A Rough Start To Training

A Rough Start To Training

I started a half-marathon training plan earlier this month. The first week went as expected; I had a 6km run sandwiched in-between two 8km runs. It was a nice and easy start to what will surely be a difficult training plan as I get ready for my first half-marathon later this spring.

Then I got sick.

I caught a nasty flu bug that left me coughing and hacking for more than a week. I eventually went to the doctor, who told me the cough might persist for three months! Talk about discouraging.

The doctor prescribed some type of steroid inhaler to deal with the cough, plus a nasal spray to help with a sinus infection. They seemed to do the trick.

I missed six sessions altogether, including a pair of long runs that would have put my endurance to the test early.

It was a rough start to training, but I took the break in stride, so to speak.

Rough Start to Training

Week 1:

  • Tuesday February 6th – Run 8km slow
  • Wednesday February 7th – Run 4.8km plus three 20-second strides
  • Thursday February 8th – Run 8km slow
  • Saturday February 10th – Run 8km slow skipped

Week 2: 

  • Sunday February 11th – Run 11.3km steady skipped
  • Tuesday February 13th – Run 8km plus four 20-second strides skipped
  • Wednesday February 14th – Run 4.8km slow skipped
  • Thursday February 15th – Run 12.9km tempo skipped
  • Saturday February 17th – Run 8km slow skipped

Week 3:

  • Sunday February 18th – Run 14.5km steady  modified to 8km slow
  • Tuesday February 20th – Run 8km plus four 30-second strides
  • Wednesday February 21st – Run 11.3km steady
  • Thursday February 22nd – Run 12 km tempo modified to 8km slow
  • Saturday February 24th – Run 8km slow modified to 5.5km slow

Time to get back on track

Week four starts with a bang: a 10-mile (16km) steady-fast long run on Sunday. I’m up for the challenge. My lungs are finally feeling good again and my legs are starting to get used to this five-days-a-week running schedule.

That said, here are the two issues I’ll need to overcome if I want to get back on track and get the most from this training plan:

  1. Time. I’m a morning runner. That means getting up at 5:30 a.m. and starting my run by 5:45 a.m. so I can be done in time to get ready for work. As the weekday runs get longer the training starts to eat into my morning routine. A 45-minute run is doable, but an 80-90 minute session becomes more difficult. I might simply have to wake-up earlier to make this work.
  2. Treadmill/Dreadmill. I’m thankful to have a treadmill in the basement so I can run indoors during the winter months and on those windy days in Lethbridge. But this winter has been unusually long, cold, and snowy. Running indoors is getting old. I miss running outside, especially for long runs of 10km or more. Here’s hoping spring comes sooner than later, and I can ditch the dreadmill for the pathways and trails.

Final thoughts

Time and weather will always be a challenge for runners. And the odds of you dealing with some kind of disruption in your plan (illness, injury, travel) is fairly high.

It’s up to us to find a solution that works; whether that’s getting out of bed earlier to get your run out of the way first thing in the morning, or finding a great series to binge-watch on Netflix during the long indoor running season.

Create a system that works for you and limits your excuses not to train. If you do have a disruption in your training, don’t despair. You’re better off resting if you’re sick or injured anyway. Try and pick up where you left off once you’re on the mend.


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