Posted in: Challenges, Fitness

The 21 Day Half Marathon Challenge by Seb David [Days 10-13]

*This is a guest post from my friend Seb David who takes us behind the scene of his attempt to go from mildly out of shape to race-ready for a Half-Marathon in only 3 weeks. You can read the first part of the series right here.*

DAY 10 — Friday Oct. 14th

I was sore as hell getting up, and a bit afraid of injuries, so there wasn’t going to be a run that day. I still wanted to keep active and was learning about the wonders of Active Recovery, so I was set on doing some kind of workout. I found a great new exercise to try online called the Bootstrapper. Look it up, it seems easy enough but is a real quad burner. So I combined that with extended-arms Good-Mornings:

50 bootstrappers
50 good-mornings (ext. arms)
40 bs
40 gm
30 bs
I repeated the 30 bootstrappers and 30 good-mornings 4-5 times until it was REALLY burning.

DAY 11 — Saturday Oct. 15th

I was still sore but I wanted to at least try to run a little bit, just to keep my stride alive, if you will. So I did a quick run:

Distance: 3.82km
Time: 18:31
Average Speed: 12.48km/h

I wasn’t sure how long I’d run when starting out, but my joints were a bit on the tender side and my legs were heavy as hell, so I came back home and did some more bootstrappers and good-mornings until everything felt nice and pumped and then called it a day. So two pretty easy days in a row… the next one would have to be a big one to make it worthwhile!

DAY 12 — Sunday Oct. 16th

And it was.

Distance: 20.44km (!)
Time: 1:48:47
Average speed: 11.27km/h
Music: Laurent Wolf in the mix podcast

So yeah, I basically ran a half-marathon, minus a few hundred meters. My average speed is quite low, and I’m confident I’ll beat that by a significant margin, because of the following factors:

– I ran in the morning (I always run in the afternoon or even evening, which I’m trying to change since the race in in the am)
– I ate 2 fruits and a piece of toast, and had a glass of water for breakfast prior to my run. So not much fuel to burn.
– There was some gnarly-ass epic hardcore wind blowing RIGHT IN MY FACE for half of the run. I’m talking about real tree-destroying wind here, branches everywhere. And the worst part: it started progressively dying down just before I turned back and started heading the other way. I could tell because of the waves in the Lachine Canal along which I was running… so yeah, the added resistance was significant, I can tell you that much.

A dry run in more ways than one, then. Gives me a bit of mental practice as well as being a hell of a workout at the same time. I kept active and walked around for most of the day after that, so the blood kept flowing. Before bed, I put a bag of frozen peas on my knees, to try and reduce potential inflammation. Good news, also: no major blisters or problem areas. I am going to tape my nipples, though: cool weather and constant friction don’t do them any good, haha!

DAY 13 — Monday Oct. 17th

Which meant that today, I didn’t feel all that sore! My left knee was giving me a bit of a talking-to when going down stairs, but nothing major. My left hamstring as well, but other than that, life is peachy. Didn’t want to push my luck so I didn’t run today, instead I decided to just punish my quads by doing about 250 bootstrappers, 50 at a time with brief rests in-between. That got the blood flowing for active recovery, while mostly working my quads which were not really sore, and sparing my hamstrings a bit while stretching them at the same time. Perfect combo for an easy day.

Food intake has been pretty good lately, smoothies and healthy food without going crazy. I don’t have the time or the inclination to become real anal about it, but I am watching what I eat and try to keep it quality. 3 meals a day, nothing too fancy.

That’s it for now, I’m now well into the last week before the race, and I feel reasonably confident. I plan on doing a hard day tomorrow and Wednesday, and then TAPER (meaning lighter and lighter workouts) for the 2-3 days leading up to the race, to be completely rested for the main event.

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