Winter 2011 Half Marathon Training Plan

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Umm…Is it summer yet…?

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Beautiful as it is to look at, the cold weather, snow, and lack of sunlight started to take a toll on my workout motivation this Winter.

By mid-January, the holiday fun is over and the long winter looms like the holiday credit card bill that you know is going to arrive any day now. I drool over travel websites and Eric and I start wondering if we are too young to become Snow Birds for 6 months of the year.

Amazingly, I have been able to stay consistent with exercise, but I haven’t felt the excitement and passion for exercise that I often feel during the warmer months. I realized I need a challenging goal to carry me through the rest of the Winter season in positive spirits. I am a goal driven person and I had a feeling that if I set a fitness goal for myself, it would make all the difference.

To put it simply: I need a GAME PLAN.

I created this Half Marathon Training Plan that would carry me through the winter with an end goal of running my 4th half marathon in April 2011. I haven’t decided on what half marathon race I will be running yet (so the last couple weeks of training may change slightly), but I will eventually figure it out over the next month or two.

My plan is adapted from Hal Hidgon’s Intermediate Half Marathon training plan. I have been running about 15-20 miles a week and I have run 3 half marathons to date, so I decided the Intermediate plan was a good fit for me. You can follow along my training on my races page as I will be updating it daily.

Week
Mon strength Tue    Rest Wed Speed Thu Strength + run Fri     easy run Sat    Rest or Xtrain Sun    long run Mileage
1         (Jan 2-9) Strength: Body Pump 3 m run 2 m run Long run: 6.2 m/10k run Rest 30 min elliptical, 10 mins weights  5 m run (50 mins, 6.0 mph, incline 2%) 16 miles
 
2         (Jan 10-16) Rest 15 min Booty Booster, 8 min abs + 3m run    Speed:        1m warm-up (6.0mph)+ 8 x 400m (7.5mph)  5 m run (6.5 mph, 2% incline) + strength (12 mins legs) 4 m run Rest Long Run:  6 m run, 10 mins abs 21 miles
3        (Jan 17-23) Strength Rest 50 min tempo 3 m run+ strength 4 m run X-train or Rest Long run:  7m run 19 miles
4        (Jan 24-30) Strength + 2 m run Rest Speed:        8 x 400m 3 m run+ strength 4m run X-train or Rest Long Run:  8m run 19 miles
5         (Jan 31-Feb 6) Strength  Rest 40 min tempo 3 m run + strength 4m run X-train or Rest Long Run:  9 m run 20 miles
6        (Feb 7-13)       Fall Back Week Strength Rest Speed:        9 x 400m 3 m run + strength 4m run X-train or Rest Long Run:  5 m run 14 miles
7        (Feb 14-20) Strength + 2 m run  Rest 30 min tempo 3 m run + strength 5 m run X-train or Rest Long Run:  9 m run 22 miles
8        (Feb 21-27) Strength Rest Speed:      12 x 400m 3 m run + strength 5 m run X-train or Rest Long Run:  10 m run 21 miles
9        (Feb 28-March 6) Strength + 2 m run Rest 30 min tempo 3 m run + strength X-Train X-train or Rest Long Run:  11 m run 19 miles
10       (Mar 7–Mar 13) Fall back week #2 Rest or Strength Rest Speed:      12 x 400m 3 m run + strength 2 m run X-train or Rest Long Run:  5 m run 13 miles
11     (Mar 14-March 20) Strength + 2 m run Rest 30 min tempo 3 m run + strength Rest X-train or Rest Long Run:  12 m run 20 miles
12      (Mar 21-March 27) Rest Rest 50 min tempo 3 m run + strength Rest X-train or Rest Long Run:  13 m run 21 miles
13      (Mar 28- Apr 3) Rest Rest Speed:      12 x 400m 5 m run + strength Rest Long Run:  8 m run Rest (Taper Begins!!) 16 miles
14      (Apr 4- Apr 10) taper week Rest Rest 4 mile easy run X-train Rest Rest Half Marathon (TBD)  4 miles + race

Note: Bold text = Completed.

My training plan key is as follows:

Mondays: STRENGTH = Booty Camp Fitness DVD, Body Pump, OR 30 Day Shred DVD. I aim for at least 40 minutes of strength on Mondays.

