Half Marathon: A Complete Guide for Women is a must-have for adult women of any age at any fitness level who want to train for a Half Marathon. Using Jeff Galloway's proven Run Walk Run® method, this book offers a step-by-step program for women that will get them started with weekly training. The training plans follow the run-walk-run format, allowing the runner to increase her mileage while decreasing her time, safely and effectively. An added benefit of these training programs is that they can easily fit into any busy schedule because training needs to happen only three days a week. Along with the training programs, this book offers nutrition advice for women—what and when to eat and how to control weight while training. It offers advice on staying motivated and preventing injury while training as well. Also included is information on women-specific issues. Any woman looking to complete a Half Marathon will find all the information she needs to run-walk-run fast and finish her race strong.
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The contents of this book were carefully researched. However, all information is supplied without liability. Neither the authors nor the publisher will be liable for possible disadvantages or damages resulting from this book.
JEFF & BARBARA GALLOWAY
A COMPLETE TRAINING GUIDE FOR WOMEN
British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data
A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library
Half Marathon: A Complete Training Guide for Women
Maidenhead: Meyer & Meyer Sport (UK) Ltd., 2019
All rights reserved, especially the right to copy and distribute, including translation rights. No part of this work may be reproduced–including by photocopy, microfilm or any other means–processed, stored electronically, copied or distributed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of the publisher.
© 2019 by Meyer & Meyer Sport (UK) Ltd.
2nd edition 2019 of the 1st edition 2012
Aachen, Auckland, Beirut, Cairo, Cape Town, Dubai, Hägendorf, Hong Kong, Indianapolis, Manila, New Delhi, Singapore, Sydney, Tehran, Vienna
Member of the World Sport Publishers’ Association (WSPA)
Email: [email protected]
INTRODUCTION: YOU CAN DO IT!
1WHY DO WOMEN LOVE THE HALF MARATHON?
2READ THIS FIRST (TO STAY INJURY-FREE)
Good news and bad news about women and injuries
3SETTING GOALS AND PRIORITIES
Top three goals (even for time-goal runners)
Stay injury-free (a training journal helps)
Avoiding overuse or burnout
Become the captain of your ship
When to set a time goal
4IMPORTANT HEALTH INFORMATION
Risks: heart disease, lung infections, speedwork injuries
Should I run when I have a cold?
Risk of speed
5PRACTICAL INFORMATION: SHOES AND EQUIPMENT
A Run-Walk-Run timer
Clothing: comfort above all
A training journal
Where to run
Safety – top priority!
Picking a running companion
An appointment on the calendar or in your training journal
Motivation to get out the door
Treadmills are just as good as streets for short runs
Usually no need to eat before the run
6THE GALLOWAY RUN-WALK-RUN METHOD
Walk before you get tired
A short and gentle walking stride
No need to eliminate the walk breaks
How to keep track of the walk breaks
7CHOOSING THE RIGHT GOAL AND PACE
The “Magic Mile” time trial (MM)
How hard should I run the MM?
Galloway’s performance predictor
First-time half marathoners – run to finish only
Time goal runners may make a “leap of faith” goal prediction
How much of a “leap of faith” improvement?
“Magic Mile” time trials (MM) give you a reality check
Final reality check
Use a journal!
8PRIMARY TRAINING COMPONENTS
“Magic Mile” time trials (MM)
For time-goal runners
9BODY, MIND, AND SPIRIT RESPOND POSITIVELY TO TRAINING
The “team” of heart, lungs, nerves, brain, etc.
The heart gets stronger
The long run builds endurance
Maintain current endurance
10HALF MARATHON TRAINING PROGRAMS
Time goal program: 2:30-3:00
Time goal program: 1:59-2:29
Time goal program: 1:45-1:58
Time goal program: 1:30-1:44
Time goal program: 1:15-1:29
11THE DRILLS TO MAKE RUNNING FASTER AND EASIER
Cadence drill (CD)
Acceleration glider drills (AG)
12HILL TRAINING BUILDS STRENGTH – AND MORE
The hill workout
Hill running form
Hill training strengthens lower legs and improves running form
Running faster on hills in races
Biggest mistakes: too long a stride, bouncing too much
13SPEED TRAINING PREPARES YOU FOR TOP PERFORMANCE
I don’t recommend training for a time goal in your first half marathon
Learn your limits
Beware of the ego
Getting faster requires extra work
Endorphins kill pain, make you feel good
Gradually pushing up the workload
Rest allows your body to improve after speedwork
Introducing the body to speed through “drills”
A gentle increase in speedwork causes a slight breakdown
The damage stimulates the muscles, tendons, etc., to rebuild stronger and better than before
You must have enough rest – if you want to rebuild stronger and better
Quality rest is crucial: 48 hours between workouts
Beware of junk miles
Aerobic running is done during long runs
Speed training gets you into the anaerobic zone: an oxygen debt
The anaerobic threshold
The talk test - how aerobic are you?
