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Half Marathon Success (for me) without Chronic Cardio

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  • Half Marathon Success (for me) without Chronic Cardio

    Last Sunday I ran the Big Sur Half Marathon in Monterey, CA. This was my second half, the first being the San Francisco Half marathon back in July. For the first race, I used a training program I got off a running website that had me running 3 days a week, plus cross training on other days. My time was 2:07 and change: no great, but good for a 235 lbs non-runner.

    This time around I decided to lift heavy things as normal, play as normal (in my case, pick-up basketball a few times a week), and do one long run per week. I was healthier during training, had fewer aches and pains, and finished Big Sur in 1:45 flat.

    While I probably won't run any more half marathons, it was interesting for me to see the differences in training and the results they produced.

  • #2

    Way to go, Brad! Over 90 seconds per mile faster. I'd call that an incredible improvement. Nice to see that the PB worked for you. If you don't mind my asking, did you do the weekly long run in the "move slowly" zone or was it a traditional distance run?


    • #3

      Great improvement Brad. Well done!

      I'm also interested in your weekly long run - how far was it?

      I've also had some experience this year with a marathon. It was before I knew about PB or Cross-Fit philosophies: I wasn't doing that training, or any (it was kind of last minute), but I finished, faster than some people who'd been training up to 18/20 miles. I can give all the details and speculation if anyone wants, but suffice to say I was intrigued that it was possible without 'chronic cardio'! Your results are helping my resolve to stick to the weekly sprints and not to 'do it properly next time'


      • #4

        Thanks, guys. My 8 week preparation included one weekly long run started at 6 miles, and then went up to 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 10. My last run before the race was just a 5k one week out. All of these runs were slower than my race pace, but still pushing it a little (8:30 to 9:00 per mile pace).

        Aside form that I lifted weights twice, sometimes three times per week, and played basketball twice per week. I tried to sprint at least once per week as well.

        The only improvement I would try and make would be to do some daily walks, barefoot or in my five fingers, to help condition my feet more.

        I was thinking my recovery after the race may be worse after not getting in many miles beforehand. I was really stiff and sore the day after the race, and virtually pain free two days after. By day three (yesterday) I played basketball without soreness or stiffness and on day four (today) I hit the weights hard and actually hit a couple PR's in the gym.

        I can't say enough about the PB, especially the minimalist approach to exercise.


        • #5

          thanks for sharing this! i can admit that i'm faster now running 5-10mpw as opposed to a year ago when i ran a 1:54 half marathon BUT i was training 30mpw and i was always tired. my "pre long run fuel" was pizza OMG haha. now that i've switched to PB, i'm running 7:30 miles. it's pretty spectacular AND i get to run a hell of a lot less

          *i should add that i've been doing much more core work, yoga and 5lb weights as opposed to last year with no weight training or XT only running (that's all i had time for doing 30mpw!)