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How to Train for a Half Marathon: ex college athlete goes rogue!

Updated: Jul 25, 2020

Okay, full disclosure, I've never been much of a runner. BUT I've always been an athlete. I played Division II college volleyball and have cross-trained my entire life. I basically live for the weight room, and am currently loving the CrossFit gym.

This September I am serving as the maid of honor in my best friend Lexi's wedding, and in an act of solidarity, I told her I'd run a half marathon with her. What kind of best friend would I be if I didn't?!

If you are committed, you can do it! A half marathon is 13 miles. For perspective, running 13 miles basically just means running for two hours straight. Lots of people start out by walking the 13 miles. I'm currently running 9:45 minute miles, which I've spent time working up to.

Here's the scoop. I did a ton of research into apps, training programs, shoes, bluetooth... everything. I always over research, so let me be your guide. I started a 16 week training program, and am due to race on 8/25 in the Thirsty 13 in Durango, Colorado.

Training Tools

Running the half marathon will be a small investment, but each of these tools will give you everything you need to be successful.

1. Bluetooth Headphones

I am using Apple's Airpods. I was a little skeptical about these $150 bluetooth ear buds, but they are worth it every penny. I love them! The music quality is stellar, and I like to run with one Airpod in, so I can hear with my other ear... Wireless really takes your game to the next level, it's nice not to be tangled up in a cord!

2. Running Belt

Here's the link to the belt I bought, for $9. The belt is great because you can store chapstick, phone, airpods, sunglasses, a little water if needed, or a dog treat. It's light and the weight distribution is nice, you'll need some sort of pouch on any distance over ten miles. I know other runners who like arm belts.

3. High Quality Shoes

I have been running in Altras and Topos for this training cycle. I think it is important to switch shoes frequently. I have high arches, and I've always had feet problems. This past 15 weeks, my feet have been happy and healthy! Both shoes I recommend offer super wide toe boxes. Good shoes should run you at least $100. My dad owns a comfort shoe company, Z-CoiL Footwear, so we are big shoe people! I highly recommend a rigid orthotic and high arch supports. His company makes some fantastic arch inserts with adjustable height, which I also use in all of my shoes. You can use my discount code: LINDLEYGALLEGOS for a 10% off discount.

4. Nike Plus Training App

This app is stellar, user friendly, and FREE. Just download it on iOS or android and enter your goal to run a half marathon. You'll enter the date of your race, and the app will develop a training program that intelligently changes each week as your running pace gets faster. The app has short runs, long runs, and days on the track for speed training. If you follow their program to to a T, you'll cross the finish line with flying colors!

That's it! Running is simple. And if you follow the program, you'll quickly increase your speed and strength. I am learning to love running-- it's a great way to clear your head and I feel accomplished each time I reach a new milestone!

I'll post again after the half marathon and include more insights and reflections. Feel free to message me if you're considering running a half marathon, need some motivation or have questions. I plan to work up to a marathon in the near future!


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