Tuesdays: REST

Wednesdays: SPEED WORK = I do speed intervals of 400 metres (0.25 miles) with walking breaks in between for 0.05 miles. For example, I may run 400 metres at 7.5 mph, and then walk for recovery at 3.5 mph for 0.05 miles, then I keep repeating the intervals. If my training plan says, 12 x 400m, it means I will be doing 12 speed repeats, which is equal to 3 miles of speed work (plus recovery walking distance too). 1600 m = 1 mile.

Thursdays: STRENGTH + RUN = At least 15 mins. of strength training mixed with running

Fridays: EASY RUN = Running at an easy pace for myself (usually around 6.0 mph, incline 1%)

Saturdays: REST or X-TRAIN: Depending on how I feel I may take another rest day or I may do easy cross training (e.g., elliptical).

Sundays: LONG RUN = Each week I will be building 1 mile onto my long runs to prepare for a half marathon in April. The only time I will not be building mileage are my 2 fall back weeks.

Fall Back Week = A week that I decrease my running mileage to give my body a break. I have two fall back weeks during my 14 weeks of training. My last week is also a taper week before the race.

Rest Days = I will take 1-2 rest days per week, or more, depending on my training and how my body is feeling. The plan may change a bit from week to week based on how I feel. I may take more rest days as needed or I may switch things up a bit if my schedule changes.

Stretching/Yoga = I will be using Polly’s Yoga for Runners video for stretching after hard workouts!

This half marathon training is going to be a BIG challenge for me because I will be doing most of my training indoors on the treadmill, except for the times I can run outdoors safely (likely, mid-March and beyond). I have a rule of thumb when running indoors- I never put the incline below 1% and I often run at a 2% incline. This helps counteract that it is supposedly easier to run on a treadmill than on the outdoor terrain. Hopefully once I do hit the road, I won’t be horribly undertrained.

It won’t be easy, but I am confident that it can be done! I’m also including a lot of strength work like Body Pump and Booty Camp Fitness and weekly speed training too, which will help break it up and keep it exciting.

Racing is FUN…and the training…is so worth it. Sometimes, I just need to remind myself of this more during the Winter.

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To.

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Succeed.

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With.

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Goals.

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We Must.

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Visualize.

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Success!

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Hopefully, before I know it…April will be here and I will be running my 4th half marathon!

Since I started the training plan a couple weeks ago, I feel more motivated and excited about the training. Normally, I am not a training plan type of girl and I prefer to fly by the seat of my pants, but I think this will actually help my motivation this Winter. I am really looking forward to kicking off the running season with a challenging half marathon in April!

I’m not going to lie though, I may have to break down and get cable TV again so I have something to entertain my long indoor runs…

Do you use training plans for your workouts or do you prefer to just make it up as you go along? Are you training for anything right now?

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{ 127 comments… read them below or add one }

Hannah January 16, 2011

In Australia it is Summer! Wanna come visit? I just made raw vegan key lime pie… ;)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 16, 2011

Yes, I will be there in 20 hours. Slightly longer, if there is a layover. ;)

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Madeleine@ Stepping to the Brightside January 16, 2011

I’m SO ready for summer myself- today’s glorious weather and beach trip confirmed it. I’m a huge planner- if I don’t lay out a weekly schedule for my workouts, I tend to take days off at a time and once I fall off that wagon, it’s extremely difficult to hop back on…

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Gail January 16, 2011

I get in the same rut during the winter months. It definitely is harder to stay motivated when it’s cold and dreary outside. I pretty much make up my training as I go along, doing what feels right for the day. I’ve only ever ran a 5k and 10k. I’ve had knee surgery on both knees, so I don’t want to overdo it with my running. Unfortunately, for the last 4 or so months my ankle has really been bothering me. I’m not sure what the deal is, it doesn’t hurt when I’m not on it, and even most of the time when I’m walking it feels normal. Then all of a sudden a shooting pain will go through it (in the front by the big ankle bone – I believe there’s a tendon there). Anyway, that’s pretty much stopped any running I was doing. I need to see a doctor about it. Which bums me out. I’ve done the Bolder Boulder 10k every year for the last 6 years, and I have a feeling I’m going to have to sit this year out :0(

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 16, 2011

I hope your ankle starts to feel better..that is never fun to deal with.

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Gail January 16, 2011

Thanks! I hope so too. I think I’ve just strained it, but we’ll see.

