Getting’ My Mojo Back

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Tomorrow, I will finish my third book.

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I know I’ve been saying that “I’m nearly done!” for days, but this is how these things go.  You think you’re almost done, but then you remember you still need to do the Table of Contents.  But tomorrow is really, truly the end of the first draft.  Wahoo!  Cue the book-shaped confetti.

 

Tomorrow also marks of the beginning of something else:  Getting my fitness mojo back.  Specifically, my running mojo.  I’m pumped.

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For the last two months or so, I’ve kind of given myself a ‘free pass’ with exercise.   I wrote that I cannot – and should not – do it all, and since work was so busy, I pulled way back on exercise.   I think it’s really important to recognize that fitness levels naturally ebb and flow in response to the rest of your life; otherwise, your panties get all bunched up when work, family, or friends call.  Since pulling back, the following things occurred:

 

First of all, while I still ran 6 – 10 miles a week, I got slower.  A lot slower.  And my endurance tanked.  I’ve been walking a lot more than ‘normal,’ but I’m okay with that!

 

Secondly, my motivation has also waned.  I struggle to stick with my workouts when I don’t have a ‘deadline’ – like a race – to motivate me.

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Now that I have a bit more time in my schedule, I am happy to fill that void up again with TRAINING. 

 

I figured that I might as well go big or go home – I signed up for a Half Marathon. 

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I’m excited but nervous.  I haven’t ran a Half Mary since December 2009 and haven’t run the distance since October 2010, when I did a Marathon.  I love the 13.1 distance; however, when I was training to set a personal record in the Half last spring, I managed to injure myself and ended up walking the entire race.

 

I’m tackling this Half Marathon with an unusual training plan.  I’m going to do as much cross-training as possible – lots of swimming, biking, and yoga – and only plan to run three days a week.  Doing triathlons really taught me to value and appreciate cross-training!  Since the race is in seven weeks, I also plan to walk/run all the long runs and the race to reduce the impact training inflicts on my body.  In all the 40 races that I’ve completed, I’ve never tackled a long race in this mindset.  Normally, I’m all about the running and going as fast as possible, but this time – I just want to have fun, walk/run a Half, and get my mojo back!

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(You can read the plan here)  As always, I created an ‘enthusiastic’ plan, knowing I will take more rest days than actually scheduled.

 

Like I said, I’ve never trained in this fashion before and am basically using myself as a guinea pig.   Since I’m planning to walk a lot of the race, I think it will all work out. 

 

So, as I said, I’ve also been struggling with motivation.  I figure my motivation will increase once work cools down, but I also know that having a training plan will help GREATLY.  There’s something so motivating about writing down your plan.  I’ve even printed it out and taped it in a highly visible location. 

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Just seeing my plan on the fridge inspired me to squeeze in my bike ride.  I rode 45 minutes on the indoor training while editing the book.  Multitasking is a beautiful thing.

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So – I wanna here your thoughts, as I’m sure so many of you are gearing up for Fall races.  Do you incorporate lots of cross-training into your plan?  Anyone else planning to walk/run a half marathon?  And do you tape up a hard copy of your training plan, too?

{ 123 comments }

 

  • cathy September 5, 2011, 7:32 pm

    i LOVE xtraining, both because it reduces injury and because i genuinely enjoy different cardio activities! but running is still #1! my training plans are just in my head! i have a rough idea and then go by how i feel when i wake up in the morning to see what i do – it works for me!
    love that you picked a half marathon goal and are jazzed to train again, caitlin! and congrats that you WILL finish the book tomorrow!

  • Sarah September 5, 2011, 7:38 pm

    I’ve heard great things about mixing in lots of XT during a training plan, and I have found I benefit more/stay more motivated when I don’t try to run 6 days a week, it just starts to feel like too much of one thing, and too much pressure! For my upcoming races I’m toying with 3-4 days of running and 2-3 days of XT, for a total of 5-6 days/week.

    Good luck with the book finishing!!! (PS that feels crazy to type!)

  • Mia September 5, 2011, 7:40 pm

    I don’t cross train much, but I don’t feel like I have to…I rarely get injured, and when I do, it’s rarely serious.
    As for training plans, I don’t use them…at this point I run 12 – 13 miles every weekend anyway, so I feel like I could run a half marathon without really training per se. I do think writing things down is a good idea if you’re struggling with motivation…there is even research that shows that. In fact, I should probably start leaving notes to my self to work on my dissertation 🙂

    • CaitlinHTP September 5, 2011, 8:17 pm

      Girl you are on FIRE. I am so impressed with your endurance and commitment. Send some my way!

  • jamie @ cueyourlife September 5, 2011, 7:43 pm

    I’m right there with you…except my mojo tanked because of injury. I’ve been biking a lot, LOVING my road bike. Tomorrow, I’m posting on my new goal for 2011…I’m going to take a break from longer distance and really work on speed for an upcoming 5k.

    Can’t wait to see how you progress…you’re a great motivator!

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey September 5, 2011, 7:44 pm

    I limit myself to running 3 times a week when I’m training for something, which means I do some cross training as well! I want to still do strength training and yoga, so I have to balance it all out!

  • Amy September 5, 2011, 7:48 pm

    Yay! Hubby and I are doing that race, too! We’ll probably be doing some walking as well so I’m sure I’ll see you there!

  • Allyson September 5, 2011, 7:48 pm

    I bike and swim on off days or training for tris. I am training for the chicago marathon right now, running 65Plus mile weeks. I should swim with free time but don’t. If I has to
    Walk/run a half I would shoot myself. Sorry, I feel like if you are spending money on a race you should train your best and hope for a

  • Tami September 5, 2011, 7:49 pm

    I have only been running 3 days a week two years…I jumped on the triathlon bandwagon last year and while I am very much looking forward to m Nd half ironman on Sunday…I am a little burnt out with it all and can’t wait to focus on a fall half marathon that I signed up for. I think your plan sounds great, I need a little more yoga and weight training when m tri season needs! And a massage!

