Half-Marathon Training, Week 3

I ran 21 miles last week, including a Monday "long run" of 7.25 miles (if you include the warm-up and cool-down walks, I went a little over eight miles).

Running has started to feel a lot more natural and, well, easy, so I am speeding up a little bit. If I start to get out of breath, I slow down. I'm also going to start adding a slight incline to the treadmill runs. Currently I run at 0.5% or 1% inclines, but I'll start adding 2% and 3% inclines, then more, on a limited basis.

I have more energy than I've had in years. I look forward to my run days. When I first started following a program I found on Runner's World, I thought, "I sure will look forward to those 'rest days.'" But I don't. I look forward to the runs. On rest days, I either walk or do weights, or both. But I prefer the days that I can go to the gym or the track or the long road (with a sidewalk!) near my house, turn on the iPod (or not), and just run. I just love the feeling of running.

So this week I'm planning to run between 22 and 24 miles. The interval runs will be my biggest challenges, and because I'll be working harder on them, I'll do a short "long run" next Monday of only four or five miles.

And guess what! I'm going to run in a 5-K in a couple of weeks!

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