They’re Going the Distance, They’re Going for…Fitness

Say what…If it is just half of a marathon, then how come it is still so far to run? After participating in a couple of 5K races, Katie and Justin are hooked on the atmosphere and energy that exists at race and endurance events; so they decided to take it to next level and challenge themselves even further. It is Katie’s and Justin’s next goal to complete a half-marathon, but don’t let the “half” part of the name fool you because the distance of one of these lengthy races is 13.1 miles. In comparison to a 5K race—which is an impressive distance to run at 3.1 miles—running 10 more miles seems pretty darn far.

They find that training for and participating in organized races compliments their weight loss and fitness goals. The more weight they lose as they train for their half-marathon, the lighter their bodies become which puts less strain on their musculoskeletal systems. So what are Justin and Katie doing to prepare for their half-marathon?

It starts with motivation; it is important to find the reason and inspiration within yourself in order to accomplish the difficult things you take on in your life.

“My motivation is that it is definitely something I thought I never in a million years could do; I was never a runner so I am proving to myself I can do this and anything I put my mind to,” said Katie. “I do not want ‘can’t’ to be part of my vocabulary anymore.”

For Justin, running the half-marathon is like catching up with an old friend that he had to part ways with for a while in order to address the responsibilities that come with life. He used to participate in cross-country running, but he had to quit when he needed to use the time that was taken up by practice and events; he had to work in order to make money for his schooling. So I guess you could say that Katie reintroduced him to his “old friend,” and now he is running faster and farther than ever.

Having a well-defined training program and schedule keeps Justin and Katie on track. They combine a progressive weekly running development plan with a cross-training routine lead by their personal trainer, Jimmy Sagnis.

They are on a twelve-week training schedule in which they run progressive mileage that is laid out week by week.  “On Mondays and Fridays we started with three miles for the first three weeks, but then it’s bumped up to four miles for the next four weeks, and five miles for the final five weeks,” said Katie. “Saturday is distance day which varies (in distance), and Tuesdays and Thursdays we get our butts kicked by Jimmy in the gym.”

In April alone, Justin and Katie ran an impressive 61 total miles each while training for the half-marathon! It seems as if the wind is at their backs as they train to go the distance, but there are always bumps in road. And the longer the road—in this case a 13.1 mile road—the more bumps you are likely to encounter.

Follow Katie’s and Justin’s road to the half-marathon, and join us next time to hear about the set-backs, worries and frustrations that they encounter as they strive to get ready for this daunting challenge.

Share their story to encourage your family and friends by clicking the Facebook button at the bottom of the article and post it on your personal page, or leave your own words of encouragement and stories of success for Katie and Justin in the comments section below.

Posted on June 4, 2012, in Fun, LA Fitness, LA Fitness - Real Stories, la fitness reviews, Real Stories, Weight Loss and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Remember, the grueling part of the half-marathon begins around mile 9 or 10. That is when you start moving toward your anaerobic threshold, which should be at 80% of your HR Max. Now, without sufficent lactic acid buffering capabilities developed through threshold and interval workouts, you’re going to hit that wall either sooner than you want or at a pace that is slower than you want. I would like to see you get your weekly mileage up to 40 miles per week, with a long run of up to at least 10-12 miles. Greater mileage means expansion of the cappillary beds and increased biomechanical efficiency, as well as decreased body fat, all of which allow better performance for a distance such as this. The half-maraton requires a good deal of weekly mileage under your belt. a sample week could look like this: Mon: easy 5 miles Tue: 20 min tempo run at a pace 10-15 sec/mile slower than 10k race pace. Wed: easy five miles Thur: 1 mile warm-up, 5 X 1 mile at hal-marathon goal pace, cool down Fri: 5 miles easy, Sat or Sun: 10-12 long run. Gotta run miles, gotta run miles, gotta run miles!

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