Harder’n Hell Half Marathon

The Harder’n Hell Half Marathon is the next race on my calendar. It’s October 17th, and I have properly calculated the start of the 12-week training cycle this time around. Training starts Monday.

This race is TECHNICAL. Here’s the course profile for the 50K, from the course website:
wild-duluth-50k-profile

The final 13.1 miles of the 50k are the same as the half marathon, I believe. I don’t know why they wouldn’t be. I actually think the course profile might be a little different now, but I am not sure. Anyway, it is technical.

I need to get serious about training for this race. A friend of mine who is a non-runner but in excellent shape (he is a caddy) is going to run this with me. I mean, probably not alongside me, he’ll probably beat me even though I have been training longer. That’s fine. This race is capped at 150 entrants and it is very possible I’ll be in 150th place. I am comfortable with that. I have some non-mileage-related training plans I need to implement this time around in order to be prepared.

1. Run hills A LOT.
I will be doing hills for speed work every other week. And not wimpy hills either, but real hills like I might encounter on the course. I will also run hilly routes (not hard to find) for almost all my other training runs.

2. Eat a little better and lose a couple pounds.
I am not planning to make MAJOR dietary changes, but I do need to make better choices for breakfasts and lunches. My husband makes dinner, so I eat what he makes without complaint or judgement. The breakfast and lunch changes are especially important once school begins again. I need to plan ahead. And save money, too. I don’t believe in a “racing weight” for a back of the pack runner like me, but I do think a 5-10 lb weight loss between now and the starting gun would be beneficial.

3. Get serious about strength training.
There were a lot of weeks during my Park Point 5 Miler training where I did, maybe, one strength workout a week. That’s got to stop. I am going to need serious core strength to get me through this race. I’ll be doing lots of yoga and other body weight exercises.

4. Sleep
I am terrible at getting enough sleep during the week. I go to bed too late, and then I’ll read or do a crossword. That has to stop. Even an extra hour of sleep during the week will go a long way. This is going to be extremely important once I’m back in school, as I’ll be balancing schoolwork, work, and training.

I think these four points will be as beneficial, if not more, than the mileage I’m putting in for this race. I am really excited to try my first trail race and my first half marathon, even if it ends up being a 6 hour sufferfest. But… I hope it isn’t 6 hours.

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3 thoughts on “Harder’n Hell Half Marathon

  1. Congrats to you for taking a leap into trail running! It might be a suffer fest, but it’s worth the work. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at what you’re capable of AND the adaptations your body will make by simply doing the training you plan on doing… Aka don’t stress about the weight, it’s probably going to take care of itself. Can’t wait to read about your adventure!

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