. A dramatic overhaul of my training to date and a massive jump in mileage and frequency aren’t sensible or good coaching. Instead I’ve got a coach who took the time to listen to what I was doing, how much time I have and changed a few things but not too much.

My life right now allows me to fit in four runs each week, I can generally find two hours max for a Sunday long run and my body seems comfortable with around 20 miles per week. So that’s what we’re working within.

One of the biggest benefits of having a coach is the accountability. During the hot weather a couple of weeks back, knowing I had to report back meant I got up early and ran my intervals before the day got too hot. I looked at the paces set and thought ‘I can’t do that’, but I gave it a go and was able to hit them.

At the end of week three I ran the Pride 10k. It’s my favourite race of the year and I’d signed up pretty much as soon as entries opened. And I encouraged some of my Tuesday night runners to sign up too.

I discussed with my coach whether I should be aiming for a PB. I was still beyond pleased with the the 44:39 10k I ran a few weeks back and didn’t think I’d have the same drive to push to go faster this time. And then when the weather predicted strong winds, the decision was pretty easy to make – run fast but not my fastest.

Just like last year’s race , my Garmin hadn’t got signal at the start, and so it lied to me about my pace all the way round. I finished in 45:45 having been blown about a bit and knowing I could have gone faster, which was a good result all in all.

One of the biggest changes to my training these past four weeks hasn’t been the training at all. I stopped breastfeeding after 19 months of it. But I think that’s worth a post in its own right.

Four weeks down, eight weeks to go until the Great Eastern Run.