Do You Have What it Takes to Run a Half Marathon?

In honor of Alex and I running the Richmond half marathon today with hundreds of other National Black Marathoner Association members, I decided to re-post my blog about my first half marathon experience! I had a blast! I never thought I could do something like that – 5 triathlons and 2 almost 3 half marathons later, here I am. Wow!

About a week ago, I completed my first half marathon! **Yay me!** Those 13.1 miles were something serious.  I trained for about two and a half months. The only reason my training was so short is because I had already been training for triathlons so I thought, yea, I can do a half marathon, no problem! The day of the race, I made sure to put extra leave in conditioner (Yes to Cucumbers) on my hair to protect it from the cold, dry air . I also added a little coconut oil to my scalp and my ends before I pulled it back into a pony puff. Here are a few pics from my race.

Before the race…It was freakin’ freezing that morning!


Waiting to start. There were at least 500 people there. It was packed!

Home stretch. This is mile 13 and I’m on the last one tenth of a mile,  I was sooo tired!

Sweaty post race shot.

I did it!

I finished in 2 hours and 20 min which was about 10 minutes faster than my goal time. That’s about a 10.5 – 11 minute mile. Pretty slow, but hey at least I finished. That was my goal, not to stop. I only stopped to drink water. I also stopped at mile 11.5. I was so tired, I thought someone was going to have to come get me, on the real though…But I started playing Beyonce’s song “Diva” in my head and pressed on for the last 1.5 miles. I guess the biggest thing I learned was that I can do anything I put my mind to. Everyone thought I was nuts for attempting anything like this, but I shook the haters off and did me. Next year, I might try for a full marathon. We’ll see…If you are interested in seeing what I did to prepare for my race check out my training schedule on Daily Mile. It’s not the best training schedule, but I did what I could do.

Overall we had a great time attending the expo and loved meeting everyone!

If you’re thinking of training for a half marathon here are some of the best training plans from around the web.

Whitney’s Training – Speedy (The Hare)

Whitney started her training late and didn’t train the way she wanted to.  If you missed her training confessions posts, check  it out here . Its a reminder that “life happens.” Whitney is also a runner, and has one half-marathon under her belt. With a little Beyonce in her headphones and the thought of hamburgers or pancakes waiting for her at the end of the race, she can crank out some serious miles in no time.

Since this is her 2nd half-marathon, Whitney is focusing on being faster. She runs three times a week.  One run is shorter and focused on sprint drills. She only runs long distances once a week.

Alexandria’s Training – Distance (The Tortoise )

The complete opposite of Whitney, I started right training for the half-marathon a week and half after our last triathlon. Although I had a few slight injuries  and life got in the way, I was still able to stay on track with training.

Running long distances goes against everything in me – from my body shape to being forced into only one sport.  I am dying here.  I just love triathlons and especially cycling.

For my training, my focus is on distance since this is my first half-marathon. My plan does not include any sprint drills but instead a steady increase in mileage over a few weeks.

Below are a some of the top half-marathon training plans I have compiled. If I had to choose which one I like the most, I would suggest Hal’s Higdon’s training plan. I am currently training using it. If it works for me, it can work for anyone! The training plans are posted in order from novice to advanced in each section.

Beginner Half-Marathon Plan

Intermediate Half-Marathon Training Plans

Advanced Half-Marathon Training Plans

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