When you make a big goal like running a half marathon, you quickly learn that you can’t do it by yourself. When you’ve got three kids and their schedules to juggle, fitting in the necessary runs and cross-training and strength workouts and stretching and foam rolling can be daunting. You need time. And time is in short supply when there are jobs and school and extracurricular activities to contend with.
My husband is always super supportive of me no matter what. Whether it’s schlepping the kids to support me doing a mud run or actually doing a Tough Mudder with me, he’s game. So for the half? He knows he’s signed up for additional duties above and beyond the norm to help make sure I have time to train. In hindsight, I think signing him up for it too was part strategic: if I had to have time to train, he’d also get that kid-free time to train, too. Genius.
Because I’ve got support on the home front covered, I quickly turned to training support. I started researching training plans and apps and downloaded the Couch to 10K Running Trainer app, which I’m loving so far. It gives you three workouts a week for 14 weeks. The workouts are exactly what I need at this point. It starts you out on a run/walk schedule so that you’re slowly building up your run time as you decrease your walking time. I love that it’s time-based too. Instead of worrying about hitting a distance during each workout, you worry about the workout length. I find that to be easier to deal with mentally, for some reason. Distance will come naturally as more of that time is spent running. I’ll start worrying about the added distance from that 6.2 miles to the 13.1 half marathon distance once this training program is done here in a couple of months, and I know I’ll have Coach Kristen to help me out on that front. (I’m hoping I’ll be able to track down this book to help too!)
I’m crazy focused on this “project” right now, which is fun because for so long I’ve been pretty casual in my fitness. I’ve been active and working out, but it’s not like I’ve been following a training plan with any sort of goals. Now, my main goal is to be able to run strong. I don’t care about speed. I just want to be able to do this without getting injured. This of course means strength training, too, so I’ve pulled out a book I kept on hand for this very reason: Quick Strength for Runners. It has a very specific 8-week strength training plan that is tailored to helping strengthen you from head to toe to improve your running performance. I’m hoping that by being stronger overall, I’ll be more likely to get by unscathed. Except for maybe a little chafing.
Which reminds me of the other key pieces of support needed: Shoes. Sports bras. And running-specific shirts. When your inner arm gets chafed doing a 30-minute workout with a cotton tank, you remember.
Does your partner support your workout goals? —Erin