Category Archives: half marathon training

Run Chat: Recovery

Want to know what I really suck at when it comes to running (or working out in general?) – RECOVERY. I am the type of person that only uses recovery methods when I need to – like I am hurt or sore. SO BAD you guys.

Going into 2017 I have three half marathons planned, each three months apart which means I am never really out of training, that is 9 months of consistent training. Usually my recovery is simply less running/working out and more time off in between races but seeing as that is not happening in 2017 I am making it my goal to have recovery as part of my plan.

Here are the top ways I plan to do so:

1- Stretching. Poor stretching, I feel like we all know to do it, but we don’t do it or near enough. And then there is so much information around when to do it! It overwhelms me for sure. BUT here is the thing, I am going to start stretching at every single workout for at least 5 minutes – small goals 😉

2- Foam Rolling. This is a game changer. I bought my foam roller about 5 years ago and have not looked back. It is an amazing tool for recovery and a cheap one too!


Crops – Silver Icing

I won’t get into methods since I am no pro but this article explains foam rolling in more detail. Want to know what else is great about it? You can do it while watching TV!

3 – Deep Relief productsAs an Ambassador for the 2017 Mud Hero you will hear me talk & learn a lot more about these products! Even with all the stretching and foam rolling we still get sore and that is where Deep Relief will come in. It is pain relief without pills and has been a  trusted brand in Canada for over 50 years! They offer a variety of products from warming deep relief which is recommended for treating chronic pain and every day aches and pains to their ice cold relief gel which is for inflammation and swelling.


I have been experiencing achy hips for months now (ever since having Chloe) and when I received these products I went straight to this products for relief (amongst other things) and definitely found relief with the warming heat relief. For more information on how their prodcust can help you, give them a follow on Facebook or Twitter!

4 – Dynamic Warm-Ups. This is something my younger brother told me about, as it has really helped him in his recovery. After he told me about it I Googled it to find a quick 5 minute routine to do before a run here. These are simple moves that help the body warm up before any workout by increasing the body’s temperature, boosting blood flow and improving your range of motion.



Half Marathon Training

I cannot believe that in September I am running my 10th half marathon! I have been running for 6.5 years but like to keep races spread out to prevent burnt out and injury – and well there was two pregnancies and c-sections in there! But I am so ready to run another half and feel great about my running in the past month.

I have made myself a 8 week training plan since I wanted to finish Hard Corps before starting this training plan. This plan is only three days a week of running which for me is my magic number, any more and it has had a negative effect. I have incorporated strength days which will consist of Beachbody programs (Les Mill Pump, 21 Day Fix, Hard Corps) or yoga/other fitness classes as well as core workouts since maintaining a strong core is really important when it comes to running.

My long runs are done slow – these are strictly runs for distance not time, my easy runs are at a talkable pace so will vary as my training goes on but typically for me this 5:30-5:45mins/km. Speed runs are my fast runs and my favourite! For these it will vary between 5:00-5:15mins/km pace. Most of my routes have hills so I have not put a ton of hills into my training plan as of now.

My 8 week plan:

Half Plan 9 weeks Canmore

The nice things about this plan is that it is doable with the girls! I can do easy runs with them in the stroller, long runs we will do as a family until the longer distances then I will go out solo after our family run, strength days are done at home and I plan to sneak away after they are in bed for speed runs and hopefully also avoid the summer heat that way.

Now my next decision is to train for a half marathon PR (1:45) OR train for another full marathon for Phoenix in February!


Workout Wednesday – Post-Baby Plans

One of the biggest things I miss while pregnant is training, whether it is for a race or a fitness program I seem to crave it even more when pregnant – you always want what you cannot have 😉

Making plans while still pregnant not only makes me excited but also holds me accountable to get moving after I am cleared by my doctor. As it looks right now, this should be early to mid May if my c-section recovery goes well, with Avery I was cleared about 5 weeks after having her.

I have two main plans for post-baby:

1- Do a 60 day Beachbody program, I am eyeing up the new Hammer and Chisel program right now. I think a program like this would keep me motivated daily and accountable. Plus I know these programs work! The workouts are 30-40 minutes each so something I know is realistic for me as well.


2 – Run a half marathon in 2016. My running will most likely come back ASAP since it is also my sanity but I am looking for a fall race so that I have a lot of training time and can adjust as needed with the two kiddos. I am not sure I will have much of a time goal for this race, but just to get back into training and have fun of course! Call me crazy but I am already dreaming of running with the two kids in tow this summer! We have a double chariot already but I am working on convincing Chad on also getting a double BOB – a girl can dream, right?!