Are you working too hard toward a time goal?
The personal growth of speed training
14HOW SPEED TRAINING WORKS
800-meter repeats are run 15 seconds faster than half-mile goal pace
Keep going when tired – through an increase in the number of repetitions
Longer runs maintain endurance – and improve your time
Running form improves
Watch out! Speedwork increases aches, pains, and injuries
15RACE DAY TIMETABLE
Resources: Where to find out about races
How to register – enter early!
The afternoon before
The carbo-loading dinner
The night before
Race day checklist
After the start
At the finish
After the finish
The next day
16YOUR JOURNAL WILL INSPIRE YOU
Journal keepers are more likely to be lifelong runners
A simple reward can pull you out of the dumps
This is your book
Can you capture the fleeting thoughts of the right brain?
The various types of journals
An organized running journal
The writing process
Are you tired … or just lazy? Your morning pulse may tell
A better way of running?
The big three: posture, stride, and bounce
Four negative results of inefficient form
If you feel relaxed and running is easy even at the end of a run, you’re probably running correctly
Feet low to the ground
18WOMEN-SPECIFIC EXERCISE ISSUES BY BARBARA GALLOWAY
Movement of internal organs
Loss of menstrual periods: amenorrhea
Exercising through pregnancy
Exercising after pregnancy
Choosing a stroller
PMS and menstrual issues
Bone loss risk behaviors
Menopause and after
19HOW TO BURN FAT DURING A HALF MARATHON TRAINING PROGRAM
Half marathon eating myths
Half marathon goal can be a catalyst
Take these steps to a “lighter you“
20EATING WITH A PURPOSE
21AN EXERCISER’S DIET
Most important nutrient: water
Sweat the electrolytes
Practical eating issues
The BSL roller coaster
Try eating every 2-3 hours
Do I have to eat before running?
Eating during exercise
It is important to reload after exercise – within 30 minutes
23YOUR MOTIVATION TRAINING PLAN
24MENTAL TRAINING PROGRAMS
Drill 1 – Rehearsing success
Drill 2 – Magic words
Drill 3 – Playing dirty tricks on the reflex brain
Dirty trick: The giant invisible rubber band
“I don’t have time to run”
“The run will hurt or make me tired”
“I need to spend some time with my kids”
“I’ve got too much work to do”
“I don’t have the energy to run today”
“I don’t have my running shoes and clothes with me”
“I’d rather be sitting on a couch eating candy”
26CROSS-TRAINING: EXERCISE FOR THE NON-RUNNING DAYS
Too much of a good thing
Water running can improve running form
Fat burning and overall fitness exercises
Cross-training for the upper body
Don’t do these on non-running days!
27DEALING WITH THE WEATHER
Running through the summer heat
Hot weather slowdown
Heat disease alert!
Take action! Call 911
Dealing with the cold
Running through the chill of winter
How do I start back when I’ve had time off?
It hurts! Is it just a passing ache or a real injury?
No energy today
I feel great one day … and not the next
Cramps in the muscles
Upset stomach or diarrhea
Should I run when I have a cold?
29TROUBLESHOOTING ACHES AND PAINS
Shins, shoulder, and neck muscles tired and tight
Lower back: tight, sore, or painful after a run
Knee pain at the end of a run
Hamstrings: tightness, soreness, or pain
Quadriceps (front of the thigh): sore, tired, painful
Sore feet or lower legs
This book is dedicated to the approximately 3 million women who start training for a half marathon each year. Because of a number of issues, only about 20% make it to the finish line. It is our mission to reduce the dropout rate to almost zero by providing motivation, solutions to problems, injury-free training, and a two-hour-a-week training program during most weeks.
We are inspired to hear the stories from thousands each year who get off the couch and finish a half marathon. The empowerment from this accomplishment often results in taking more control over one’s attitude. I hear stories every day about how the half marathon journey led to achievement and problem solving in other areas of life.
We look forward to hearing your story at an event, a beach retreat, or one of our many clinics throughout the US each year. If you have not taken on a challenging goal before, welcome to the positive, supportive, and inspiring community of runners. If you have done this before and want to improve, welcome back!
