My 5 Running Rules for Half Marathon Training

I am a rules person. Rules make sense to me. I have a fond appreciation for order and organization. I think these reasons are why I enjoy math.

Math has a ton of rules and it has answers that are concrete. For me, it just makes things easier. When I started training for this half marathon, I decided to come up with some “rules” for myself – to make things easier.

Some may seem silly, but they motivate me and help keep me on target. I am two and a half months into training and so far, it seems that the rules are working!

So what are these rules? They are simple and short, but helpful. They are as follows:

My 5 Running Rules for Half Marathon Training

Running #selfie: let's do this!
Running #selfie: let’s do this!

1. I will run three times a week.

I have, for the most part, followed my three runs per week schedule. I’ve had to change days at times because sometimes it’s just not gonna happen, but I have been able to get fit it in so far. I’ve made it a priority in my week and I am blessed to have a husband that encourages me to keep up with it. This has also helped teach me that I will make time for things that are important to me. This is important. I will find the time.

2. I will increase my long runs by one mile per month.

When I started in September, my long runs were three miles. Now I am up to five miles. My other two runs during the week usually range between 1.5 and 3.5 miles. It’s amazing how my body has gotten used to this; I even find myself saying things like, “I’m just going to do a short run, –  two to three miles.”  Who I am?

3. I will always run down hills.

This is one that other people do opposite (most people run up hill), but  I like the feeling of the momentum I gain when running downhill (I want to give myself any advantage that I can!). If you’ve ever been in our area, it’s hilly; where there is a downhill, there is an uphill to match it. I get my butt working!

4. I will always run at crosswalks.

This is admittedly the rule I break the most often, but I really do try to always run across streets! But when I do walk, I have my reasons. First, there is a safety thing – large intersections have heavy traffic flows and drivers aren’t always on the lookout for runners. That being said, I also find it motivating, at certain streets, to see if I can get across before the little walking man turns into a blinking hand. Weird, yes, but motivating. But when I feel absolutely exhausted, I now know my body can make it that much farther.

5. I will always run the last block as fast as I can.

I read in some article about running (yes it’s still weird to me that I read about running now) that when training for a long distance run one of the things you need to do is teach your body to run on tired legs. The suggestion they had was to run seven to eight miles in the morning and then two to three miles that night. Seeing as I clearly am not running that much yet, I decided that one of the best ways for me to do this was just to try to run the last block home. And try to run it fast (as fast as I can, anyway). Maybe in several months I will be running twice a day, but once is enough…for now.

So those are my “rules.” If you are like me and like rules, go ahead and make some for yourself. You’d be surprised how motivating they can be.

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