Just about 3 weeks out till my half marathon! Can't believe the 12 weeks of training are coming to an end. When I ran it last year, I vowed to do it again this year, not realizing I would find out I was pregnant shortly after running it! Now, almost 4 months postpartum with my third, and I feel good about my progress. Yes, I'm still carrying about 8 pounds of pregnancy weight, which believe it or not, has had an effect on my running, but it is what it is. It took me 9 months to put it on, it will as with my 2 previous pregnancies, take me that long to lose all the weight and regain my pre pregnancy shape and tone back. I don't cut calories since I'm nursing a growing boy, but do watch what I eat, mainly eating nutritious nutrient dense meals and snacks. I do fuel my workouts and drink tons of water to make sure I'm never dehydrated (the kiss of death when you're nursing).
With that being said, this time around I have included more pace runs and sprinting in my half marathon training. I follow Hal Higdon's
novice 2 training schedule, and I can't tell you how much it's helped me with my pace. Last year, I overtrained I felt with the training schedule I used. This year, I have given myself plenty of rest days from running which has worked great. With this rest, it's also allowed me to really enjoy my pace runs and long weekend runs. I have made it to the track several times to do sprints, which I really haven't done in the past. I have improved my time, kept my recurrent 'runner's knee' at bay, and built some great strength in my glutes and legs, focusing on sprints and drills such as the ones below in this track circuit!
I started each round with a 400 meter easy jog, followed by a 400 meter sprint. Towards the end of the workout, I had to break up the sprints into 100 meter distances. After the 800 meters, I took 30-45 seconds to rest, then completed the following circuit.
8 exercises, 10 reps each
1) Jump Squats
2) Bench Decline Push Ups
3) Switch Jump lunges
4) Bench Tricep Dips
5) Bench Mt. Climbers
6) Bench Alternating Step Ups
7) Bench Jumps (i.e. Box Jumps)
8) Lateral Lunges (10 reps each side)
THEN, I would start all over again. I ran 3 miles when all was said and done. Half the time jogging an easy pace and half the time in sprints. In my usual easy 'pace' runs, I average an 8.30minute mile. Incorporating these sprints, I was about to get my mile down to a 7.25 minute mile. I also incorporated this jog/sprint routine in a 10k I ran this weekend, and attained a personal best of 47 minutes for the 6.2 miles, or a 7:38 pace! With sprinting/pace runs and this glute/ leg strengthening routine, I have come leaps and bounds to where I was when I began 10 weeks ago. After this routine, my glutes, hamstrings, quads, shoulders, chest and abs where burning for days and I didn't even do one crunch! Keep your core engaged throughout and keep your form spot on. Be mindful of the bench jumps. If you are not used to doing these, start on a lower surface and work your way up.
When going thru the circuit, go from on exercise to the next with little to no break in between. Rest once you have completed the 10 reps of each exercise, then start over again with the 400 meter jog and sprint. If time is a concern, do 200 meter jog (1/2 way around track), then another 200 meter sprint instead. Either way, you can make it work in the time you have. Not at a track, complete this in your home or back yard and include another form of aerobic work for the jogging.
I have included photos of each exercise. Keep track of your time since this is a rep workout, not a timed workout. Enjoy!
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Decline Push ups[/caption]
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Switch jump lunges[/caption]
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Bench Tricep Dips[/caption]
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Bench Mt. Climbers[/caption]
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Bench Alternating Step Ups[/caption]
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Lateral Lunges (10 per side)[/caption]
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