    • CaitlinHTP September 5, 2011, 8:17 pm

      Good luck on the half ironman!!! 🙂 I wish you the best!

  • Hillary September 5, 2011, 7:52 pm

    When I was training for a half last summer/fall, I went easy on the cross-training until I realized how vital it was to my overall performance. Even a year after the race, I’ve kept up with some form of cross-training to give my body a break from running. It makes me feel so much fresher when I DO run!

  • Allyson September 5, 2011, 7:54 pm

    Eeks, didn’t finish my comment. I feel like if u spend $ on race fees you should train for a pdr. Me and my husband motto is “Go Big or Go Home.” Took me a long time to realize some of my goals for the marathon though.

  • Katie September 5, 2011, 7:55 pm

    I’m an actor, and just wrapped up a very intensive month of traveling back and forth from DC to NYC for performances. As a result, I decided to be gentle with myself on the exercise front, and not beat myself up for doing it less. Now that I’m getting back into it, my motivation has kind of tanked too! It’ll be helpful for me to see you going through a similar thing. I’m sure seeing you have a kick-butt attitude will help mine to come back too 🙂

  • Kayla @ The Best Things September 5, 2011, 7:55 pm

    Nothing like a long race on the horizon to help you get your butt out the door eh? I’m training for my first 10 miler and I’m doing my best to run a lot, but I just love so many other things. Lots of Zumba and yoga! I have a colour coded training plan on my desktop for motivation! I love it.

  • Jesse September 5, 2011, 7:59 pm

    I’m following an {adapted} training plan from the Run Less Run Faster book that is a 3 plus 2 training plan. 3 days of running plus 2 days of cross training. I’m injury prone {shins} so I decided three days a week of running would be ideal for me right now. I’m training for a half marathon in early October and a full marathon in early December — as well as a few other shorter races in between. I actually cross train 3+ days a week though and I’ve seen a HUGE improvement in my overall fitness AND my running since starting to incorporate more cross training in April and starting this training plan in July. I LOVE walk breaks when I’m running and I often find that my overall pace is FASTER when I take regularly scheduled walk breaks so often I will run my long runs doing 4:1 run/walk intervals. This is my approach for a 10 mile race this weekend and both my half marathon and full marathon later this fall. I have a copy of my training plan tapped up on the wall above my computer screen for easy reference when blogging or updating Daily Mile and I also have a copy on my fridge for motivation and in my car so that I have my pace goals with me if I forget them.

    • Jesse September 5, 2011, 8:01 pm

      AND big CONGRATS for finishing up the first draft of your next book! Very exciting 🙂

      And GOOD LUCK in your upcoming training!

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat September 5, 2011, 8:03 pm

    Yep, I love cross training! I fell into indoor cycling on a day when I decided my IT band was too sore to run. After 3 years of teaching it, it’s my next favourite cardio activity after running. Recently I injured my ankle and after 2 weeks of cross training only, I ran a super smooth, amazing pain-free 8.5 miles this morning. Sometimes a break is all you need to get your motivation back! Can’t wait to hear how your training is going! 🙂

  • Danielle September 5, 2011, 8:12 pm

    You obviously know your body and limitations best, but I have to wonder why someone who has only run 6-10 miles a week for a few months and has a history of getting injured would choose to train for a half marathon in 7 weeks? If you need a “big” thing to train for to get excited about running, why don’t you find something that you can just do for fun and that you want to do?!

    • CaitlinHTP September 5, 2011, 8:16 pm

      I actually think 6 – 10 miles and planning to walk/run a half marathon in 7 weeks is pretty realistic. I’m not planning on gunning it during the race. And I do want to do the half! What makes you think I don’t or won’t have fun?

      • Danielle September 5, 2011, 8:26 pm

        Sorry – maybe I just misinterpreted your post!

        You said a 5k seems “very challenging”, which is where my not realistic comment comes from. If you were giving advice to reader who said that a 5k was challenging at the time and they were prone to injury, would you recommend a half?

        And my comment about not wanting to do it (again, probably just misunderstood you!) comes from the fact that you seem not to be able to get motivated unless you have something to train for. I believe that we make time for the things that we truly enjoy, and if you wouldn’t make time for running without a goal at the end, then it seems like you feel like you “should” be running but you don’t seem truly enthusiastic. I find that a ton of bloggers don’t do things just for the love of it. It’s like, they can’t do yoga – it has to be a “30 day yoga challenge” and they can’t just like to bike and swim and run for fun…there has to be a tri at the end! Do you see what I mean? I train for races too and I agree it’s great motivation, but at the end of the day I’d still WANT to run even if there was no race at the end. I would still get up at 6:30 and go to the gym and run on the treadmill, because it makes me happy!

        This is a tangent, but I feel like I NEVER see bloggers just doing regular exercise for fun or health! It’s kind of weird. Do you see this pattern in blogs? Maybe I don’t read enough variety 🙂 There’s always a goal, a challenge, a race, a training plan, a fitness certification, etc.

        • CaitlinHTP September 5, 2011, 8:33 pm

          Haha I guess when I say it’s “very challenging” I guess I meant, relatively, for me. Really, it’s not so bad. But it feels so much hard to me than it used to!

          I guess I do see that pattern in the blog world. I do think some of the ‘challenge’ aspect for bloggers is that it makes blogs fun for the readers to read. It gives you something to blog about and for readers to engage in.

