The ladies on our FAB 50 team have two goals for our half-marathon training program: 1) Cross the finish line, and 2) Complete each mile in 18 minutes or less. But how?
We Follow Expert Advice
Our strategy for training is based on the expert advice of Jeff Galloway, Olympian, Runner’s World columnist, and trainer, and physicians of the Sport Medicine Centre at the University of British Columbia. We utilize the run-walk-run method to achieve our goals. This approach offers many advantages, the first of which is that it allows the novice runner to gradually build endurance and strength to go the distance of 13.1 miles. Also, by breaking up the runs into shorter segments with walk breaks, the process of training becomes less daunting.
Stress and Rest
Our training method is also a process of “stress and rest.” Distance running is a physically demanding sport and we need time to recover. With continuous running, we are more prone to experience muscle fatigue, body aches, and pains. By maintaining the same pace and adding in walk breaks, we alleviate some of the stress on our muscles and thereby reduce the amount of fatigue that we may experience. Walking in between runs also gives our muscles a chance to recover instantly, reducing the amount of soreness and fatigue the following day.
Best Approach for Older and Heavier Runners
The run-walk-run strategy is also ideal for older or heavier runners. Recovery from a training session comes quicker, and the amount of muscle soreness that is inevitable with new activity is minimized. Additionally, this approach is the best for preventing injury.
Other benefits of the run-walk-run training method helps to increase speed over the long run, allowing you to get to the finish line faster than you would if you ran it without stopping. It also breaks up the distance into manageable units of time. Taking walk breaks also provides a window of time for endorphins to be released, giving you that positive sense of well-being while you are still training. Furthermore, with a speedier recovery after a distance run, you can go about your day without experiencing debilitating fatigue.
Equally important to the run-walk-run method of training is the recovery days in-between training runs. While we may take the opportunity to cross train by focusing on a different sport such as bike-riding, elliptical, rollerblading, or strength training, we do not run. This gives our muscle groups used for half-marathon training time to recover. This helps you to feel rested and ready for your next training run.
FAB 50 Finishes Strong
The FAB 50 team prepares for a half-marathon by training just three days a week. We complete for our long runs together on our scheduled Saturday group training sessions. Our program is doable and can be easily integrated into a busy lifestyle. Our primary goal is to cross the finish line of 13.1 miles, that magical place of achievement that brings so much more than a coveted medal that we proudly wear around our necks. The run-walk-run approach is the method we use to get us there, and with this training strategy, we not only finish, but we will finish strong!