© Jeff Galloway
The “to finish” schedule in this book has been used by tens of thousands of walkers to cross the half marathon finish line. The chapters on nutrition, motivation, women’s issues, weather, etc. apply to walkers and runners. There is one training component that is different. Runners will take “walk breaks” to stop the continuous use of the orthopedic units that cause aches, pains, excess fatigue, burnout, and injury. Walkers have a variation that provides the same benefit: “shuffle breaks.” Every 3-5 minutes, during a long walk, reduce your stride length for 30 seconds and let the feet, legs, hips, and back recover. During these breaks, focus on the enjoyment of exercise and positive thoughts.
One can train for a half marathon and carry on family/social/career activities
The empowerment from a half marathon helps women confront other challenges
The “mission” of the 13.1 distance gives meaning to each training run, improving motivation
Each run can boost attitude, vitality and self-esteem, energizing the day
Even after a difficult 13.1 mile (21K) race, runners can usually celebrate that evening
Beginners who yearn to run a marathon see this distance as the first big step
Marathoners find that the “half” keeps them in shape for their next “full”
Using the Run-Walk-Run method in this book saves energy to carry on life activities
Increasing long runs for a half marathon often results in faster times at 5K, 10K, etc.
There are very few achievements in life as satisfying as training/finishing a half marathon
Almost all of the concerns women have about running are addressed in this book and are usually not causes for concern
Runners have healthier orthopedic units than non-runners as the years go by
Women are flooding into half marathons in record numbers. Surprisingly, many have never been active in sports or fitness activities. The experience is so positive that every finisher wants to tell others about the great benefits. The result: every half marathoner influences more than 20 people to either train for a half marathon or to add fitness to their lifestyle. Sisters pull sisters off the couch, and mothers influence children to be active. At women’s events, such as the Jeff Galloway Half Marathon in Atlanta (www.jeffgalloway131.com), there are non-stop stories of mother-daughter, college roommates, and long-term friends. They share the training journey (sometimes when living in different cities) and run the event together.
Women like to have control over their lives. Many of these newly addicted half marathoners tell me that it was my Run-Walk-Run method that induced them to sign up and train. You’ll see later in the book how this method reduces aches, pains, injuries, and extra fatigue. Each woman decides how much to run and walk on a given day to remain in charge.
The role model effect of this surge in women in half marathons is exciting. Research shows that exercising mothers tend to have exercising kids. I’ve now heard thousands of stories from kids or adults who began their own fitness journey because they had a mom who finished a half marathon.
This is a totally doable training program for almost everyone. The minimal running time can be inserted into very busy lives. Enjoy every run and you will not only cross the 13.1 mile finish line: you’re likely to be addicted for life.
There are worse addictions.
Good News: Women tend to follow conservative guidelines in training. When they stay below the threshold of pain, the injury rate and lingering fatigue is near zero.
Bad News: When women don’t follow the conservative guidelines, such as those in this book, they experience more injuries and a longer recovery time. Primary causes are not having a good training schedule, increasing the duration or speed of training too quickly, running the long runs too fast, or failing to use the conservative Run-Walk-Run strategy for the current level of conditioning.
By focusing on certain key principles, and running with them, it’s possible to do a half marathon and carry on family, social, career activities without pain or sustained tiredness.
You have control over pace. Always choose a slower pace, especially during long runs or any run when you are feeling your “weak links.” If you slow down on the long runs, you’ll receive the same endurance while reducing the recovery time. Specific pace guidelines are included in this book.
Take liberal walk breaks on long runs. You will experience the same endurance whether you run 10 seconds every minute or run 10 minutes and walk one minute. When in doubt, ease back into more walking and less running. Walk break guidelines are included in this book.
Your body is programmed to heal itself if you let it. Ease off on any workout if you feel any aches, pains, huffing, or problem of concern. Even running for a few minutes, when you have incurred an injury, can greatly increase the damage and the healing period.
Begin your training at your current level – don’t jump ahead because a friend is running that distance. If you are behind on a schedule for an event, you can “make up the distance” by gently walking at the beginning of the next long run for the distance you need to catch up.
Gradually increase! Increasing distance too quickly (long run or weekly mileage) is a major cause of aches, pains, and excess fatigue. Increasing speed repetitions too quickly can also lead to injury.
Running every other day significantly reduces injury risk. This allows the body to rebuild and improve after each workout.
If you increase the amount of running vs. walking on short runs, do it gradually.
First time 13.1 trainees: don’t do speedwork and don’t shoot for a time goal.
