A month ago I entered myself into the Sydney Half Marathon which is on 17th May. 5 weeks away. Waaaa.
I designed a 6 week training plan as it was approx 6 weeks from my arrival in Sydney to the half marathon. I have never done a half marathon and with previous races I have never used a training plan. When I did some research there were SO many training plans online, and I found it overwhelming. So I came up with my own! The reason behind having a training plan was to make sure I was building up my running distance. I do not usually do particularly long runs- typically I will run for 45mins. 21 km is not something I am super keen on! Also the second reason I wanted to have a plan, was to make sure I was not running too much. I have done this in the past, and developed bad shin splints or bursitis of my hip joints.
WEEK 1 of training [6th-12th April]
I completed x4 runs.
1. One short run: 6km
2. Two medium runs: 11km, 11.5km
3. One long run: 17km
Did I stick to my training plan?
Hmm, kind of. I was meant to do one short, medium and long run [only 3 runs]. Then add in a different form of exercise. But it was my first week in Sydney and I have barely settled in yet!
My short run was NOT FUN, I wanted to give up after every minute. I had planned a route aound the residential area I am living, but it involved so many hills and I was running in 20C heat with a rucksack. I just should have stopped- it wasnt sensible running in that heat.
My long run. Weird huh how I actually enjoyed running 17km! OK, I didnt love every second of it and there were definitely moments where i just wanted to stop and collapse on the floor. I planned out a route, with the end point being a brunch place! I get super excited about breakfast and what motivates me the most to run is FOOD! I started at my accom- based in North Sydney, ran down to the harbour bridge, across, past the Opera House, through the Royal Botanical Gardens, then ran into central Sydney, until I reached Centennial Park, ran through the park [at this point it was no longer fun] and then finally reached my destination – RUBY’S DINER. I had read reviews on this place as one of the top brunch places in Sydney. It was SO worth it! I had spelt granola with pistachio crumble, coconut yogurt, seasonal fruits and honey and I also ordered a juice [ginger, apple, lemon, carrot, watermelon and beetroot]. #foodheaven
My run in photos
[crossing the bridge]
[The ‘Rocks’ – Harbour Bridge behind]
[Never will get old- running past the Sydney Opera House]
[running through Royal Botanical gardens]
[Andrew Charlton Pool with an incredible view]
[Running through Centennial park with central Sydney in the background]
[My breakfast @ Ruby’s diner. Check out their incredible menu]
Times, Paces, Cadences and all that jazz?
Some people get very hung up/obsessed about timings and speed. I dont think this is the healthiest mentality to have towards running. Especially for beginnners, I feel when you first start to run, it really should be about enjoying it and trying to improve your fitness. I do wear a garmin watch for all my runs. But the feature I like the most about my garmin is the heart rate monitor, when I run I switch it to the setting where i can just see my heart rate. I know the heart rate I am comfortable at when running at a steady pace, the heart rate that is my absolute max of pushing myself, how fast my heart rate should be climbing when running up a hill etc. You get the idea! I just find it works for me, instead of constantly tracking my pace/time which is naturally going to differ dependant on the distance you run or whether you are running flats or hills. Also with becoming familar with the norm ranges of my heart rate, I can actually tell if i am getting fitter. [I will do a more detailed post about the pros and cons of a garmin]
Next week targets?
I enjoy trying out different types of exercise and it is also not healthy to runrunrun. There is lots going on in Sydney, fitness wise, a couple I would like to try out:
- I walked past this cool yoga place in central Sydney – they have reg classes and you pay by donation. What a fab idea? I will definitely be trying this place out!!
- I discovered this running group, who hold group runs every saturday morning and weekday training sessions focused on HIT and strength … right up my street! I spoke to the trainer who sounded lovely and I am going to try out a weekday session. Also great way of meeting some running buddies!
- There is also this bootcamp held twice weekly in one of the central parks in Sydney. It sounds great fun and it is free! I have put my name down for Wednesday- lets hope i survive!
I will update you next week on my progress!