Signed up for half-marathon - Am I being realistic?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 07, 2010 9:26 PM GMT
    So I've decided to bite the bullet and signed myself up for a 16-week half-marathon training program, starting January. The event is on May 1st.

    After a 6 month hiatus, I've decided to run on my own to gear up for January. However, I am finding that I can only go 8-10 K right now before my knees get sore (usually the next day).

    My concern is whether 16 week is realistic enough for me to be able to manage a half-marathon (without injuring myself of course).

    What are people's opinions?

    Also, how frequently should I be running each week? The training program I've signed up for have scheduled runs on Wednesdays and Sundays.

    Thanks!
  • healthseeker

    Posts: 161

    Dec 07, 2010 9:52 PM GMT
    Congratulations!
    I'm also in training for a half.

    All of the training programs I have seen begin with running 5K and last 12 weeks so at 8 -10K you should be fine distance wise.
    I can't say about the knee pain though, if it is more than general soreness from running and exerting yourself it could get worse as you train. Do you know the cause of the knee pain?
    I am running 4 days a week including a long run on Saturdays.

    Good luck!
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    Dec 07, 2010 10:08 PM GMT
    That's sort of a standard length for a training program so I'd say you'll be in good shape to complete and compete.

    Plus if you're already running 8-10K, you're probably ahead of the game

    Quite do-able!
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    Dec 08, 2010 2:14 AM GMT
    Thanks for the reassurance. 5 K for starting distance does not sound as intimidating. When I signed up, I was trying to decide between the 10K and the half-marathon.

    healthseeker, the pain seems to be the sides of my knee. I suspect its the tendons but luckily there's no swelling or redness. Maybe I need to do more stretches. I also suspect I'm not distributing my weight evenly because it's always one knee or the other, but never both. I also wonder if I should be taking more walking breaks.
  • Ironman4U

    Posts: 738

    Dec 08, 2010 2:15 AM GMT
    That's plenty of time to train for a half (or even a whole marathon). Plenty of good training programs out there. Training can be as few as three runs a week if you do purposeful runs.

    The researchers at Furman University discovered better results from 3 "purposeful" runs than with more running days (that included running junk miles). Three purposeful runs means one run is your long run, one run is a tempo run and one run is speed or hill work.
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    Dec 08, 2010 2:25 AM GMT
    Ironman, so what you're saying is that you don't work on all three during each run? To be honest, all I've been doing is running on a treadmill at a steady speed and incline. Bad, I know.
  • Ironman4U

    Posts: 738

    Dec 08, 2010 2:36 AM GMT
    That's right Vancouverite. A training scheudule might be something like:

    Tuesday - Tempo Run
    Thursday - Speed Work
    Saturday - Long Run

    I would avoid too much treadmill running....I have trouble with knee pain on a treadmill that I don't have when running roads or trails. Treadmills don't give you the terrain variety (inclines/declines) so more stress from repetitive motions. It actually develops your leg muscles better when running outside. On treadmills, you are also more likely to lengthen your gate and not have proper foot placement on your landing. So use the treadmill when you have to because of extreme weather issues, but limit it for healthier running. Besides Vancouver is too beautiful to run inside! ;)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 08, 2010 2:50 AM GMT
    Vancouverite2004 saidThanks for the reassurance. 5 K for starting distance does not sound as intimidating. When I signed up, I was trying to decide between the 10K and the half-marathon.

    healthseeker, the pain seems to be the sides of my knee. I suspect its the tendons but luckily there's no swelling or redness. Maybe I need to do more stretches. I also suspect I'm not distributing my weight evenly because it's always one knee or the other, but never both. I also wonder if I should be taking more walking breaks.


    The knee soreness could be several factors:

    (1) You are not stretching enough before and after your runs.
    (2) You might not be in taking enough potassium before and after you runs
    (3) You could also not be hydrating enough before and after your runs.

    For some good stretching exercises go to the following website:

    http://www.tptherapy.com/

    Good luck and let us know your progress and end up doing.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 08, 2010 3:58 AM GMT
    My experience preparing for a half marathon involved strength training combined with plyometrics, and a variety of cardio conditioning.

    Squats, lunges, and all the normal leg day exercises were mixed with plyometrics to help build and condition muscles to handle the added strain from the long distance run. (I truly belive this saved my knees from being destroyed.)

    Cardio work was split between biking, spinning classes, swimming, eliptical and ARC trainers--and of course, the treadmill. In fact, I spent a good amount of time engaged in cardio conditioning using HIIT programs on the treadmill for 30 to 45 minute sessions and built up the endurance to run intervals between 6-10 mph at 8-12% inclines. Accomplishing this made long, flat runs so much easier.

    A healthy meal plan, I know, was also a critical component.

    16-weeks, I'm sure is plenty of time for you to prepare.

    Congratulations and good luck on your goal.

    I'm sure you'll be successful.