Veterans should ease into speed training. It is too easy for an experienced runner to push too hard in the beginning of a speed training program and become injured, chronically fatigued, or burned out and frustrated. Let the body gradually adapt.
At the first sign of a possible injury, stop the run and take at least two days off from running. If you allow the healing to begin, you may be able to continue running while the healing continues.
Stay below the threshold of irritation. Most of the runners who have come to me when injured have been able to continue running when they slowed the pace and inserted walk breaks frequently enough to avoid further irritation.
Don’t let men lead you astray! Men have greater bone density and tougher muscle and tendon connections than women. If you are having aches and pains when trying to keep up with a spouse or male running buddy, back off immediately.
By focusing on a few key elements, you have the opportunity to take control over the enjoyment of the running experience. If you’re preparing for your first half marathon race, I recommend that you choose the “to finish” schedule, and run slower on every run than you could run on that day. Even after the 20th or 100th race, you’re more likely to remember the details of your first one.
Your mission, therefore, should be to weave the training runs, and the race itself, into a positive tapestry of memories that will enrich the rest of your life.
1.Finish in the upright position,
2.with a smile on your face,
3.wanting to do it again.
These three components define the primary level of success in any training program, and the degree of enjoyment of each long run. If this is your first race experience at the 13.1 distance, visualize yourself coming across the finish line, demonstrating these three behaviors. The more you focus on this image, the more likely you are to follow the guidelines and experience this during most of your runs.
Find a way to enjoy parts of every run – even the speed training (if you are a time-goal runner). Most of your runs should be mostly enjoyable. You increase the pleasure of each run by inserting a few social/scenic/mentally refreshing runs every week.
Your desire to take your next run and move up your training to the half marathon and beyond is enhanced by scheduling the fun sessions first, with 1-3 of them every week.
When injured runners review their journal, they often find the causes of aches and pains. By following the instructions in this book and journaling, you will reduce your injury risk to almost zero. If you’ve had injuries before, make a list of past problems and repeated challenges. After reading the injury section of this book, make the needed adjustments. As you eliminate the injury stress, you can eliminate most (or all) of your injuries. We have two successful journals available at www.JeffGalloway.com.
All of us get the warning signs of overtraining. Unfortunately, we often ignore these or don’t know what they are. Your training journal is a wonderful tool for tracking any possible ache, pain, loss of desire, unusual fatigue that lingers, etc. If you develop an injury, you can review your journal and often find the reasons.
This helps you to become more sensitive to future problems and make conservative adjustments in the plan to reduce upcoming injury risk.
When you balance stress and rest, running bestows a sense of satisfaction and achievement that is unsurpassed. Intuitively, we know that this is good for us, mentally and physically.
When we decide to use the monitoring tools in this book we take a major amount of control over fatigue, injuries, energy level, and enjoyment of running.
After finishing your first half marathon you may choose a time goal, after reading the “Choosing the Right Goal” chapter. Many veterans (myself included) decide to stay within current capabilities, use the “to finish” schedule, and enjoy the experience.
I commend all who decide to take on an endurance challenge. Almost everyone who makes it to the finish line will tap into a mysterious and complex source of continuing strength when the elements are balanced. Enjoy the journey!
While unlikely that you be advised not to run a half marathon, it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor’s office before you start a strenuous training program. Keep the doctor informed of cardiovascular system irregularities or aches and pains that could be injuries. At first, just tell your physician or head nurse how much running you plan to be doing over the next year. Almost every person will be given the green light. If your doctor recommends against your running plans, ask why. Since there are so few people who cannot train even for strenuous goals (if they use a liberal Run-Walk-Run formula), I suggest that you get a second opinion if your doctor tells you not to run. Certainly the tiny number of people who should not run have good reasons. But the best medical advisor is one who wants you to get the type of physical activity that engages you – unless there are significant reasons not to do so.
The information in this book is offered as advice from one runner to another and not meant to be medical advice. Having a doctor/advisor will help you through some problems more quickly. A responsive and supportive medical advisor will also improve confidence and motivation, while reducing anxiety.
Running tends to offer an effect that protects against cardiovascular disease. More runners die of heart disease than any other cause and are susceptible to the same risk factors as sedentary people. Like most other people, runners at risk usually don’t often realize it.
I know of a number of runners who have suffered heart attacks and strokes who probably could have prevented them if they had taken a few simple tests. Some of these are listed next, but check with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.
Your heart is the most important organ in your body. This short section is offered as an overview of cardiovascular issues as you maintain a high level of conditioning in the most important organ for longevity and quality of life.