          But I also see myself as someone who trains and races because she enjoys it… not for the blog. I would do this all the time, in the amount I do it currently, blog or not. I think 40 races kind of proves that 🙂 Heh. Only a nut would do 40 races ‘for the blog.’ Although, you know how you said you love to run and would do it without races? I think racing itself IS the major motivator for me to run. I love to run but I love to race more 🙂 Just the atmosphere and the excitement.

          No misunderstanding, it’s okay! Sometimes its hard to convey stuff over comments/blog posts. Lordy knows I know that!!

        • CaitlinHTP September 5, 2011, 8:34 pm

          Oh, also – I think it depends on what blogs you read. I read a lot of ‘training’ blogs where yes, people race and talk about it on every post. But a lot of the healthy living blogs I read have a very minimal emphasis on racing. So maybe it’s just the mix!

        • CaitlinHTP September 5, 2011, 8:37 pm

          Went back and rephrased my ‘5Ks exhaust me’ statement. I was just being melodramatic and don’t want to give anyone the wrong impression!

      • Allyson September 5, 2011, 8:27 pm

        Training 6-10 miles a week and run/walk a half marathon is a big deal. I am sorry but I feel Like this is a Biggest loser thing. Like i said I still
        Feel if u aren’t gunning for a PR….

        • CaitlinHTP September 5, 2011, 8:35 pm

          I guess we just have difference perspectives on racing. I don’t think you shouldn’t race if you aren’t fast. I think a race should be a celebration of your body and training, no matter what your current or past ability. But your mentality would save me a LOT of money! LOL

  • Army Amy* September 5, 2011, 8:12 pm

    I love having a hard copy of my training plan. Something about putting x’s on the runs that I complete is twice as satisfying!*

  • Parita @ myinnershakti September 5, 2011, 8:13 pm

    I like your plan because it fits you. I recently ran/walked a 1/2 marathon with my sister. She injured herself a couple of weeks into her training plan, so we decided to still go through with it but in a responsible manner. I think it’s SO important to listen to your body when exercising. Great job!

  • Ashley September 5, 2011, 8:14 pm

    I incorporate lots of cross training while running, mostly swimming. I’m training to run a half marathon on Oct. 23rd (the Run Like Hell Half Marathon) in Portland. So nervous!

  • Wendy September 5, 2011, 8:17 pm

    I’m using a very non-traditional training plan for my next half. It’s crossfit based, and includes 2 short (1-2 total miles) speed workouts, 1 long run, and 3 crossfit workouts per week. I love running races, but my body does best when running as few miles as possible. I also love crossfit, so this plan is perfect for me. You can see the plan here, click on the Training Calendar tab:
    http://trainingtorunbetter.blogspot.com/

  • Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga September 5, 2011, 8:18 pm

    I’ve never had a formal training plan in my life. I just run. I say, ok I have a race, it’s kinda long, I need to run at least one long run this week and a couple middle distances. And I dont really time myself or my pace. I say, ok, I need to run for an hour or I need to run for 90 mins and I have a rough idea of how far I went, but I dont track it. I am THE most un-scientific runner there is. Which is strange b/c on other things, I am totally OCD about knowing everything down to the nitty gritty detail.

    Can’t wait to see how things unfold for you!

  • LIz September 5, 2011, 8:19 pm

    I’ve been training for my marathon with only 3 runs a week, plus three days of cross training, and so far so good!

  • Mary @ Bites and Bliss September 5, 2011, 8:20 pm

    It is a lot easier to stick with a fitness plan when training for something. I never thought so until training for a marathon, but it really does help!

    I incorporate a lot of cross training in the form of Body Pump and biking. Otherwise I’d get bored.

  • Shaya (Eye Girl Eats) September 5, 2011, 8:23 pm

    I’m sure that when I do someday sign up for a half, I’ll happily jog/walk it! I have no shame when it comes to walking during a race. As it is, I’m going to sign up for a 10k first and I’ll likely set up a training plan for that– and will tape it up somewhere too 🙂

    • Caitlin September 5, 2011, 8:25 pm

      Walking rules!!

  • Jamie September 5, 2011, 8:24 pm

    You inspire me 🙂

    I ran the Disney half back in January with a similar training schedule. It worked really well! My friends that I was running the race with all said it was foolish… they didn’t like that I was “cheating” by using the Galloway method either. Guess who beat all 5 of them that morning?

    I also appreciate your honesty. My knees have no been the same since the half, and running more than 5 miles is impossible. I’ve gone to doctor after doctor, and they only suggest physical therapy. Unfortunately I don’t have the $$ (doing an unpaid year of work in a high poverty area) for the co-pays, so I’m just swimming and doing yoga-free, since I volunteer there. It’s embarrassing that I went from doing 10 milers easily to now struggling with a 5k, but I have to work with what I’ve got, and I still consider myself very blessed.

    • Caitlin September 5, 2011, 8:28 pm

      Girl, don’t be embarassed! How kick ass are we for doing anything – walking a half, swimming or yoga?! Pretty epic if you ask me 🙂

      I bet swimming will do a lot for your knees! I’ve been surprised at how much stronger it made me overall.

  • Luv What You Do September 5, 2011, 8:27 pm

    Good luck getting back into your running MOJO. I sometimes find that after a break,my MOJO comes back full strength! I like your idea to cross train. I am back on the running path and miss my cross training. Next summer…it is triathlons for sure!

  • Amber September 5, 2011, 8:34 pm

    Hey Caitlin! Totally off topic here … I’m thinking about getting acupuncture for something called psychophysiologic insomnia (basically, I worry about not getting sleep and then don’t sleep — vicious cycle). I don’t even know if acunpuncture would help that sort of thing, but I wanted to get your thoughts! If I lived in Charlotte, I’d be making a trip to the holistic doctor, unfortunately, I live too far away. 🙁 Anyways, thanks!

