Find Your Perfect Race Training Plan

So you’ve decided to train for a race. You’ve done all the volleying back and forth (do I have enough time? can my body handle it? do I really want to give up my weekend mornings for the next 8-16 weeks?) and settled on YES (which, fortunately, is the best answer 🙂 ). You’ve picked out the perfect race based on your calendar, travel plans, and of course, a preview of the finisher’s medal (that’s why we all run races anyway, isn’t it?). Now, it’s time to pick a training plan.

Here’s where I save you hours of grueling internet research and temporary cross-eye from scanning a million tiny charts of numbers, squinting to determine what sets them all apart. Who has the best running training plans? Hal Higdon.

Hal Higdon is a trainer and former Runner’s World contributor who’s created a fantastic selection of training plans for anything from 5Ks to marathons. Finding one that works for you is like finding something you like on The Cheesecake Factory’s menu: with so many options, there’s got to be something perfect. Continue reading

Why YOU Can Call Yourself a Runner 

It takes a lot for people to qualify themselves as runners. Why, I don’t really know…It’s like the term runner only applies to the elusive human wonders who can run 2-hour marathons. At 5 am. Every day. With ease. And six pack abs.

I, however, have finally allowed myself to be considered a runner. What qualifies me? I run. Simple as that. Not always consistently. Not always long distances. Definitely not always with ease or grace [have you seen Phoebe from Friends run? ]. But I make time for running and use it to set goals and help myself progress in my mental and physical health. So yes, I am a runner. 

I first committed to my running journey in April of 2013, after I had a horribly embarrassing first game on my new social kickball league. Sparknotes version: on my way to first base, I spun to avoid being tagged out and ended up skidding through the dirt, facing the opposite direction I had intended. Lucky ol’ me then got to spend post-kickball social hour at the bar with scrapes up my back and pants chock-full of mulch. Let’s just say this was the final “Jackie, you’re never going to be cut out for team sports” straw. And that night, I signed up for my first half marathon.

While yes, running is a solo event and it doesn’t require hand-eye coordination or team communication, it certainly comes with its own struggles. However, I’ve managed to tackle them and go from a girl who only runs a mile for the state test in gym class (and at a glacial pace, at that), to a girl who runs for *gasp* fun and adventure and well-being. I’ve worked up from 1 mile to 26.2 (actually 27.2 according to my running app, but who’s counting), squashing self-doubt and impressing myself every step of the way. And now, yes, I proudly call myself a runner. And if I can be a runner, so can you.

I’d love to hear your stories! What made you decide to become a runner? Post your stories & motivation in the comments below.  🙂