Training For a Half Marathon when you think you have no time???

You too!??  Well, for those who don’t know me, I’m an athletic trainer, and the fall is definitely the busiest season of the year for me with football games and soccer games.  And I hate running in the summer, so coming into August I’m pretty out of shape speed and distance wise.


However, plan out approximately 4 months to train for a half marathon, and I have one planned for December now- the Kiawah Half on Kiawah Island, SC!  I’m very excited about the location and race, however not too excited about my schedule during training.

But just like me, you can make it happen!  It is how we just don’t make excuses for doing what we need to do.  And I’m looking forward to this!

But as many runners do, I’m looking ahead and setting out a plan.  A plan is important so that you …

A) Avoid Injuries

B) Reach your goal in time with a safe increase in mileage weekly.

And don’t forget to wear good shoes for training!  If you aren’t sure if you have good running shoes, have your feet  and stride checked out at a running store so the right shoe for you is picked!

How to get this time in if you are so busy?

Run early mornings!  If you have kids, perhaps your spouse is still asleep or can manage the kids during the early morning hours so you can get your run in.  While it is summer time, the sun comes up extra early… but you can get some nifty lights for your shoes too…or wear a small headlamp.  If you live in an area where wild animals roam, bring mace.
What happens when you have 8am practices?  You get up and run, and quick shower in the locker room.  All the boys are sweaty too, right?  Who cares in pre-season if you look like you just worked out. 🙂
Run late night!  Maybe you are not a morning person and like running late… try at a gym, or safe location.  Females should not do this alone outside.
Run immediately after work before dinner.  Plan ahead by eating a snack about an hour before your workday ends.  Before getting home, find a place to run.  Once you get home, it will be hard to talk yourself into walking back outside.  For me, I’ve run on the track at school, stopped at the Biltmore Estate, or considered running home :).  A gym is another suggestion.
Take advantage of days off.  It is rare that you are working 7 days a week.  So on your off days (or days you go in late) plan your long run.
Plan to run with a friend or group.  Accountability helps.  Either someone else who is training with you for the same race, or willing to train with you on some of your runs.  Some areas have scheduled weekly group runs that anyone can be involved in.  Check out running groups in your area.  Vertical Running has a group here in Black Mountain.
Your dog needs a run… or your kids can bike while you run in safe locations.  I regularly take my lab on runs under 7 miles long.  She loves the excitement of getting out.
I have also taken my kids to the Biltmore Estate where the sidewalks are safe and let them bike while I ran.  While I’m not as fast as them, they go so far, then ride back to me, and so on.  They stay within eyesight and are given rules, but it works!

Here’s a Peek at my plan. 

First, I need to be running a minimum of 2-3 days per week, plus cross training 1-2 days per week.
A long run every other weekend.  You can choose to run that long distance 2 weekends in a row, however I recommend after reaching 6-7 miles, to start alternating shorter runs the weekends between.

Starting this weekend, I need to be at a solid 3 miles.
Listed below are my weekend goals to reach that weekend.
August 6th- 4 miles
August 20th- 5 miles
September 3rd- 6 miles
September 11th- Scheduled 10k- Asheville Du Trail 10k!
September 17th- 7 miles
Oct 1st- 8 miles
October  15th- 9 miles
October 29th- 10 miles
November 12th- 11 miles
November 26th- 12 miles
December 10th (Race Day!)- 13 miles

Good luck!






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