I have FINALLY chosen my race and will be registering in a couple weeks once registration is open, in September I am running the Canmore Half Marathon! I am pretty excited since I love Canmore and it is fairly local to travel to for a few days with my family.

I also really want to run the Victoria Half Marathon in October but being only a month later that might be the smartest thing and I am not sure how much fund we will have to travel being on maternity leave. So for now that is on the side lines.

Short and simple post-baby fitness plans for this year. At the end of the day I just want to feel good and have energy to be a mom and wife and I know doing these things will help me a ton 🙂


Be Your Own Running Coach

A few months ago a friend asked me about my training and how I was able to meet (and exceed) race goals and if I had any help from a coach. After thinking about it, I decided that I had many thoughts around the topic and wanted to share it in a post.

First off, I have never used a running coach, it is just not for me but I have nothing against them. At one point in time, I looked into the certification but again realized it was not something for me. But what I can share is how I have been able to train to meet my own running goals mainly on my own.

1- Be your own biggest fan. Have confidence! Running is SO mental you guys. If you do not have the confidence that you can meet your goal you probably will not meet it. Blunt but true. Be positive, but realistic at the same time. Do not go into your first half marathon thinking you can run it in 90 minutes 😉 I cannot stress this enough. I have never gone into a training plan (or race) thinking I MIGHT meet my goal. I go in knowing I will crush it.

2 – Set realistic goals. Like I said above goals are only attainable if they are realistic. You can also be more confident with realistic goals. This is not to say you should not push yourself but instead just have realistic goals and over a period of time work to improve and do better.

My first half marathon I went in with a fairly conservative goal of a sub 2-hour race since it was my first race over 10km and I had really just started to run. I came in 2 minutes under my goal time and was thrilled.  My next half marathon that was 3 months later I had a goal of 1:55, so only 3 minutes off of my previous time. I was being realistic, but still confident that I COULD do better. I came in at 1:48 for that race.

Giving myself realistic goals that I am confident in has taken me a long way in my running experience, much more than anything physical that I could have done.

3 – Use your FREE resources. The Internet can be a magical thing! From other blogs to online sites there are so many resources you can access at no charge. I have a few favourites that I frequently use.

Runner’s World – some training plans do cost, but for a minimal fee

Women’s Running

Hal Higdon – I have used these plans a few times!

4 – Join a running/training group. This does not need to be a formal group, it could be a group of people who like to run. Having a training group for my first half and first full was very beneficial and for a minimal fee. I think I paid $50 for 4.5 months and they provided us with  a training plan. But more than the training plan it was the group of people that made benefited me. The support, the accountability and the sense of community all benefited me.

5 – Schedule in non-running and rest days. First of all, can we just agree that our bodies need 1-2 days of rest a week. These can be active rest days, but they are days where your body and mind recover. Second, running is not all about just getting in “x” of kms a week. It is about preparing your body for the race. This involved improving your cardio, strength, and flexibility. Be a well rounded runner!

From experience I can say running 6 days a week did me NO good. It was the only time I had a running injury and was drained mentally and physically.

In your training plan run 3-4 days a week and then add in other cardio, strength training and I always recommend yoga now too. I prefer 3 days of running, one long run, one speed run (fairly short) and one other run. On the speed run day I would do strength exercises, have another day of other cardio and strength and then yoga. Not to say this is for everyone but that is my general rule when it comes to a training plan.

Everyone is different, and everyone’s needs are different so at the end of the day you do what is right for YOU. If that is hiring a coach, great, if not, great too 🙂 Like anything there is never a one size fits all solution.




Workout Wednesday

For the first time in 6 months I am not training for a race, and to be honest I am feeling lost when it comes to working out already. But at the same time I was SO done with long runs and need to tone up. Proof of this is after my half on Saturday my obliques were the sorest part of my body!

I am also heading back to work in 6 weeks and know I will have to workout before work in the morning so want my workouts to be short and sweet. And even right now, Avery’s nap are just over an hour, so a 30 minute workout is ideal for me. Saying that here are my workouts for the week:

Sunday – REST

Monday – Yoga Inferno – Workout 2

Tuesday – Focus T25 Alpha Cardio

Wednesday – 6km treadmill run

Thursday – REST

Friday – 5km treadmill run & weights circuit

Saturday – REST

I really enjoyed this race season, adding two more halfs to my list and do plan to do another half next year (or maybe two) but want to try at least one new race…but nothing too far!


Race ideas?