To respond to one of your previous blogs about home cleaning products. I clean almost everything with a solution of 1/2 water, 1/2 white vinegar. That works like a charm and it is so cheap! I actually think my mirrors and countertops sparkle so much better (probably because there’s not a film on them like with traditional cleaners). Also, if I have a stubborn spot, I sprinkle a little bit of baking soda on it and spray it with the vinegar solution. I love to watch it bubble, and it really works well. Sure, I have to use a little bit more elbow grease, but that’s ok. I even cleaned my oven this way, and it sure did take a lot of effort, but I’m so happy that I didn’t use the chemical oven cleaner. I’ve got dogs and my sister’s little kids come over and I don’t want them getting chemical residues all over their feet/paws. Sometimes my dogs will have an accident on the carpet, and with that I use 1 part hydrogen peroxide to 10 parts water (I use club soda), I saturate the area with it, and put an old rag on top. This will soak all or most of it. Depending on how large the stain, I might have to do this several times, but it really works well. I don’t know about cat pee, though, I believe that’s a bit more oily and therefore harder to get out. When I had my cats they didn’t have any accidents on the carpet.

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Briana January 16, 2011

I am running my very first Half Marathon in May and I am starting my training next month. I’m so nervous! I’m in Vancouver so while it is awfully gloomy at this time of year, at least it’s warmer ;-)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 16, 2011

I would love to run the Vancouver half!! have you seen the course?

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Lana January 16, 2011

I used that EXACT Hal Hidgon’s training plan for my first half, with the exception of the speed runs because I was training outside without a Garmin. I followed the plan to the T and it worked wonders for me!!! I finished my first half in 1 hour and 58 minutes. So Proud.

Just remember that amazing feeling you get when you cross the finish line as you run on the treadmill!! (and yes, cable or some fun new music might help ;)

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Allison @ Food For Healing January 16, 2011

good luck! i would totally plan out something like that if i was running a race, maybe one day i will

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Ari @ ThE DiVa DiSh January 16, 2011

Love that you posted this! I am getting ready for my FIRST half marathon this summer and I am SUPER nervous! I don’t really know how to “train/prepare,” so it may be a good idea to plan it out =]

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Amanda (Eating Up) January 16, 2011

I can’t wait for spring either! I have a stupid cast on my hand which makes working out problematic. Sweaty cast is no good according to the Dr. When I get it off, spring should come a few weeks later!

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Kristina @ spabettie January 16, 2011

ha… my grandparents and aunt + uncle spend each winter in Palm Desert – this time of year I wonder HOW SOON I can start doing that too… :D

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Sana January 16, 2011

You are going to need some good music!!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 16, 2011

yea or some trashy tv…

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Little Aspects January 16, 2011

Aw it’s so hot and humid here in Australia, that snow looks so nice and inviting – want to do a house swap for awhile? :)

Best of luck with your half marathon training plan! I found that interval training (400s and 800s) and hill training really helped to bring my half marathon times down – they are the best workouts! :)

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ashley@quasichick January 16, 2011

I am so ready for spring too :) Your training plan is impressive. I know you can do it, and can’t wait to hear all about it!

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Katy (The Singing Runner) January 16, 2011

Ahhh! So exciting!!!

I am currently training for a half-marathon! :D I just did my first last Saturday at Disney! :D 7 weeks to go for my second one! :D

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Kirsten January 16, 2011

You really find running on a treadmill easier? I find it so much harder. I’m training for my second half and doing a vast majority of the runs on the treadmill and I’m struggling much more than I ever did outdoors.

I do follow a training plan, I don’t know if I would motivated (or able to finish) without one!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 16, 2011

Personally I do not find it easier, but that is what I read everywhere! Actually it was funny b/c when I made the switch from outdoors to indoors for the season I noticed the treadmill was REALLY hard! And I was running at a slower pace so I couldnt figure out why. I dont get it…

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Jazz January 16, 2011

I run slower on the treadmill too, I saw lots of posts like that on runners world so I guess lots of people have that problem! (whieh was a relief!)

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Leia January 16, 2011

I am a really novice runner. At the moment, it has only been possible for me to run indoors on the treadmill, but after a couple of weeks my knees start hurting, so I have to stop running. I’ve been doing this on and off for a year, so I’ve never been able to build up my endurance and stamina… whenever I stop and start again, it’s back to square 1! Your motivation is really inspiring, though. I really want to get fit, but I don’t know if running is the right exercise for me.

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Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) January 16, 2011

Training plans? No, I have never made one or had one. I’ve run probably 250 races in my life…5k, 10k, half’s, marathons, triathlons, and always just wing it. I tell myself as the race gets closer, ummm, I need to run a little bit more this week. So, i run for an hour a few times. Then the next week, I run for 1 hr 15 mins. I just bump up the duration and hope for the best.