  • Lauren September 5, 2011, 8:35 pm

    I’ve learned that more x-training keeps me happy & motivated during training sessions! I have other workouts besides runs to look forward to, and I stay injury free (most of the time). I’m in the process of deciding to sign up or not for a half in October. I know I can do it, but I don’t want TOO much on my plate at the beginning of a semester.

  • R. Chandra September 5, 2011, 8:36 pm

    yay, go Caitlin!! you will do great. 🙂

    walking is awesome!! if the idea of running 3 miles exhausts me, i’ll happily walk say, 6 instead. and in my marathon training long runs i never run more than a mile without incorporating walking. just did 17 miles on saturday with a 10:45 pace 🙂 – speed is overrated, as long as you are enjoying what you are doing (i honestly loved every bit of being outside for those 3 hours!) and not getting injured that’s all that matters.

    ooh and congrats on the 3rd book!!

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife September 5, 2011, 8:37 pm

    YEAH! Having a plan for motivation is super helpful! Go YOU. And congrats on the end of the book!

  • katie @ KatieDid September 5, 2011, 8:45 pm

    woo hoooo congrats! Looking forward to reading along with your training plans. Looks like a really full plan, I’m sure you’ll have a lot of fun with it too.

  • Caitlin September 5, 2011, 8:52 pm

    I was so glad to see this post this evening! I’ve been training for my first half marathon (coming up in October), and the plan I’m on has me running four times a week. I’ve been swapping out a run for a hot yoga class these past couple of weeks, and have been beating myself up for skipping out on actual runs. This was the perfect reminder that a little cross-training never hurt anyone! And it’s a great way for me to avoid banging up my knees. Good luck with your training plan–that certainly looks ambitious!

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) September 5, 2011, 8:53 pm

    I’m glad that mojo is coming back! Sounds like you’ve been focused on the books, so I can completely understand that! Life is constantly changing, so you go with the punches. That is the theme of my life right now. Congrats on the book and the marathon!

  • Ida September 5, 2011, 8:54 pm

    I think you should look into the run less/run faster plan. You have a strong endurance base, and I think your current plan is kind of selling yourself short on what you could do in 7 weeks time.

    • Jen September 5, 2011, 9:07 pm

      Is that a good book? Compared to Hudson’s “Run Faster”, he doesn’t have much mileage.

      • Ida September 5, 2011, 9:16 pm

        I havent read “run faster” so I couldn’t say. But the Runner’s World plan is pretty legit. It focuses on quality workouts rather than ‘junk’ miles and incorporates lots of cross training.

        • Caitlin September 6, 2011, 9:11 am

          Meganerdruns.com read this book and loved it a lot!

  • Kaitlyn September 5, 2011, 9:05 pm

    I just started the “Run Less Run Faster” training plan that is based on the book (also featured in Runners World a few years back). I suffered from a broken foot and subsequent tendon issues in the past year and was finally cleared to run again. This training plan has been awesome! I cannot recommend it enough. All you are prescribed are 3 scientifically difficult runs a week and the other days are cross training. Those runs kick my butt, and I do not get burnt nor do I have any of the recurring injuries. I highly suggest buying the book.

  • Jen September 5, 2011, 9:05 pm

    First – the book – congrats. Crazy congrats.

    Second, you have got such guts for your training and just signing up for races. I haven’t ran 13 miles in a long time now and feel dead after just a few. It’s really hard to deal with.

    Actually, maybe you could address the following as a future topic sometime…? – When you have someone (yes, me) who used to run well, very competitive and was known for it and almost always at the top of the leader. But then crap happens (long story), and years later struggling just to get out a few miles and times/pace at least twice as slow as what they used to be. I feel like I couldn’t even fathom signing up for a race again unless I hit those times again. And I’m talking like going from a 93 minute half-marathon to over 2 hours. I know – really – that people would say “what happened to her”, she’s terrible now (trust me, they would!). How would you deal with this? Or maybe readers can relate?

    • Cyndi September 5, 2011, 10:43 pm

      Jen – just do it! Start training. Anyone that makes those comments is an idiot and not worth your time. Life is too short – we have to create our own path. Sounds like yours involves running, at your own pace. I had a 9 year break from only a dabble in running and all it takes is the drive and determination to achieve whatever YOU want!
      Wake-up tomorrow, draw up a realistic plan, give yourself the time to train and get out there. I’ve heard people say the STUPIDEST things to me – you have to be strong enough to just turn the other way. People who make comments like that are either rude, stupid or jealous – usually they meet all 3 criteria. It took me 38 years to realize that, but I’m MUCH happier now that I have. Go for it!

    • Julie September 6, 2011, 11:10 am

      This doesn’t really help me.
      I used to be a competitive runner and really bad things happened. And for the last 3 years, I have not jogged one second.
      Literally.
      I literally just walk once a day.
      No jogging, no gyms, no nothing.
      I used to be a hardcore runner. I can’t jog for even 2 seconds now. Just 2 seconds. Nothing. I gave up trying over 2 years ago, because my body is really really bad.

      People who used to know me are disgusted by me. Family member(s) think I’m pathetic and just lazy.
      It KILLS me every single day. I feel so sad and so ashamed.

      • Caitlin September 6, 2011, 12:22 pm

        Aw I’m sorry. I think sometimes it’s important to remember that speed and endurance doesn’t equal a healthy body. If you’re not in the position right now to train, then just focus on other aspects of health – like stretching? Or meditation? I don’t think you should feel ashamed for not being at your old level. I think you should be proud that you were once there, and that no matter what your current situation, you still do something – walking!!

