Salt Lake Half Marathon Training Week 1

Monday: 5.5 miles. Hill repeats! Training for the Salt Lake half marathon has officially begun and today I did my first ever formal hill workout. Previously, I’ve fitted hills in my runs – they are pretty much impossible to avoid here in SLC, but I’m trying to stick to Hal Higdon’s advanced plan and want to push myself a little out of my comfort zone (and intervals start next week! eeekk!). Luckily, we had a beautiful sunny (and clean air) day so I headed out at lunchtime to a hill that runs parallel to one of the few hills on the Salt Lake half marathon course. The sidewalks had been mostly cleared of snow and I was ready to start.

The hill was almost a quarter mile long (0.24 miles to be exact) and about 70 ft in elevation gain, so using my math skills I figured that this is a 5.5% incline and it seemed good enough for me. So I ran up (2.28/2.27/2.26/2.30/2.20/2.20) and jogged down 6 times. The effort felt comfortably hard with my heart rate peaking in the mid-160s so I’m going to call it a success. Bonus: my calf cooperated.

Tuesday: 3 miles. Hit the gym to do an easy treadmill run (9:13 pace) and then some strength work. This plan specifically states to do some strength work twice a week and as someone who is prone to injury it’s something that I need to do in order to be able to continue to run. It’s mostly focused on single leg work, glutes, hips with just a little core work.

Wednesday: 40 minute tempo. 5 miles total. In this plan, both the midweek tempos and weekly long runs are designated by time and not by distance which is new to me.

10 minute warm-up at 9:13 pace

25 minutes at 7:19 pace

5 minutes at 9:13 pace

This was another comfortably hard workout. And I had a little bit of a mental workout to stick with it for the full 25 minutes.

Thursday: Rest.

Friday: 3 miles easy at 9:31 pace and a little strength.

Saturday: 10.45 miles. Long run day! And also snow storm day. We got 5 inches overnight and it was still snowing by midday so I made the call to do this on the treadmill at my gym.


The plan called for a 90 minute (3/1) run, which means you run the first 3/4 at an easy pace and then speed it up for the last quarter so that’s what I did.

67.30 minutes at 8:49 pace followed by

3 minutes at 8:34 pace

3 minutes at 8:20 pace

3 minutes at 8:06 pace

3  minutes at 7:54 pace

3 minutes at 7:42 pace

3 minutes at 7:30 pace

3 minutes at 7:19 pace

1.30 minutes at 7.09 pace

This run felt great. The easy part felt easy, and it was nice to speed it up at the end – hitting my threshold pace for just a little while. And FYI the movie Clueless is exactly the right length of movie for this workout. Plus, if you are my age you get to relive some serious 90s fashion disasters.

Sunday: 3.05 miles easy. 10:23 pace – keeping it as easy as I can and my heart rate agrees!

Screen Shot 2016-01-31 at 17.13.10

Bonus: I didn’t fall on my butt!

Weekly total: 30 miles.

January total: 120 miles. My highest mileage month since last April.

Final thoughts: The first week of any training plan is always fun, right? New workouts and lots of optmism. I would have liked to run more outside – and hopefully the air and weather will cooperate this week.

I hit a double digit run for the first time since September! And my body is reacting. The calf issues seem to have resolved themselves, but I am tight in the usual spots – hip flexors and my glute medius. I’ve been stretching and massaging as best I can. But someone ate (yes – ate) my foam roller so I need to get a new one ASAP.


Lucky for me, I will be visiting Salt Lake Running Co. on Friday to pick up my bib for my first race of the year – so I’ll probably pick up some kind of torture device while I’m there. This will be my second ever 5K, and my first ever on the road so I’m a little excited about it and will talk about race goals/plans later this week.

Anyone else running a half marathon this spring?


10 thoughts on “Salt Lake Half Marathon Training Week 1

  1. Great first week! Especially that long run on the treadmill- nice job! She ate the foam roller?! I hope it was one of the less expensive ones! And that she is ok. I need a better foam roller- but they are so pricey! But I should step up for it, I may be running 2 half marathons in the spring.

    • We came home and half of the roller was gone and I don’t quite know where it all ended up LOL! It wasn’t a super fancy one but I used it a lot – luckily my gym has a couple of rollers that I can use in the meantime. Two half marathons! Sounds like fun.

  2. Aw, puppies are so charming sometimes, aren’t they? My cats like to chew and eat my resistance bands. Equally charming. I’m not doing anything bigger than a 5k race until my marathon in May, and then I’d like to find a fall half other than Wine and Dine for a PR attempt. We’ll see how things shake out!

  3. Hanna @ TheMillennialNextDoor says:

    Hahahaha my cats have definitely chewed up a foam roller before! Sounds like you had a great week! How long is your training plan? I’m impressed that your long run is already at 10 miles in week 1! You are going to be more than ready to kick butt in this race

    • We have an extreme chewer on our hands! It’s 12 week training plan and a little more advanced than any I’ve done before. Usually I start around 6 miles and increase a mile per week up to 12. This time it’s 4 x 90 minute long runs with two faster finish, then 2 x 1.45 hr and one 2 hour run (with a couple of races thrown in). That should get me up to around 14 miles by the end. I’ve been running about 9 miles for my long runs for the last while so it seems natural to keep my runs at least this length. Hopefully, it will all pay off in April.

  4. such a good first week of half training! glad to hear your calf isn’t acting up, and kudos on the first double digit run in a while! that always feels so good. i’m doing the BK Half in May (love that race, 4th year in a row i’m running it, and with the man for the first time this year), and thinking about a trail(ish) half upstate in April that i’ve heard is sweet.

    • Nice! I did my first trail half marathon last September and it was so enjoyable and such a different vibe from road races. This will be my second time doing the race in Salt Lake – it’s so nice not having to work out logistics or travel. My husband ran my first marathon with me and it was pretty nice to have him there to get me around.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s