But this is all past tense. Because I dont run races anymore. They start at the a**crack of dawn and I have a small child. Waking a child up at 5am and pushing a stroller does NOT sound like fun. lol. So I dont run races anymore. But i run alone. And do yoga, lift, etc. and I just wing it on everything :)

I love your training plan!! I can’t wait to read about your progress and how it all goes!

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veganlisa January 16, 2011

I’m right there with you – a training plan and a goal is the only way I can stay really consistent with my training through the winter. I try to run outside as often as possible – I live downtown Toronto so it is possible most days. Like you, I’m finding that I need to compliment my runs with other strength training. Do you have a Body Pump video? I have a bunch of Bob Harper’s videos that I find challenging.

I hope your goal continues to pull you forward with each step. Having a great goal is an amazing commitment to your future.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 16, 2011

For Body Pump I take the Goodlife class at the gym…I dont think they have a video out, but maybe I am wrong!

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CathyK January 16, 2011

isn’t it fun to map out training plans!!! that being said, i usually just wing it. when i was racing a lot, i just ran…that being said, for my next race i would like to try a plan, then i can compare and contrast how i feel with/without one!
maybe consider waterloo half marathon in april?? it’s not an easy course but quite scenic!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 16, 2011

Yea I am considering Waterloo and Guelph in April :) Have you run the Waterloo? Its hilly I imagine?

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Cara Craves... January 16, 2011

I just go with the flow with my workouts.
I am not training for anything specifically, just my own personal well-being,
so I just choose a workout based on how I am feeling. Yoga some days,
Jillian Michaels another; I like to switch things up a lot!

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lindsay January 16, 2011

great plan! I think its a must to have during those winter months. Keeps us going. April will be here soon. I can feel the warmth!
LC

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Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine January 16, 2011

I’m training for a half at the end of March, and then one in April, but I’m going to go with an 8 week plan because I tend to burn out so quickly on a 12 week one!! Running in the winter is so hard to get motivated for, but I think springtime races are the best!

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Sharon January 16, 2011

I ran my first half marathon in November and my first Marathon a week ago today :). I sort of kind of followed training plans… definitely in the last two weeks or so of the training period but the rest of it I kind of just did what I could fit in. I wish there was a post Marathon training plan. Well actually, there are some but they are way too general for me.

I don’t know how you do it. I would be absolutely terrified of training for a half marathon on a treadmill. Maybe you like treadmills better than I do. After about a mile I’m usually done mentally. I try to tell myself that I can run 20 miles so 5 miles should be fine but it is just crazy hard.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 16, 2011

post marathon training plan sounds like a good idea! lol

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chelsey @ clean eating chelsey January 16, 2011

Your training plan looks great! I need plans ans schedules to keep me on track – I am totally type A!

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Geneviève January 16, 2011

I’m in Ottawa, so I completely understand how the weather can really bring you down. I love running outside and would easily be out more if it wasn’t -20 C out! I am also starting to train for my first half (Ottawa Race weekend at the end of May) and a lot of my training will have to be done on the treadmill (yuck). Thanks for posting your plan and for keeping us updated – makes me feel happy that I’m not the only Canadian girl dealing with winter struggles!

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Andrea M January 16, 2011

My training plan started last week. I am running the Toronto Marathon on May 15 and in order to make the training (and winter!) seem shorter, I have registered for races when it worked with my schedule (i.e. 30k long run translated into Around the Bay, 5k tempo = local Good Friday 5k). But I am also training by myself this time (I have typically trained with a running group) so I think that the races will break up my training and make May come so much quicker!

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Anne P January 16, 2011

You should come run the DC National Half Marathon with all of us in late March! I just started training this week, too. First long run – check!

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amy January 16, 2011

Check out http://www.bodyrock.tv.com for a fun addition to your strength training

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amy January 16, 2011

sorry its just http://www.bodyrock.tv

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 16, 2011

Thanks will check it out :)

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Beach Bum Beauty January 16, 2011

I am training for the Paris Half Marathon which is in March and I too am doing a lot of training on a treadmill due to the weather and am finding it extremely hard. The only thing that keeps me going is that I am running the race with a great group of girls so don’t want to let them down and a great playlist on my ipod. You can do it Angela!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 16, 2011

paris half sounds amazing!!!

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Beach Bum Beauty January 16, 2011

It’s going to be my first one so am very excited by not only the run but fitting in some sight-seeing too with my husband. After all, they say it’s the city of love!