    • Julie September 6, 2011, 11:12 am

      This doesn’t really help me.
      I used to be a competitive runner and really bad things happened. And for the last 3 years, I have not jogged one second.
      Literally.
      I literally just walk once a day.
      No jogging, no gyms, no nothing.
      I used to be a hardcore runner. I can’t jog for even 2 seconds now. Just 2 seconds. Nothing. I gave up trying over 2 years ago, because my body is really really bad.

      People who used to know me are disgusted by me. Family member(s) think I’m pathetic and just lazy.
      It KILLS me every single day. I feel so sad and so ashamed.

  • Jolene (Homespun Heritage) September 5, 2011, 9:06 pm

    Oh girl, I sure hope you get your mojo real quick! I lost 2 weeks of activity due to an allergic reaction, to barium of all things, and ended up losing 10lbs in a way I prefer I hadn’t. I’ll take it though and am working to get my own mojo back!

  • Julie (A Case of the Runs) September 5, 2011, 9:12 pm

    Have fun training! I think you’ll be back in no time, hopefully not going out so quickly as to injure yourself.

  • Jill September 5, 2011, 9:13 pm

    I live by the walk/run (Galloway) method. I’ve set a 1/2 marathon PR using this method and truly believe it’s what enables me to train for distance. I’m running the NYC marathon this fall (my first!) and I never seriously considered running a marathon until I started run/walking. Just knowing I get a 1 min break each mile does wonders for me, psychologically and physiologically.

    I don’t cross train much, in an ideal world I would do more. One thing I do do, and highly recommend, is strength training once/week. It’s helped my pace and form immensely.

    Unrelated, I saw something today that reminded me of Operation Beautiful, and I thought to myself, oh I should tell Caitlin about this, as if I knew you in real life. =) This I think is a testament to how relatable you are in your blog!

  • Holly September 5, 2011, 9:21 pm

    Get it girl! I’m trying to get my workout mojo back too but I’m thinking slightly smaller steps – maybe starting with going the gym tomorrow? haha

  • Angie September 5, 2011, 9:31 pm

    Yes to all three questions! I will be running my second half marathon at the end of October and I have been dealing with runner’s knee (which your blog posts about helped me immensely!). With my first half, my goal was to run the WHOLE time, but with this one, I am incorporating walking and stretching breaks. Any recommendations for during-run stretches?
    Good luck with your training program, and congrats on almost finishing your book!

    • Caitlin September 6, 2011, 1:24 pm

      I do a lot of down dogs during runs! 🙂 I look crazy on the side of the road, though.

      • Allison @ Happy Tales September 6, 2011, 4:46 pm

        i totally whip out yoga poses in random peoples’ yards, too!

  • kathleen @ the daily crumb September 5, 2011, 9:41 pm

    there’s nothing like spending money on a race to motivate you back into a routine!

    i do not incorporate enough cross training into my training plans… and it has led to injuries in the past. it’s definitely super important. i have no run/walked a race, but more power to you! i say however you cross the finish line. and YES, the plan needs to be visible or it ain’t happening. out of sight, out of mind, right?!

  • Mary September 5, 2011, 9:42 pm

    Cross training is so important to prevent injury. Don’t worry, you’re going to be STRONG and FAST for your next race. and not injured. 🙂

  • Kristen @ The Concrete Runner September 5, 2011, 9:45 pm

    I think cross training will be great for you! And I love the idea of putting up a hard copy of your training plan. I used to do that in college, but stopped doing it once I got married + didn’t have a room to myself! I think I am definitely going to be putting it on my fridge again when I start training again.

  • Deva (Voracious Vorilee) September 5, 2011, 9:46 pm

    I cross-train by weight-lifting and occasionally ellipticizing. I just prefer how I feel when lifting and running and doing other non-running/lifting activities – like my whole body is getting stronger, not just parts!

  • ashley @ cooking for john September 5, 2011, 9:49 pm

    I’m currently training for the Detroit Free Press Half Marathon on October 16th- only my 2nd half! My first was back in May and it was a trail race, so I’m excited to see how much faster I’ll be on the road! My training consists of running 3x a week, cross training 2 days of the week, and a little bit of weight training. I also try to do some yoga at least once, if not twice during the week.

    For my first race I put my training plan on the fridge too, but this time around I just left it on my computer. Partially because my printer is out of ink, hah!

  • JenATX September 5, 2011, 9:53 pm

    I don’t have training advice to share with you but I will say that after a slow period when I get back into working out I am nervous about my motivation as well… BUT about three or four really good workouts my motivation soars and I’m ready to tackle all sorts of goals. I’m very confident it will be the same for you 🙂

  • Eleah September 5, 2011, 9:58 pm

    I’ve been running 3 days per week most weeks, too, for marathon training. I’ve run marathons before but never trained properly, and think I am doing a much better job this time. I use my road bike as cross training 1-2 days per week and get lots of rest. And my training plan is also taped up on my fridge- it helps.

  • Mel September 5, 2011, 10:10 pm

    I just signed up for the Seattle Half Marathon last week and I’m so excited! This will be my second half, I did the Spokane Half (Spokane’s in eastern WA) on a whim last year. I decided on a Friday that I was going to run the race on Sunday. Kind of stupid. Needless to say I didn’t train properly, but I’ve been running off and on for about 8 years so I think that helped and I actually did pretty well all things considered. The week after though I got horribly sick…so I definitely wouldn’t recommend doing the same thing! I am looking forward to actually preparing properly this time! And my training plan is totally on the fridge too!

