Back To Basics – Leeds Half Marathon Training For 2013

Well, it’s that time of year again – actually it’s come late this year! Time to start training for the main race I am concentrating on for 2013, the Leeds Half Marathon. Last year, I had already ran in three 10K races (or if you’re pedantic two 10Ks and a 6-miler) before the Leeds Half came along in May. But this year, I want to concentrate more on the longer distance.

First of all, I need to get back to basics. My last race was the Leeds Abbey Dash back in November last year, and I pulled my calf 500 metres into that one, but rather stupidly decided to drag myself to the end – almost getting my 10K personal best into the bargain! Needless to say, I didn’t do much, or indeed any, running over the winter, in the hope that a good rest would help me to recover. And without running, I also managed to gain over 14 pounds in weight during the hiatus. This blubbery winter-coat will need to come back off again!

What’s The Plan, Man?

I ran for the first time again since Abbey Dash on Saturday – just an amble really, a 20 minute jog nice and steadily, and clocked up a little shy of 2 miles. But I am a man with a plan this year, literally. I printed out the Lucozade 12-Week Half Marathon Training Plan, and I’ll see how I get along with that.

I am aiming to do the 13.1 mile course in 2 hours or under this time. So it’s the basic beginners’ plan that I’m following. I might switch to the intermediate schedule a few weeks in if I feel things are a little too easy. That will also depend on whether I manage to peel off my “organic Mr Blobby outfit” (aka lose enough weight).

Details, Schmetails

Right, on Saturday – and somewhat to my own disgust – I weighed in at 14 stone precisely (or 196 pounds if that’s how you measure). My aim is to get a couple of stone off in time for the race. Now obviously I like to think of myself as somebody with gigantic super-dense bones and my BMI works out at over 30 – hmm, obese or big-boned? Training time has appeared just in time I think.

Over the course of the next 12 weeks, I’ll describe here in real time what I’m doing in training, how it’s affecting my stats, and then finish off with a review of the half-marathon itself, hopefully with me completing it in under the 2 hour target. Last year, I staggered home in just over 2 hr 11 mins – and narrowly got beaten by Mickey Mouse if you read my review of last year’s race! Oh, the shame.

If you want to join me and get fit and lean, feel free to do what I’m doing via the Lucozade plan. Or drop a comment below to let us know how your training is going.

Now then, today was my first proper sesh. Here’s what I did:

Week 1 Session 1: Nice easy jog for 35 min 38 s clocking up 5.25km (3.3 mile). (That’s a good 10 minutes slower than my 5K personal best – my, my, I think I have a lot of work to do, yet!)

Good luck with your training regimes, and hope to see y’all at Leeds in May!


Neil (nickname Ironman) is an avid runner and sports fan, who writes about all things triathlon-related, especially running and cycling. He also writes about sports injuries and regaining fitness – mainly from personal experience rather than academic knowledge – although he does study that too!

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