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Sportsgirl January 16, 2011

Definitely always have a training plan or else you just spin your wheels. I’m training for a powerlifting competition in May!

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Samantha @ Health, Happiness & Skinny Jeans January 16, 2011

I am currently training for a 1/2 this Spring as well and your plan looks like mine. I try to get a lot of x-training in when I can (while my mileage is still low) because I think my body responds better to training when it is stronger overall. I am really eager for spring though and the ability to run outside in the warm sun again!

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JL goes Vegan January 16, 2011

I love Hal Higdon’s training plans! I switch between beginner, intermediate and advanced — depends on the time of year and what’s going on with my my body. I’m coming off of an IT band issue so I’m using the beginner training plan for an early April Half (my seventeenth!) I just want to train well and cross the finish line standing. I’ll focus on goals and speed later in the year.

Happy training to you!

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Becky January 16, 2011

I want to run a 10k this summer. I have a hard time running on the treadmill, but it has been cold here to run outside, and usually I won’t run. But I am going to try and run on the treadmill. I do usually do st two days a week, which I am going to continue, but I like your interval training, I think I am going to give that a try on wed. Do you just run your fatest for 0.25, then how long do you walk for? Where did you get your program from? Thanks for all the information that you give!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 16, 2011

I walk for recovery for about 0.05 miles- not very long, but just enough to catch my breath and go for another .25 miles :)

Plan adapted from Hal hidgon’s Intermediate plan. I really hacked it up though!

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Becky January 16, 2011

I think I want to run tomorrow, but I have been sick for the past 7 days with the flu, so I am going to take it slow. I still think I might have to run outside. I will just bundle up and run. But definitly will do the treadmill on Wednesday because I want to do the interval training. I really like doing interval training.

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Carrie (Moves 'N Munchies) January 16, 2011

WOW! great training program- i havent run any races.. hopefully in my future :)

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Traci(faithfulfoodiefashionista) January 16, 2011

I am ready for the cold to go away. It is much harder to be motivated in the winter months. I am training for my first half marathon in April :) I’m excited and nervous at the same time. I just started a new job and it is very physically demanding and training is just so hard right now because i’m exhausted by the time I get home :( Thanks for sharing your training plan. I find it very helpful :)

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Julie January 16, 2011

Hi Angela, I noticed that we both have the same Camelbak. However, I have problems with the mouth thing flying on me/at me while running… do you have the same problem? Or what do you do to try and stop it from flopping all over? I try to tuck mine into the straps but just wondering what you do…

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Erin January 16, 2011

Good for you Angela – you can do it!

I have lost and kept off 55 lbs over the last 3 1/2 years, and a huge part of my success is thanks to becoming vegan and finding a workout I love. I am in Calgary and do Jari Love’s Get Ripped! workouts (she’s from here too but has lots of DVDs available through her website: http://www.jarilove.com/). It’s a high-intensity interval workout that uses a combination of cardio an hand weights for maximum conditioning and fat burn. It is supported by fitness lab research and really works! I have had so much success with the program and believe in it so much that I have been working on my instructor certification since the fall. If you get tired of your other DVDs, you may want to check it out.

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Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day January 16, 2011

I’m attempting the Couch to 5K.. total newb here. I have a goal to run a marathon when I’m 42. I just turned 39.

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stacey-healthylife January 16, 2011

I’m also looking forward to warmer months and getting outside more for those nice runs and biking.

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Dancer January 16, 2011

Angela! This is my first time posting and you are such an inspiration!

First I want to tell you the BEST half marathon I ever did was almost strictly based on treadmill training. Most of my runs would be considered hill training you could say. Basically I would run on a 1% as my flat at my race pace and add my hills (like every other mile or something) and then when I felt completely wiped and like I couldn’t do anymore incline I would throw in a 5% for a mile or something (basically to simulate the fact that you cannot predict when hills come in the race). It worked very well for me :)

You can do it!!

Just wanted to add that I’m really struggling with trying to overcome BED and you inspire me every day to keep going.

P.S. This might sound scary to you, but I would take a solid 5-7 days off before the race. No exercise. This supposedly gets your muscles fully healed and ready for peak performance on race day. My personal experience is that it is sooooooo true, and for other runner friends as well. Something you may want to consider now that you’re getting to be a veteran runner :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 16, 2011

Thanks for the encouragement…glad to know that others have trained indoors successfully too! :)

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Liz @ Tip Top Shape January 16, 2011

I’m not a huge exerciser, but when I do I pretty much wing it.

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