  • Alaina September 5, 2011, 10:10 pm

    I definitely do not cross train enough. I have a gym membership; I really should utilize it for their bikes and yoga classes. I have a half marathon I’m training for at the end of October. Very excited! 🙂

  • Emily September 5, 2011, 10:28 pm

    First off, CONGRATS ON BEING DONE YOUR FIRST DRAFT!! Such an incredible accomplishment, you should feel amazing. Second, I am really interested in seeing how your training plan goes. I am currently working on my first formal training plan for my first 10k. I got the plan from Fitness Mag and, to tell you the truth, all the days of running seems to really be taking a toll on my body. I rest Monday (which I used for a BodyPump type class), run Tuesday, sprint workout wednesday (usually plus more strength), run Thursday, run friday, rest or ct saturday, and long run Sunday. I have found that the tuesday run is majorly effected by the long on Sunday and strength on Monday. By thursday/friday my legs are pretty tired, too. I am worried that I am going to get injured and have already noticed some pain/numbness in my right foot pad and am hoping its just a need for new shoes and not something worse. Do you think a day on, day off routine would be better???

    • Caitlin September 6, 2011, 1:24 pm

      Hi Emily!

      First of all, on a rest day, you shouldn’t be doing anything so hard. You should be resting! If I were you, I would tweak the plan as follows:

      M – Rest
      T – Run
      W – Strength/Body Pump
      T – Run with some speed work
      F – Rest
      S – Long Run
      S – Rest

      You really only need to be running 3/week for a 10K unless you’re trying to crush a serious record.

      Especially if you have injuries forming I would pull WAY back. You are probably already ready for the 10K. Don’t set yourself up to fail!

      • Emily September 6, 2011, 10:11 pm

        Thanks so much for the advice!! I am definitely going to try to alter my plan to be more like the one you suggested. It would most likely be easier to do my long run on Saturday, too. Thanks again, and looking forward to seeing how yours goes, too!

  • Kate (What Kate is Cooking) September 5, 2011, 10:30 pm

    Good luck getting your mojo back! I have a hard time staying motivated to work out if I don’t have a race to train for. I always work out regularly, but I like having a purpose for my workouts!

  • Shannon September 5, 2011, 10:30 pm

    This post came at a great time! I sort of fell off the running bandwagon when I was training for my first tri (sprint distance) that took place at the end of July. (As a former swimmer, I LOVED the tri.) BUT I’ve been registered for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Philly 1/2 marathon (my third 1/2) since April and it’s creeping up on September 18. After the tri I just was NOT into running like I was before. So thank you for reminding me that there’s nothing wrong w/ run/walking a race! I’ll just have a fun race I’m a city I’ve never been to. (And I’m making my bff come with me, so it’ll be a nice mini-vacay.)

    Good luck as you begin your training, and congrats on finishing your book!

    • Caitlin September 6, 2011, 1:22 pm

      Tris rule 🙂 🙂

  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen September 5, 2011, 10:42 pm

    Funny you posted about this b/c I just finished my first 10K today and of course, immediately started thinking about my next race. I’m pretty sure I’m going to run the Philly half at the end of November. Last year, my plan for my first half was ALL running, 5 days a week but and litte else. This time, I’m incorporating speed work and lots of cross training and not planning on running more than 3 days a week. Quality over quantity. I’m curious to see how the two outcomes will compare.
    Congrats on the first draft!

  • Corrie Anne September 5, 2011, 11:07 pm

    Oo! That is a beautiful workout schedule plan! I love it!!!! I need one.

  • Katheryn September 5, 2011, 11:08 pm

    I am all about cross training. Because of IT band issues, I only run 3 days a week. That includes training for the 3 marathons and 4 half marathons. It has always worked great for me!

  • Melissa September 5, 2011, 11:10 pm

    I run/walk all of my LRs, even though I don’t follow the same method on my shorter runs. I’ll be run/walking a 1/2 marathon in October bc I am using it as part of a 20 mile training run for my first full 🙂

    Good luck with your training/getting your mojo back, and congrats on wrapping up the book!

  • Ryan M. September 5, 2011, 11:56 pm

    I think I am going to sign up for the Rock N Roll in March here in DC. I need to get a training plan in place…thanks for sharing yours! I usually have no plan and do what I want when i wake up and sometimes over work my muscles!

  • Kristina September 6, 2011, 12:00 am

    I’m a total convert to cross training – love spinning and cycling in addition to running! I just finished a tri that was longer than an Olympic, shorter than an HIM (the run was a 10 miler), and I almost never ran more than 3 times a week when I was training. That said, I definitely did run on a variety of terrain and I pushed myself on those weekly runs to go strong.
    Now that I’m done with the tri and school has resumed, I’m taking a serious break from a rigorous workout schedule, and I’m looking forward to it!

  • Christina September 6, 2011, 12:01 am

    Hi. Do you make a lot of money selling books? I would love to write children’s books.

  • Khushboo September 6, 2011, 1:19 am

    I actually think your training plan sounds really sensible! Cross training defo has its benefits and if anything, you’re runs will be of much better quality..quality>quantity any day!

  • alanna September 6, 2011, 1:32 am

    Personally, when I see other training plans and people are scheduled to run 5 or 6 days a week, I think it’s crazy both physically and mentally. I’ve been running for 13 years and I almost never run more than 3 days a week (rarely four) and never in my life have I run more than that. I have always been a huge walker and I ride my bike at least 5 days a week (mostly for errands or fun – usually only once for fitness aka hills and speed). I do yoga and pilates 2 or so times a week and lately, I’ve been trying to squeeze in weights too. My point is that running 5 or 6 days a week isn’t maintainable for me, but doing a variety of stuff makes exercise fun and sustainable for years. At any given time, I only need a few weeks notice and I’ll be ready to run a half. Now I only wish I could swim…You’ll be fine as long as you enjoy it.

