Towpath Half Marathon Training #1

This was the first official week of my half marathon training!  I am really excited to kick off training because I feel like I've built a really solid base.  I felt great heading in to this week after a rough week last week and skipping a race, and I was ready to start pushing myself!  Thank goodness, because there's no easing into this plan- even week one is intense!

For this training cycle, I was inspired by a blog I recently found called JT Running DC.  I really love infographics, and love how she incorporates these into her posts.  If you haven't checked out that blog, I highly recommend it!  She's and amazing masters runner in DC with a great blog.  Now, let's get into the details of my first week of half marathon training!


4 miles easy / 40:00 / 10:00 pace
I felt absolutely amazing for this run!  Dan ran with me for the first 2.5 miles through a hilly neighborhood nearby.  Our pace was around 10:30, and I steadily increased my pace to around 8:00 after he stopped running.  My legs felt incredibly fresh!  I was hoping it would rain the entire time because it was super humid, but unfortunately there was no such luck.  All around a great run though!


6 miles steady hills / 52:30 / 8:43 pace
 I was oddly excited for this run ever since I first saw it.  I love running hills and found the hilliest route around (which is very easy since my neighborhood has the word HILL in it).  Part of the run was on trails, and the other half was long downhills and longer uphills.  I kept my pace decently steady around a 9:00 pace, and picked it up for that nice long downhill around mile 2.5!  The first half of the run felt great, and I had some heavy legs for the second half but kept the pace.

30 minutes yoga
I didn't do any particular video, but did a random flow featuring my favorite stretches and positions.  I'll be talking more about what my favorite yoga positions are in an upcoming post, so stay tuned! 


5 miles easy / 47:47 / 9:33 pace
3 miles with the True Runner Run Club and 2 miles to get home.  We ran on the Run Shadyside 5k course, which is relatively flat and (thankfully) shady.  It was a great run, and Dan actually mentioned that it was his best run ever!  The run home was all uphill, so it ended a bit hard. 


5 miles intervals / 47:00 / 9:21 pace
This was a really fun- but hard- workout.  I started by warming up for 20:00 (just over 2 miles), then alternated running fast for a minute and slow for a minute, for a total of 16:00.  This really helped to pass the time while I was running and made this a really quick workout.  Most of my interval miles were on the main trail in Schenley, which is a steady uphill climb.  Luckily, I ran where the hill isn't too steep, so it was challenging but not impossible.  I finished with a 10:00 cooldown to finish out 5 miles.


I took the entire day off from working out, and spent some time with Dan and Selma at the park!  She had so much fun, as you can tell!


3.33 miles easy / 31:50 / 9:33 pace
My tenth run with Run Club!  The course was really hilly and it was already warm at 8 in the morning, but Dan and I did a great job tackling those hills! The last mile I picked up the pace to add in some "hard miles" and my legs felt amazing!

Group Centergy
This class was great today- I felt some soreness in my legs and core, so the stretches felt amazing.  I've been missing my classes at the gym, so I definitely have to get back in the groove!


8 miles long / 1:14:47 / 9:20 pace
My goal for this run was to keep picking up the pace every two miles.  Splitting it up this way made this run so much easier mentally!  I just focused on my current two mile chunk rather than the entire 8 mile run.  I wanted to end this run with two solid miles around my half marathon goal pace (9:00), so I was thrilled when my last two were 8:49 and 8:40 and they felt comfortable.  Great way to end a fantastic first week of training (especially running by the beautiful river!)

It's so strange to be starting off my first week of training at such high mileage (my first week of Biggest Loser training was only 17.85 miles and my long run was 5 miles!)  I already felt in good shape heading into this week, so I feel like I can really push myself this training cycle.  I have to admit, I'm getting excited! I think that the ratio of easy miles to hard/interval miles is good for me right now (you can see above that over 1/3 of my miles were "easy"). 

I also want to add that I'm trying to be very proactive this cycle (especially since it's so demanding) and spending time each day to foam roll, stretch, and wear compression socks.  I can tell that it's helping, and my legs feel so fresh!

How was your week?
What do you think of the infographic?  Any suggestions for other stats I should add, or is it too confusing?
What was your favorite run of the week?


  1. I really how that shows your stats for the week. For a first week of training I would say that you crushed it. If this is where you are with 8 weeks to go, I am excited to see what you end up with

    1. Thanks Shaun! I feel the same way. It's a very promising start to my training :)

  2. Sounds like a very successful week. I got back to it after vacation and had some good strength training sessions.

    1. That's great Leslie! The week after vacation is always a struggle for me, so great job getting back in the groove.

  3. It's funny, I also just discovered that blog & was drooling over her info graphics! Why graphics program do you use? Your graphics are awesome! You're off to such a great start with training! I would like to run more with a run group, but they start too late for me. Even 7:30 is too late for me when it's this hot!

    1. Isn't her blog amazing?! I wish she had a comments section so I could praise her! I use Canva for all of my graphics. It's super easy to use and customize. I know what you mean about them starting late, but it will be perfect in a few more weeks! Maybe you can join for the fall/winter?

  4. I like the graphics. Very cute. I like your idea about 2 mile chunks. It seems more manageable that way. I often do that when looping around my house. If I pick the correct loop, it is a perfect 2 miles. You are already running some great mileage. You will do awesome!

    1. Thanks Holly! It definitely made it more manageable and less intimidating. I'll have to do it again when I have longer runs!

  5. Thanks so much for the shout out! I'm glad you like the infographics on my site. I like yours, too. It's very playful. Good luck with your running! (I'm having trouble with the commenting so I hope this isn't a duplicate).

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by!! I was so inspired by your blog so I'm glad you don't mind that I stole your idea :) now if only your speed would pass off to me!

  6. Love that graphic! And seriously awesome first week of training. Having a solid base is huge confidence boost.

    1. Thanks so much Emily!! Definitely is a huge boost :)

  7. I LOVE those graphics!! SO COOL!!

    What a great first week of training - it's always great to kick things off on a positive note, and I feel like it's a good omen for the race itself ;-) !

    Selma looks like she is having a blast at the park - I love her smile!

    1. Good! I'm glad that you like it :) I'm hoping a good first week means a good race, but you never know! Better keep working hard !

  8. You HAVE built a solid base and I think you'll find that really helps you soar through your training. There's quite a difference in starting off strong than with less. Overall you rocked this week! And yes, I am a fan of your graphics too! Not confusing at all.

    1. Thanks Nichole! I realized how much a base can affect your training after BL..I didn't run much before that and I definitely paid the price. I'm glad that you like the graphics! Good to know :)


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