Sunday, 17 January 2016

Larne Half Marathon Entered With Only 9 Weeks Of Training

I have just signed up for my first half marathon of 2016, taking place in Larne, Northern Ireland on the 19 March 2016. Immediately I am worried about a few things.

I am overweight.
I am unfit.
I am very slow.
I have not ran over 4 miles this year.
It is only 9 weeks away.
It is two days after St. Paddy's Day (normally an all day drinking festival for me).


So I think it's fair to say that I won't be running it in under 1 hour 25 minutes, which was my original aim of this website. It is also one of my 35 Running Goals For 2016. However, I have had nothing to set my sights on for a while, so this could be the kick up the backside that I need. This is more about running again, getting fitter and finally completing a 13.1 mile half marathon (something I haven't done since starting this site).


My First Half Marathon of 2016 


Like I say, I'm feeling very slow, sluggish, heavy, tired and generally unfit at the minute, so at this stage even finishing the race without walking feels like it would be an achievement. I don't want to set a goal time just yet, but I suppose I would like to get under 1 hour 40 minutes. This target may change in the next week or so, as I find out how unfit I actually am.

I have only been doing a couple of short runs per week recently, so that is the first thing that will have to change. I need to start getting my running shoes on at least four times a week in order to get to a reasonable level of fitness in 9 weeks. However, I will also have to pay attention to my body as I don't want any injuries from doing too much, too soon. So my running will be quite slow for the first couple of weeks.

I am also currently too heavy to be running a fast half marathon, weighing around 200 lbs. Thanks to eating and drinking too much over the holidays, combined with very little exercise I struggle to fit into a lot of my clothes. My running tights don't flatter me much either.

Week 1 Training Plan


This is going to be a week of testing my current running endurance and speed, as well as making a few changes to my training, nutrition and lifestyle.

I want to run at least four times over the next week, with one being a long run and one being a speed based workout. I don't know how long my long run will be, but I would hope to be at least 5 miles. I think I should also try and get back up to Banbridge Athletics Club to work on my speed with them. I have been avoiding going recently mainly for the fact that I was too embarrassed about my drop in fitness and my gain in weight. But I'll have to put that to one side, and just start going again.

I might go to a box-fit class just to improve my cardio and fitness. Classes like that are really good at getting the heart pumping, the lungs working and the body sweating. They are also not easy. Especially after a long break with little exercise, but again it's time to push pride to one side...

Nutrition And Recovery


My nutrition needs to change too. I have a lot of healthy food in my kitchen at the minute, I just need to work on portion control, clean up my food, add less sauce, eat less snacks, eat more fruit and vegetables, drink less alcohol, stop eating takeaways, stop eating chocolate, drink more water, bring lunches to work.... and eat a good breakfast. Actually that sounds extremely difficult.

I'll get back to you on that one....

I know spinach is good for you, but I'm not sure about the rest of my dinner. 

I will need to pay a lot of attention to injury prevention and recovery. I have bought a new foam roller which should help my calf muscles stay injury free. I should maybe get a massage or two during the nine weeks. I will need more sleep, I will need to stretch, I will need to warm up, I will need more water, I will need more protein and need to make sure I don't over-train or push myself too hard. This is all easy to do, it just takes time and preparation.

This won't be my finest race, I won't be at my fittest or lightest but I do need something to aim for. And the race is paid for, so there's no going back now...


Sheldon enjoying our first bit of snow this year.. 


I just hope the weather picks up as running in the snow and ice isn't my thing....

James

How has your weekend been? Have you entered a race knowing that you won't be as fit as you would like?



14 comments:

  1. I've done lots of races that I had no business doing. Sometimes its the only way to snap me back into a better routine. I think you'll be surprised how quickly the fitness will return!

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    1. Hopefully. I guess I just need something to aim for, even if I don't perform that well... Lke you say, it's all about getting a routine going :)

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  2. Well done on signing up for the half marathon! I always need something to train for, it makes me get my butt out of the door when I really want to just sit on the sofa instead. Just treat this race as a fun one to get you back into it.

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    1. I think that's what has been missing from my training (or lack of it). I just need a goal. It's true, it's all about getting my butt out of the door :)

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  3. Great job finding a race to do! That's always step one. Now that you'll be training for it, you'll get more fit and lose weight, plus you'll build up a base to do another race further out and actually go for the 1:25! You just have to take that one step, and the first one is always the toughest. Great job James!!

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    1. That's a great way to look at it, I guess I'll just use this as a fitness test that will hopefully get me ready for a 1.25 :) Thanks for the support :)

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  4. You shouldn't worry about your imperfections. You should be proud of the fact that you signed up for the race in general. That's a feat in itself - LET ME TELL YOU! ha!

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    1. Thanks... As long as I turn up at the starting line I'll be happy lol

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  5. Good Luck on your upcoming half and the training in between! Don't worry about not being where you want to be with only 9 weeks to train. You registered and you'll be ready, just take it one run at a time :)

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    1. Thanks, yes 9 weeks is not a lot of time (now 8.5 weeks). I guess I can only do one run at a time and hope it all works out:)

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  6. You've got a lot of great training ideas, and now you have a goal to get you motivated! I'm sure with some regular running you will be in fine enough shape to do well. Maybe you'll even surprise yourself!

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    1. Yeah, the motivation has been lacking for a while, so it's great to have a goal now. I don't know about surprising myself, I just hope I get fit enough for it, but as you say, it's all about regular running :)

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  7. You have a good plan, you will do great!

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