    • Caitlin September 6, 2011, 1:20 pm

      I agree – it’s just not sustainable for my body. Everyone is unique! When I hear of people running 50 miles in a single week, I am scared and impressed. That’s a lot of running!

  • Vaala ◪ September 6, 2011, 5:22 am

    Cross-training rocks. I compete in some pretty long, physical races on foot but it just isn’t ideal to run all the time. Fortunately I love cycling and mountain biking so I do a lot of that. Hills on the bike really strengthen the legs and give them the power they need for running even though it’s different muscles. And my arms get a workout at the gym and rock climbing.

    Although not exactly ideal or recommended, last year I did a 24 hour race after barely being on my feet for two months before that (stress fracture on my foot). I did a heap of cycling and mountain biking and ended up feeling pretty strong the whole time. The only thing was that my feet had got all soft!

  • helen @ change comes from within September 6, 2011, 6:38 am

    I am just starting week 2 of my half mara training schedule – never tackled a half before, so I am pretty scared and nervous! It’s got 4 days of running each week with 3 days off – recommending either strength, X-training or rest. I will be interested to see how you do – there is an awesome circuits class I want to do and my gym is starting body combat but they are both held on days when I run with my club – boo. If I could sub the runs a couple times for these classes and still get the benefit then it would be brilliant. Its a tough call because I love running with the club as it is so motivating, especially in winter when its dark (and cold!!) but these classes are such fun!!

    Good luck with your training and keep us up to date!

  • Kaci September 6, 2011, 7:23 am

    Good luck with your race! We tape our training plans on the fridge too! I love the satisfaction of crossing off the run or xtraining that day. =) You’ll do great, you always do!

  • Brandy September 6, 2011, 7:27 am

    Looks like a good plan! It will be great to get out there and enjoy the fall, and get to top it off with a half mary sounds like icing on the cake! Congrats on getting the book draft completed!!

  • Mel September 6, 2011, 7:41 am

    Love your plan but where is your strength/weight training?? Is it SO good for you!

    • Caitlin September 6, 2011, 1:19 pm

      I will squeeze it in 🙂 Maybe while I’m at the pool for swimming!

  • Amanda @ AmandaRunsNY September 6, 2011, 7:44 am

    I can’t agree more with you about how my motivation seems to be at its highest when I have a race to train for.

  • Shannon September 6, 2011, 7:44 am

    Looks like a solid plan! I’m training for the Rock N Roll in Savannah and I am running 4 days a weeks with 1 day for yoga 1 day cross and 1 day rest. I keep 3 of the 4 runs short, and have the option for one to be swapped with a day of cross instead. I try to e sensible to avoid burnout, my flaring ITBS and also to accomodate my crazy work schedule. Good luck! 🙂

  • Molly @ RDexposed September 6, 2011, 7:59 am

    I’m trying to send waves of my jealous to you. I have a bum knee and live in cold No Illinois. Pity party, pity party.

    • Caitlin September 6, 2011, 1:19 pm

      Wahhh. I’m sorry! You can come vacation in Charlotte and go swimming with me?

      • Molly @ RDexposed September 6, 2011, 6:09 pm

        I’d have to do the doggie paddle with Maggie and James! HA

  • Whitney September 6, 2011, 8:39 am

    I have my marathon training plan on my fridge too!! I love checking off each workout I complete. It holds me accountable with my training. I incorporate 2 days a week for crosstraining. I can feel my IT band flare up if I run, run, run with no cross training. Good luck with your training! 🙂

  • Bridget September 6, 2011, 8:45 am

    I ALWAYS only run 3 times a week. I find that it is the perfect amount of running and cross training for me. I ran a marathon with only 2 days of 6 mile runs and one long run on the weekend; and I was totally fine! I want to keep running fun, injury free, and something I do because I love it-not because I HAVE to do it. By giving myself 3 days of running, it keeps me from getting obsessed.

  • Erin September 6, 2011, 8:52 am

    Hi Caitlin,

    I am so excited to follow you while you train for your 1/2 Marathon! Your plan honestly sounds great – running mixed with lots of other exercises to really pump up your body and get your mojo back.

    I am going to do the Tufts 10K exactly 1 month after my first Triathlon and I’ve decided to train similarly: Run 2 – 3 times a week, bike/spin, a day of strength training and lots of yoga. That way I don’t over-work my legs and instead continue to strengthen and tone my whole body. Hopefully it goes well!

    Good luck!!!

    • Caitlin September 6, 2011, 1:18 pm

      you too!~

  • Shelly September 6, 2011, 9:05 am

    I feel you! My butt is definitely not in gear these days- it happens every summer and when I lived in New Orleans I blamed it on the heat. Now I live in Maine so I have no excuse! I still generally work out 3 or 4 days a week but if I have to travel for work I’ve gotten really bad about skipping an entire week and I think that the intensity of my workouts has tanked. I’m definitely ready to recommit to some tougher workouts and longer runs in the near future.
    Oh and I did exactly what you are talking about for my marathon last Feb. (running 2 or 3 times a week and cross training like a mad woman) and it worked out really well. I’d like to actually do another marathon with a more running intensive training schedule to test the difference. But I definitely ran most of the marathon (2 of the last 3 miles ended up being pretty rough) and was fairly happy with my time. Getting in your long runs is key I think!

  • Gretchen September 6, 2011, 9:12 am

    I’m running my second 5k on October 23 in Rhinebeck, NY, and also taped a calendar on my fridge! If I can stick to at least 3 runs per week and 2 to 3 days of strength training/ cross training then I have the word “massage” at the end of the month! It’s a great little motivator to stick to my plan. Best of luck on your training!

  • Dana @ the Big Fat Skinny September 6, 2011, 9:17 am

    Crosstraining is the ish! I’m training for a half marathon on Oct 2nd and I’ve taken the very same approach — fridge schedule and all!! Good luck!

