What Went Wrong During My Half Marathon Training

2020 has been a year of uncertainties for most of us. A lot of things have been constantly changing and we’ve had to adapt to these changes. The phrase ‘change is the only constant’ has never had a stronger meaning.

One thing that I was very consistent with during the pandemic year was my training. Over the few years that I have been running, the sport has transformed from being a part of my life to being a way of life. I can go on and on about the benefits of this sport and how its transformed my mental health but that is a topic for another day.

So far, I have been training for racing events that usually happen some time in December or first half of the year and my training blocks are directed towards these races. However, with no races in sight for the year, my coaches from Renaissance Distance Project decided to have a bunch of time trial training blocks that would help us progress as runners but also help us prepare for the upcoming year.

I started with the 5k time trial which I failed at but definitely made a lot of progress during the training cycle. Its hard to not get disappointed by failures, especially when you have put in so much hard work and energy into something. But we have to remember that failure is a feature of the training process and we have to embrace it and move along. Your best of yesterday is your worst of today. (Not my words)

After a couple of weeks of rest, we started the half marathon training block. I knew this would be a tough cycle but I was psyched and pumped for this challenge. I decided to document my journey by creating weekly vlogs about my progress which in hindsight, was a great idea. You can check them out below.

I was done with 10 weeks of training and I was feeling strong and confident about the progress that I had made. The time trial was 2 weeks away and I was excited to see how much time I would be able to shave off my existing best half marathon time (2:00:02).

Week 8-10 of a 12 week plan can usually be the time when cumulative fatigue sets in and you have to be mindful of your recovery. I had a work commitment in week 9 for which I had to drive to Karjat which is 2 hours away from where I live. The day also involved a lot of walking around. I skipped my run that morning but I decided to go for my run the next day which was a decision that I would regret in the coming weeks.

DO NOT RUN IF YOU HAVE driven for 4 hours along with a lot of walking around (including a mini hike to a beautiful lake) the previous day. I remember the run the day after was extremely painful and I could only manage to clock 8kms. This stupid move on my part resulted in aggravating my fascia in my left foot and I got hit by the dreaded plantar fasciitis which destroyed my half marathon time trial.

It’s been over a month since this happened and I still haven’t recovered completely. The PF pain stays for the first couple of kms and then disappears. Although, it was definitely disappointing to not be able to do a time trial after working my butt off for 10 weeks, I was very happy with the overall progress that I made during the training cycle. I have definitely grown a lot as a runner during this period. Another positive thing that I noticed during this recovery-from-injury period was that I have learnt to take setbacks a lot better than before. Previously, I would sit at home and sulk about my situation but this time I didn’t let it get the best of me. I used the time I had at home to strength train and took the necessary steps to get better and reduce the pain.

We start with a 10k training block from the 18th of this month and I am again psyched and looking forward to putting in the work. I will document this as well. Hopefully, this time I will get to run the time trial.

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