2019 · fitness

why i’m crash half-marathon training (and why you shouldn’t)

If you’ve ever put the handle of a kettle bell into your hip crease and released the weight of your body onto it, you know there are some types of pain you inflict on yourself that make you question your sanity. This, my friends, is the state in which I currently find myself as I crash train for a race in four weeks. Let me go ahead and highly recommend you do not do this.

What’s crash-training you ask? Crash training is like a crash diet: intense, short and probably unsustainable. Instead of slowing increasing distances, I’m upping by close to 50% week over week.

Avoiding injury is currently my full-time job (not kidding).

Since I’ve got strong muscles and cardio, the hardest part of my run-training is simply getting the time to run while keeping my quads and hip flexors safe and injury-free… which, I’ve learned, is much easier said than done. The second big challenge? Finding a way to balance my other fitness with running. I worked too hard on gaining muscle to risk losing it over the next four weeks.

Put simply, crash training is miserable. And unless you’re running a couple of weekly 10km runs or equivalent, it’s not something you should be doing. So why am I doing it? Mostly because I wasn’t sure I’d participate in this race so I haven’t been training. I wanted a particular leg of the Cabot Trail Relay so I was a bit bummed I didn’t get it, and then if I’m totally honest… my love of running has kind of buckled as my workouts have shifted from solo runs and trips to the gym to classes where I look forward to seeing friends and connecting with others.

Just over two weeks into training, I’m feeling a little achy but pretty optimistic that I’ll be up to half-marathon distances within 10 days of my race, which means I probably won’t be the fastest on the leg but I should “make the mat”. My leg is only 17km, too, so I should be fine right? RIGHT?!

If you’ve ever crash trained for a race, I’d love to know your best tricks and tips!

One thought on “why i’m crash half-marathon training (and why you shouldn’t)

  1. Definitely be careful! I always advocate a full 8-12 weeks before a half marathon, so you have plenty of time to up mileage slowly, listen to your body, adjust as needed, and feel good at the start of the race rather than exhausted from increasing training. It might be a little late for this race, but I designed a chart for 2019 races that tells you when to start training depending on the date of your race and how long you plan to train: https://runningmybestlife.com/start-half-marathon-training/. Check it out for your next one and good luck!


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