  • Heather @ Better With Veggies September 6, 2011, 10:20 am

    I am training for my 7th Marathon currently, with 2 half-marathons also scheduled. Half Marathons are such a fun distance to train for and race, definitely a challenge, but not long enough to take up too much time. Your cross-training plan is a great one! I think it helps with boredom and injury prevention. 🙂 I’ll admit to being a bit of a slacker recently, then being overzealous with trying to get back on track – it’s a hard balance sometimes (and I really do know better). Good luck with your training!!

  • Michelle September 6, 2011, 11:10 am

    Good luck finding your mojo 🙂

    I am only running 3 days a week for my marathon training andI *think* it’s going well. My legs don’t feel tired. I felt awesome after my first 20 mile run. I don’t want to eat my arm off. I guess I’ll truly find out if worked if I don’t die on November 5th!

  • becca @ bellebottoms September 6, 2011, 12:10 pm

    I’m running my first full marathon in november…and having the hardest time getting motivated to stick to a plan! I never trained for my halfs…and did fine, but I know this will be a HUGE beast to conquer! yikes!!

  • Robyne September 6, 2011, 12:42 pm

    I am running a 1/2 marathon in Sept and the chicago marathon in October. 1st Marathon. I also tape my training schedule to our door (where we hang all our reminders) I run 3x a week, bike to work 1 day and lift weights 1 day. A race or goal is the only way to stay motivated. Cross training has really helped me to feel stronger, more balanced and surprisingly I can keep a better running form when I get tired. Keep up the motivation. Love your blog. You have inspired me to eat better and giving me great ideas on how to eat better.

    • Caitlin September 6, 2011, 1:17 pm

      Thank you so much!

  • Elena September 6, 2011, 1:15 pm

    I am recovering from a broken leg – broke it end of June doing a training ride 2 days after my first sprint tri! It has been really weird not being able to workout. I have gone to the gym a few times just to do the arm bike and a few weights but overall been pretty lax about any fitness. Now that I can walk on it/drive things are easier. In a few days I get the boot off and will SLOWLY resume training along with PT. I do feel out of the groove though and know I will have to spend at least 21 days forcing myself to get up in the morning (isn’t that how long it takes to establish a habit? – LOL!) That being said, I know I will now be a lot slower and have no endurance – very humbling……..I will likely sign up for some race that is a few months out just to make sure I get my rear in gear again!

    I have had a hard copy of my training plan posted before but I loosely follow it – I modify and move things around a lot – especially if I am running with other people!

    • Caitlin September 6, 2011, 1:17 pm

      I hope you heal quickly!

  • Amber K September 6, 2011, 2:03 pm

    I have never had a training plan. Well once I tried to do the couch-to-5k and I just kept getting bored. I kept checking the time to see if I could be “done” yet. I just have more fun being able to read while I work out 😉

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin September 6, 2011, 4:09 pm

    I can so relate to this post. My running has really suffered this summer since I had to cut back on my workouts due to my work schedule. Now that I’m back at school I’m so excited to get my running abilities back! I’m not doing a half marathon, but it’ll be nice to read your blog as we both get back on the fitness train. 😀

  • Jenn September 6, 2011, 4:16 pm

    What did you base your training plan on ? Did you develop it yourself? How do you know what to do on what days!? 🙂

    • CaitlinHTP September 6, 2011, 4:27 pm

      I have just run so many races that I know how to do training plans (for my body).

  • Allison @ Happy Tales September 6, 2011, 4:42 pm

    Yayyyy for the good ‘ole DowdYRun! So near and dear to my heart. I actually think i’m going to sign up for this one, as I have to run 13 miles that day anyway. Might as well get a medal for it! Don’t you worry about walking a lot of it. I’ve done that in EVERY single half mary i’ve ever done. And even the marathon. It’s the way to be. So i’ll totally be doin’ the walk/jog thing during this race, too!

  • Jen September 6, 2011, 5:41 pm

    I realize you’ve completed many races, so may not need any feedback, but as a competitive marathoner ( 3:50 is my pr)myself it looks like those mid-week runs have a lot more mileage than you need. Just my two cents. I’d reduce them to 3-5 tops and keep those long runs as is once a week like you have them. (Especially since you are doing this race as a fun one and especially since you haven’t been running much lately. Okay, off my coaching soapbox. Go get some!!!

    • CaitlinHTP September 6, 2011, 5:57 pm

      This makes me feel better, actually. I thought i wasn’t doing enough. I will definitely remember your feedback and pull back if necessary!

  • Mary September 6, 2011, 5:46 pm

    I love having a training plan as a framework, and I totally agree that you have to be flexible and modify as life happens. Cross training is the only way to go as far as I am concerned. It not only prevents overworking certain muscles, but strengthens opposing muscle groups as well. I try not to do the same activity two days in a row. I also love having a goal like a race, but not always to set a PR. They are fun in themselves and a great place to socialize with people who have similar interests. Good luck on your upcoming events, and congrats on the book!!!

  • Sophie @ threetimesf September 6, 2011, 5:53 pm

    I have never run a half, and therefore feel totally unqualified to offer any advice, but I will be very interested to see how it works out fo you! I have been thinking about singing up for my first race for a while but am worried about the training because I much prefer cycling to running…
    Ooooh, and yay for the book!!!! 😀 WELL DONE!

  • Lee September 7, 2011, 9:53 am

    I am planning on doing a half marathon and it’s the same one! A friend who lives in Maryland and I are meeting up in Charlotte to run it because it’s halfway in between the two of us.

    I definitely put the training plan on my fridge and X out the workouts as I do them. I have one up at my office too.

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