Monday, April 2, 2012

Half Marathon Training: Weeks 3, 4 & 5


I had a week 3 training update all ready to go, but I became very sick at the beginning of week 4 and it never got published. So I'm smashing everything into one post for time's sake.

Week 3 was a good week, although a felt slower than usual. I kept up with all of my workouts and was still feeling good about training for my first half marathon.

Then week 4 hit. I eventually went to the doctor and found out that I had a bad UTI (urinary tract infection). I had chills and fever, plus body aches and vomiting. It was not fun at all. I didn't eat much solid food, and I obviously didn't have the energy to work out. I was registered to run an 8k race at the end of week 4 and had to scrap those plans.

Into week 5 (last week), I started getting some energy back. So Thursday I went for a run with no expectations. I made it 2 miles and felt like I was going to keel over. My legs had no strength. I started to worry about how this was setting me back in my training, but I had to switch my focus from training to simple recovery.

Saturday, I was able to go for a 4 mile run. Again, reminding myself that I needed to still be in recovery mode. It's a hard place to be. Training for 13.1 miles is huge (H-U-G-E) and my training plan is aggressive (for me). But I was pretty sick, and my body still needed time. Still needs time.

So my goals for this week are continued recovery and to work on building my endurance back up. Even if I can't get all my miles in, I want to get all of my workouts in. Three days of running, two days of cross training and strength training, one day of yoga, and one day of rest.

This is the first time since making a commitment to healthy living that I've had a set back due to illness. Thankfully, I'm a healthy person, and I haven't been sick enough in over two years to miss more than one workout, let alone miss ten days. This has been a mental battle for me, to remember to listen to my body, and to be okay with doing less than what the plan calls for.

Do you have any tips to help me? Have you been through an illness or injury that set you back during training for a big event?


  1. So glad you are on the mend! Yes, your goal is huge, but doable. Take care and listen to your body. I don't have any good advice from you other than really take care and work on visualization. Mental is a big part of a long run. Can't wait to hear how you do.

  2. Hey Heather, you are doing awesome! All I can think of is to trust the plan? You sound like you are following your half marathon plan better than me, so you should be fine. Listen to your body as well. You've just reminded me though, 2 weeks out from my next one I have to really make sure to get my vitamin C & D and ward off colds. You'll get back to where you should be in no time.

  3. I just started running again (after an embarrassingly long break) and it was hard not to be discouraged by how much my endurance had diminished in that time. However, yoga has provided so many lessons in just listening to my body and that's really all the advice I have: keep listening and appreciate each baby step toward your goals. Can't wait to see your progress!

  4. Yes oh yes! I was really sic 8 weeks before my last 1/2 marathon. I've learned that giving your body time off to recover is best, then slowly ramp back into your training. If you don't rest, you could end up VERY sick and miss the race entirely.
    I had a UTI/Kidney infection 2 weeks ago too & am just finding that my energy is starting to come back. I had to miss out on my 30k race because of it. Hugs! I'm glad to hear you're doing better!

  5. PS - I'm so proud of you for not being afraid of this challenge - I like how you've set your mind on it and are working towards the half marathon - you are very very inspiring!!!

  6. I'm glad you are starting to feel better, I hate when I'm really motivated and sticking to a plan and then BAM, sick. There is really nothing you can do but listen to your body. Keep your head up, I can't wait to hear about the rest of your training! A half marathon seems like an impossible dream for me right now but maybe one day I'll get there!

  7. Thank goodness you are on the mend and getting back to your running. UTIs are nothing to mess with!