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Weekly Workouts: Week One of Half Marathon Training…Sort Of

Week one of half marathon training is in the books!

Well…sort of. 🙂

I have to admit that this isn’t truly week one for me, but it is week one for this training plan.

I started training at the end of April and decided to make a plan using the Nike Run Club app. I wanted to use my Apple Watch and this seemed like a decent place to start.

The plan was okay, but I have one of the first models of the Apple Watch and it just wasn’t keeping up and performing like I needed. I couldn’t accurately determine my pace because there was a major lag and sometimes the Nike App wouldn’t track my routes even though I had my phone with me. As much as I love Apple, the Watch just wasn’t made to be an elite fitness tracker.

So, as an early birthday present, David gave me a Garmin Forerunner 235 — and I have absolutely loved it so far. All of that to say…I’ve been using one of the Garmin training plans that I can easily sync to my watch.

Something to note is that this plan is a heart-rate training plan. With each run, I’m supposed to keep my heart rate within a certain zone as shown on my watch — this helps me more accurately judge my workout intensity as well as helps build my running base.


Saturday: Easy Run

Run in Zone 2 for 35 Minutes/Cool Down for 5 to 10 Minutes

This was my first run in the new plan — and it quickly became a walk. I could not run and stay in Zone 2 at the same time. My watch kept buzzing each time I started running, reminding me that my heart rate was too high.

Thankfully, I had read ahead that this would likely happen in the first few weeks/months of this type of training. It was a little frustrating because I had been running for a few weeks and was back to walking. I kept wanting to go faster, but the plan called for Zone 2 and I really want to stick as closely to the plan as possible…even if that means a super slow pace.

This was also my first run/walk with my new watch and I accidentally stopped my workout after 10 minutes. So, my stats are a little hard to read for that day, but I walked 2.01 miles in that 35 minutes.


Sunday: Steady Run

Run in Zone 3 for 40 Minutes/Cool Down for 5 to 10 Minutes

Since this run allowed me to move into Zone 3, I was finally able to run a very slight jog. I woke up early before church and was out the door before 6:00 — which is suuuper early for me.

I’m not a morning person at all, but this run may have convinced me to start running early in the mornings. It was so quiet out and I only saw two cars the entire time — I loved how peaceful it was.

I felt really great after this run. Staying in Zone 3, I felt like I could run for hours and hours. I ended up running 2.65 miles in the 40 minutes.


Monday + Tuesday: Rest

I had planned to cross train on Tuesday, but I started getting sick and decided to rest up since I had a run the next day.


Wednesday: Fartlek

Run for 25 Minutes at varying intensity levels/Cool Down for 5 to 10 Minutes

I woke up still feeling pretty sick and we had some big storms lingering from Alberto, so I was really questioning whether or not I’d get my run in on this day.

Thankfully by early evening, the sun had come out and I was feeling a little better, so I decided to go for it. Since I just needed to vary my intensity levels, I thought a good plan would be to stick to running around Zone 3 and then periodically speed up to Zone 4.

One problem: the heat of the afternoon had a pretty big effect on my heart-rate zones. My slow run that had been a Zone 3 effort for me on Sunday was now a Zone 4 effort — and picking up the pace put me in Zone 5.

So, I tried to stay close to Zone 3 (even though it felt really, really slow) while periodically increasing and decreasing my speed. I ended up running 1.71 miles in the 25 minutes.


Thursday: Rest


Friday: Long Run

Run in Zone 2 for 60 Minutes/Cool Down for 5 to 10 Minutes

My long run was supposed to be on Thursday, but I was still feeling pretty lousy so I decided to swap it with my rest day on Friday.

I got up early before work on Friday morning since this run was an hour long. I wasn’t sure what to expect since I previously couldn’t do anything in Zone 2 except walk. However, I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to alternate between running/walking this time. I still wasn’t able to run as much as I’d like, but I was happy to see some progress no matter how small.

One good thing that I’ve noticed about this type of training is that it helps keep my mind off of the distance and time. I’m focused on keeping my heart rate in a particular zone which helps the time go by a little faster. I ended up running/walking for 3.75 miles. Longest distance so far in my training!


Saturday: Easy Run

Run in Zone 2 for 40 Minutes/Cool Down for 5 to 10 Minutes

Saturday morning, I woke up completely exhausted. I was only able to sleep for two to three hours the night before and I was feeling pretty worn down after being sick for four days. I decided I’d go out for a quick 10-15 minute run and see how I felt, knowing that I could easily stop the run at any point if I just wasn’t feeling it. I didn’t want to risk any sort of injury, but I also knew that the majority of this run would turn into a walk since I was bound to Zone 2.

I ended up running/walking the full 40 minutes for 2.37 miles and, surprisingly, felt pretty energized afterward.


Total Miles for the Week (+1 Day): 12.49 Miles

All in all, I felt really good about my progress this week — especially considering how sick I felt starting on Wednesday. It was a tough week, but what surprised me was how much better running made me feel. I’m hoping that training next week will go a little smoother now that I’m feeling better and looking forward to being able to push myself a little more…or as much as my heart rate will allow. 😉

Also, thank you all so much for your positive comments and cheers on Facebook and Instagram. Seriously, seeing those pop up meant the world to me and I’m so thankful for your support! Keep ’em coming!

Jennifer Driskell

Jennifer Driskell

Hi there! I'm Jennifer, a lifestyle blogger and working mom. I help other moms find value, joy, and beauty in the middle of the everyday routines. I'd love to connect — you can find me on Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram!

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