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Half Marathon Training
Phase 1

Coach's 
Check-in

The Two Rules of Perseverance:
​Rule #1: Take one more step.
Rule #2: When you don't think you can take one more step, refer to Rule #1.

- H. Jackson Brown Jr.

 

Goals for this Phase

1

Establish your commitment to training.

2

Find your rhythm.

3

Adjust to an increase in volume (time running) and fatigue factor.

How you 
might be feeling

Excited! Proud! Confident! Ready to get started! These are all wonderful feelings! In Weeks 1 and 2 I’m certain you will be fresh and fine – and you’ll feel good about handling the workouts. 

 

But it’s possible that once you are into Weeks 3 and 4, you will begin to understand the commitment and feel some trepidation about whether you’ll be able to handle it. You may have some fatigue and perhaps awareness of aches and pains in muscles you forgot about. 

 

This would be normal, and you’ll need to be honest about what you are feeling, but you’ll also need to resolve to make sure you complete all workouts. Otherwise, the volume will become too much for you and you will not experience the gains in fitness you need to progress comfortably without injury. It’s important to take care of yourself with proper nutrition, hydration and make sure you have adequate sleep. 

Finding your
own rhythm

It’s very important to become physically comfortable with your own pace. 

 

This means finding an easy, relaxed rhythm that you naturally settle into each time you run, independent of those around you. Ideally this becomes the pace you’ll run when ultimately you run your Half Marathon at the end of this 10 weeks. 

 

Technique Tips

Talking pace

Maintain a pace where you can continue to chat lightly without getting out of breath.

 

If you can't, slow down. It won't be enjoyable and the impact will be too hard on your body. 

Body posture

Try to keep your body reasonably upright. Relax your shoulders away from your ears with a nice big breath every so often.

Arm action

Your arms are what help you maintain your rhythm and pace.

Keep your arm action quick with elbows tucked close to your sides and thumbs up, just below shoulder height. 

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Conserve energy and maximize efficiency with short strides and minimal knee lift. Your feet should land under your base of support - your hips.

 

Don't bounce or over-stride!

Stride length

Putting all the pieces together

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Stick to
the program

No more and no less. Some days are longer, 

shorter and different – they are that way for a 

reason. Try not to miss any weeks, and don't skip ahead!

 

If you do miss a week or two, do your best to gradually resume the program. If you've missed too much time, don't just jump back in where you left off – this will dramatically increase your risk of injury. 

Besides being relaxing and fun, cross training 

improves core strength and helps prevent 

injuries as your body adjusts to the impact of 

running and walking. 

 

Consider yoga or pilates, or a spin on a bike 

or elliptical trainer. Variety will keep you fresh 

for your running workouts.

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Cross train

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Take a walk

A relaxed walk is a great way to recover from 

your weekly long run. Walking keeps the 

circulation flowing and helps your legs 

recover. 

 

There is a suggested walk after your long-run 

day each week.

Make sure you work on your flexibility. Walking and running shortens the tendons and muscles, especially in your calves and hamstrings.  

 

Dynamic stretches before and static stretches 

after your workouts will ensure better 

recovery and help to prevent injury. 

 

Want a little help?

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Warm up & cool down

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Body awareness

Pay attention to any small aches and pains.  

Keep track of them in your logbook or planner 

(or kitchen calendar) to ensure they are only a 

result of working hard and disappear as the body gets stronger.

 

It will take time for you to grow accustomed to 

some general fatigue as well as slight aches or pains from training. 

Final thoughts for Phase 1

Be honest with yourself! If you're ever not feeling confident or comfortable progressing as the program advances, it’s likely you’ve not been able to establish a consistent pattern of training each week. Maybe you haven’t been able to complete your weekly sessions for a variety of reasons. 

 

If you’re unable to do your homework or complete at least the minimum of 3 workouts each week, you may need longer to realistically accomplish your goal of safely and comfortably.  There’s nothing wrong with discovering that you may need to give yourself longer to prepare yourself for the Half Marathon distance. 

 

Remember, these are only guidelines – it’s up to you to figure out what makes sense for you and how you are feeling.

Smiles and enjoy!

Coach Lynn

 

Alright, let's get moving!

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Start here

All done Phase 1?

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When you've finished all 4 weeks, you're ready to move ahead into Phase 2.