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Totally Overthinking My Half Marathon Training

half marathon

I’m a rule follower. It started a long time ago. I still remember getting in trouble in 3rd grade and having to take a time out on the wall during recess. It was maybe the only time I ever really got in trouble in my elementary school years, and the funny thing is that I’m pretty sure it was because I was upset over not doing well on my multiplication tables. Perfectionist much? Yeah, that’s me.

I’ve lightened up quite a bit over the years, and if you don’t believe me come look at my cluttered office desk, piles of laundry that need folding and the thank yous I still need to write for my son’s birthday, which was back in February. But with certain things, like my half marathon training, I think I’ve gone off the deep end in trying to do the Perfect Job Training.

It started with looking up various training plans. Then I got to reading various articles on training and realized that there are so many schools of thought when it comes to training. Some experts want you to focus primarily on running. The next expert touts the importance of cross-training. The next will say cross-training is great, but don’t do too much of it. Some say cross-training will help you gain overall strength and endurance and prevent overuse injuries from only running. The next says that too much cross-training adds to your overall load and may cause injury if you’re not careful. One pro will talk about the importance of foam-rolling and stretching. The next trainer you talk to says he hasn’t stretched or foam-rolled in months and he’s never felt or performed better. When I read one article that said cycling was great cross-training for runners followed by another that said you should really try to cycle on a running day…well, I finally had to put my phone away and go to bed. It was late anyway.

Besides all of the contradictions, if you’re running and cross-training and stretching and foam rolling AND resting — my goodness, how do you fit it all in? I had to print out a calendar just so I could try to plan my workouts better and so I could customize my plan, which is going to be a jumbled combination of everything I know, seeing what training plans fit with my schedule, being flexible because with three kids life comes up, using training as motivation to rock my workouts, chatting with Coach Kristen when things get serious, and mostly, having fun with it. It’s not like I’m going to run the perfect race in October, so why fool around with perfection now? Progress, not perfection we say. And I’m definitely making progress.

Do you ever get confused by all of the contradictory training plans out there or do you find one and put on blinders to the rest? It’s probably weird that I’m doing so much reading about this… —Erin

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