Training for injury-free running, please.

Well, it has begun.

Real training season is among us. After taking an almost two month hiatus (I ran four times from Thanksgiving to January 20 – don’t judge me), I’m finally back and in it to win it. I was supposed to start my training last week, but my car was in the shop so I was sharing a car with the fiancé, and adding gym time into the mix would have been complicated. It’s an excuse I know, but that’s my reason – BUT this week is the real deal. No more hibernating at home and telling myself that I will start soon. I checked into the gym on Foursquare Monday morning and I was greeted by a message that said I hadn’t been to the gym in two months. I laughed out loud, but felt super terrible about myself. Naturally I decided to snap a picture of it for my own embarrassment. I also used my new Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor Watch for the second time ever. Let me just tell you how awesome it is – it’s awesome.


This week makes 17 weeks to the Cleveland Half Marathon. I am aiming for running a 2:10 or faster. I ran the half distance during the full in 2:10 so I know it’s possible. Granted I was in fabulous shape in September, but I know now that my body is at least capable of it.

Monday I ran 3.5 at a sloooooww pace. Embarrassingly slow actually. I was dying. Holy out of shape! I kept wanting to turn to the people around me and scream “I know I’m pathetic right now, but I SWEAR I ran a full marathon a few months ago!” I was upset with my time and myself, but I keep trying to remind myself that it’s going to take a few weeks to get back into the swing of things. I didn’t work up to running 26.2 miles overnight, so returning won’t be the same either. I also have to remind myself that I suffered injuries last year, so this training and race season might not necessarily be the same. Running religiously and slowly building up miles is my best bet against injury this time around. I’ve got 17 weeks, which is a good time-frame for a training schedule. I know if I follow it and work hard I will be ready. It’s just hard to mentally handle not being able to run 4 miles when I’ve ran a marathon before, but that’s no one else’s fault but my own so I just have to suck it up.

Yesterday morning I woke up sore all over and with a bad foot/ankle pain. It’s weird that I didn’t feel the injury Monday during the day after the run. Regardless of the pain, I ran another 3.5 today and was careful to stretch the area first, although I’m not sure it helped. I also started feeling the “marathon knee pain” in my right knee towards the end of today’s run. If you know anything about me, you’ll know that I had terrible knee pain during my first full last fall. This was the first time I had ever experienced ANY type of knee pain in my life (even after being a softball catcher for 10 years). My friend, Nicole, warned me “Once you run a marathon, your body is never the same.”

Around two miles today I decided I’d better take it easy. My knee was really bothering me and my foot/ankle injury was getting worse with each step. People always say “listen to your body” which I rarely ever do, but today I slowed down the treadmill and opted for an incline instead. It was much easier on my knee and ankle and I was actually proud of myself for acting like a responsible, smart runner. I can’t help but worry about my injuries though, especially after today’s run and that same familiar ache in my knee flaring up. I’m nervous about the way my joints are reacting to running again, considering this is run #2 out of about 75. I’m hoping that my body is just sore and thrown off and that in a week or two I’ll feel fine and will be starting to gain strength.

I used my Polar watch again today and loved it. It’s motivating to not only see the calories that you’ve burned adding up, but you see that you burn calories lifting weights too. My only question though, does it count past 1,000 calories? I’d really like to see that for long runs and I’ll be super bummed if it doesn’t.


I often look for good training schedules and modify a little as needed. I’m not sure where exactly I got this one from or what parts I’ve modified, but this is the schedule I followed for last year’s half and the one I’m currently following.

What training schedules do you guys follow and how many weeks do you train?

Half Marathon Training

Week 1
2-3, 2-3, 4

Week 2
2-3, 3-4, 5

Week 3
2-3, 3-4, 6

Week 4
3, 4-5, 7

Week 5
3-4, 4-5, 8

Week 6
4-5, 4-5, 9

Week 7
2-3, 4, 3-4, 10

Week 8
2,3, 5, 3-4, 11

Week 9
3, 5, 3-6 *tune up race Saturday or Sunday (like a 10K or 15K)

Week 10
3, 5, 4-5, 12

Week 11
3-4, 5, 4-5, 13

Week 12
4, 5, 4-5, 14

Week 13
4, 5, 6-10 *tune up race Saturday or Sunday (like a 10K or 15K)

Week 14
4, 5-6, 4-5, 15

Week 15
4, 5, 4-5, 12

Week 16
4, 4, 4, 8-9

Week 17
4, 4, 4, 6-7

Week 18
3, 3, RACE


Keep Running!

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