As always, when there are medical issues, you need to get advice about your individual situation from a cardiologist who knows your medical history/condition.
Family history of cardiovascular problems
Poor lifestyle habits earlier in life (alcohol, drugs, poor diet, etc.)
High fat/high cholesterol diet
Have smoked or still smoke
Obese or severely overweight
High blood pressure
Stress test – heart is monitored during a run that gradually increases in difficulty
C-reactive protein – has been an indicator of increased risk
Radioactive dye test – very effective in locating specific blockages. Talk to your doctor about this.
Carotid ultrasound test – helps to tell if you’re at risk for stroke
Ankle-brachial test – can detect plaque buildup in arteries throughout the body
None of these tests are foolproof. But by working with your cardiologist, you can increase your chance of living until the muscles just won’t propel you farther down the road – maybe beyond the age of 100.
There are so many individual health issues with a cold that you must talk with a doctor before you exercise when you have an infection.
Lung infection – don’t run! A virus in the lungs can move into the heart and kill you. Lung infections are usually indicated by coughing.
Common cold – There are many infections that initially indicate a normal cold but are not – they may be much more serious. At least call your doctor’s office to get clearance before running. Be sure to explain how much you are running, and what, if any, medication you are taking.
Infections of the throat and above the neck – most runners will be given the OK, but check with the doctor.
There is an increased risk of both injuries and cardiovascular events during speed sessions. Be sure to get your doctor’s OK before beginning a speed program. The advice inside this book is generally conservative, but when in doubt, take more rest, more days off, and run slower. In other words, be more conservative.
One of the wonderful aspects of running, in a complex world, is the simplicity of the experience. You can run from your house or office in most cases, using public streets or pedestrian walkways. Ordinary clothing works well most of the time and you don’t need to join a country club or invest in expensive exercise equipment. While running with another person can be motivating, most runners enjoy running alone on most of their runs. It helps, however, to have a “support team” as you go through the training (running companions, doctors, running shoe experts) and you’ll probably meet these folks through the running grapevine.
If you have an option near home and office for each of the training components previously listed, you will be more likely to do the workouts on your schedule – when you need to do them.
The primary investment: usually less than $118 and more than $79.
After 40 years of observing runners choose shoes in my Atlanta Phidippides stores, I find that most runners decide to spend a little time on the choice of a good running shoe. After all, shoes are the primary equipment needed. The shoe that is a good match for your feet can make running easier, while reducing blisters, foot fatigue, and injuries.
Because there are so many different brands and models, shoe shopping can be confusing. The best advice....is to get the best advice. Going to a good running store, staffed by helpful and knowledgeable runners, can cut the time required and can usually lead you to a much better shoe choice than you would find by yourself. For more information on this, see Galloway’s Book on Running and the back section of this book.
Go to the running store in your area with the most experienced staff. First, you’ll need a pair for long runs and easy running days. Veterans may want to get a racing shoe (or lightweight training shoe) later. Bring along your most worn pair of shoes (any shoes), and a pair of running shoes that has worked well for you. Wait until you are several weeks into your training before you decide to get a racing shoe if you feel you need one.
In most cases, racing shoes only speed you up by a few seconds a mile – but this may be what a veteran needs to reach a significant goal. After several weeks, if you feel that your training shoes are too heavy or “clunky,” look at some lighter models. After you have broken them in, you can use the lighter shoes during speed sessions.
There are a lot of good, inexpensive watches that will give you accurate times during speed workouts and races. Any watch that has a stopwatch function will do the job. Be sure to ask the staff person in the store how to use the stopwatch function.
There is a Galloway timer that can be set for any two intervals desired. It can either “beep” or vibrate or both. For more information or to order this, go to www.JeffGalloway.com.
The “clothing thermometer” at the end of this book is a great guide. In the summer, you want to wear light, cool clothing. During cold weather, layering is the best strategy. You don’t have to have the latest techno-garments to run. On most days an old pair of shorts and a T-shirt are fine. As you get into the various components of your plan, you will find outfits that make you feel better and motivate you to get in your run even on bad weather days. It is also OK to give yourself a fashionable outfit as a “reward” for running regularly for several weeks.
The journal is such an important component in running that we have written a chapter about it. By using it to plan ahead and then later, to review your success and mistakes, you assume a major degree of control over your running future. You’ll find it reinforcing to write down what you did each day, and miss that reinforcement when you skip. Be sure to read the training journal chapter, and youl too, can steer yourself toward enjoyment and success.
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