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Half Marathon Training on a Paleo Diet: Part 2

half-marathon-training-on-a-paleo-diet-part-2

In my last post Half Marathon Training on a Paleo Diet: Part 1 I gave you a little summary as to why I’m embarking upon half marathon training and what my intentions were for the rest of this year. In this series of posts I’ll be taking a look at my training programme, how I fuel my runs, what gear I use, and my overall emotional journey.

I decided that I would definitely be running the Leeds Half Marathon to raise money for Mind – the mental health charity. If you’d like to donate just text GOSA60 £1 (or whatever amount you’d like) to 70070, or alternatively click here.

The Training

So, for my training programme I have been loosely following the BUPA Intermediate Half Marathon Programme but I have changed around when my rest days are and I have taken a more primal stance on cross training by implementing some good old fashioned kettlebell training. I have also been doing about 30 minutes of calisthenics daily wherein I complete 3 sets of 10 reps press-ups, 3 sets of as many pull-ups I feel comfortable with, a little bit of monkeying around, and using my parallel bars. This is mainly because I don’t want to lose out on all of my hard earned calisthenics skills but also because it aids in superb running.

Below you can see a little example of my first 4 weeks of training. My first 2 weeks I was ill with some evil virus and so I dropped my speed runs for an extra rest day. My last long run I switched from the suggest 6 miles on the BUPA programme to 7 as I felt like it would be easy enough to increase.

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Week 1 REST LONG RUN
(3 miles)
EASY RUN
(30 mins)
REST KETTLEBELLS
(40 mins)
TEMPO RUN
(30 mins)
SPEED RUN
(30 mins)
Week 2 REST LONG RUN
(5 miles)
EASY RUN
(30 mins)
REST KETTLEBELLS
(40 mins)
TEMPO RUN
(30 mins)
SPEED RUN
(30 mins)
Week 3 REST LONG RUN
(6 miles)
EASY RUN
(30 mins)
REST KETTLEBELLS
(40 mins)
TEMPO RUN
(30 mins)
SPEED RUN
(30 mins)
Week 4 REST LONG RUN
(7 miles)
EASY RUN
(40 mins)
REST KETTLEBELLS
(50 mins)
TEMPO RUN
(30 mins)
SPEED RUN
(30 mins)

I ended up completing 7.18 miles instead of 7  in 1:26:45 which is roughly a 12:05 minute mile pace. For those of you that don’t know I run with my beloved husky Luna (pictured below), and with a regular Flexi lead so it’s more like resistance training than straight up running. That is until I reach around 4 miles where she starts to relax a little more and not chase every little living thing in the park. It’s been tough to stay motivated over these past few weeks when it comes to getting up and running outside – the weather has been bitterly cold, Luna is a certified nutcase and she’s also on heat at the moment so I’ve had to avoid every big (and small) man dog that’s been traipsing around the park, and Anya just hasn’t been sleeping that well.

So my time is pretty slow but I can’t help but think that it’s because I’m constantly having to lean back and pull on the lead for the majority of my runs and I’m pretty knackered.

My tempo run sessions consist of a 5 minute warm up and cool down, and then just a 20 minute block of running inbetween wherein I run a little bit faster than my anticipated race pace. The speed running sessions have been quite fun but are definitely the ones that leave me wanting to puke – I run pretty fast for 3 minutes and then jog for 3 minutes and alternate until my time is up and then head back home. I enjoy speed sessions mainly because I’m naturally more of a short distance sprinter than a long distance runner – I love the feeling of power and speed that long distance running can’t provide you.   My kettlebell session are of course my favourite sessions of the week. I just whack my headphones on and zone out for 40-50 minutes and complete a variety of kettlebell exercises including; one arm swings (bell at chest level), Russian swings (bell at chest level), American swings (bell overhead), snatches (pull and punch weight overhead with one arm), kettlebell clean and press, double strict press (press overhead without using your legs), and double front squats.   Kettlebells are amazing as they work your entire body, help you to burn stubborn belly fat, and give you a ridiculously strong core – it’s functional fitness at its best. I use a range of weights varying from 8kg, 12kg, 16kg, 20kg, 24kg, and 28kg. Depending upon how I’m feeling that day I’ll pick whatever I feel is right – even the 8kg will give you an absolute butt kicking and it’s easy for form to slack off. I only have doubles in 8kg and 12kg but I’m hoping to upgrade in the future. Something else amazing happened last week – I attempted my first kettlebell windmill and didn’t drop the bell onto my face. It was only 8kg but I was so unbelievably proud of myself – just check out the video below:

The Gear

So I know that I’ve warbled on quite a bit about my training so now it’s time to touch on something a little more fun – my kit! Back in November I was sent out quite a large stash of goodies from Helly Hansen – they sent me items from their Autumn/Winter 2015 collection – their Norviz range – which is perfect for training in this British cold weather as the fabric has been treated with DWR (durable water repellent) and also boasts a rather awesome super hero like 360 degree reflectivity (which has been great for keeping me safe considering I do all of my training late at night). I have the Women’s Aspire Norviz Tights which have been body mapped to perfection – hello Brazillian butt lift – and the Helly Hansen Women’s Aspire Long Sleep Top. You can find out my final verdict here.

Initially I was tracking my runs with my Jawbone UP3 which sadly doesn’t have a digital display as it is more of a lifestyle tracker than fitness tracker – so when you’re out running you are completely unaware of how far you have ran until you get back home. I had to just guess a time and run for that amount of time which was just a ball ache. So I contacted a few companies and the lovely people at Garmin agreed to loan me their vívoactive® GPS watch for one month – it’s been fantastic so far as I have been able to see the pace of each lap that I have completed and log my distance whilst on the move. It also logs your sleep, tracks various activities, is waterproof, and has a GPS function so you can see where you’ve been running when you get home. I’ll go into more detail on this in my next post as I’ve only been using it for a little while – but so far I’m really impressed!

The Fuel

This is something that I will only touch on lightly this fortnight as my training is still in its early stages and I haven’t really needed to change much at all. I know that sounds a little bit silly considering the title of this post but it’s true. I normally wouldn’t eat ‘carbs’ at lunch just a lot of cruciferous veggies and either eggs, raw cheese, or tinned wild salmon/tuna with some seeds sprinkled in. The last couple of weeks I have started to add in about 1/3 of a sweet potato at lunchtime and that’s about it really. Before my long runs I have been making a drink of 1/2 tbsp blackstrap molasses, 1 tbsp chia seeds, a generous pinch of Himalayan pink salt, 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda, and 1/4 tsp magnesium powder. I steep it in a cup of boiling water and drink it 30 minutes before I go out. It gives me enough fuel to go the distance but it also helps to prevent my muscles from cramping, along with lactic acid build up. I’ll be honest it tastes like utter dogs***. Post run I have been eating my gorgeous Orange and Cayenne Chocolate Avocado Mousse and some Chocolate Orange Cricket Flour Brownies.

The Pampering

A section that you probably weren’t even expecting to find but I have been putting some amazing new products to the test recently. Over the next few weeks I am going to be talking about recovering with salt baths, and of course the importance of foot care!

One of my favourite products at the moment is Green People’s brand new Quinoa & Prebiotics Deodorant – it helps to support the healthy bacteria that lives on your skin whilst eliminating odour forming bacteria. It also includes zinc ricinoleate which basically absorbs those nasty odour molecules. Now, I’ll be honest here – I really do sweat like a pig when I workout – and this deodorant has been busting my stinky ass into oblivion. I literally smell as fresh as a daisy (or rather lemongrass and orange). It also contains organic aloe vera and shea butter so it really nourishes my skin too. At £9.50 for 75ml of an 89% organic product I personally don’t think that it’s too much money to part with, especially as it will last forever. It’s probably the first deodorant that I’ve only had to apply once a day to stay fresh and protected.

My second favourite has to be my BetterYou Magnesium Spray that I spray into my sore and aching muscles which helps to alleviate any tension and stress within my body. It is pretty much every athletes wonder product and you should all have this in your cupboards! You can buy 100ml for around £12+ and it’s just so easy to use, you might feel a little bit of stinging on your skin at first so just try a little skin patch test before going the whole hog!

So that’s it for this fortnight, don’t forget that I’ll also be raising money for Mind – the mental health charity. If you’d like to donate just text GOSA60 £1 (or whatever amount you’d like) to 70070, or alternatively click the button below. Thanks guys <3

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

So come back every fortnightly Saturday and you’ll find something new and exciting to read! Have you fueled a half marathon Paleo? How did you find it? Why not share your experience below.

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