Logging the miles to a half marathon. The Ranch’s fitness staff has some advice about going the distance.
The La Jolla Half Marathon, held each April, is a gorgeous course along some of San Diego’s most scenic coastline starting in Del Mar and finishing at La Jolla Cove. You pay for that scenery along the way when you encounter a challenging hill with over 400’ of elevation gain, but the rewards are great: gorgeous views from atop Torrey Pines State Natural Preserve.
We asked some of our staff how they’re training for the race.
Jen Bleier — Pilates and Gyrotonic Instructor.
What is your training strategy or mantra? Run happy, run pain and injury free!
What is one exercise or practice you feel is most valuable for you to stay injury-free? Running is pretty repetitive and always in the same plane. My Gyrotonic practice keeps me moving in three dimensions and helps to undo some of the tightness in my hipflexors, ultimately keeping my body better and more efficiently aligned for my next run. I do bridges (pictured) and work lying on my side for hip and glute strength, and a “melt ball” technique for my feet.
What do you love most about running? Being in nature, quieting my mind, connecting to my own rhythm of breath and cadence. It makes me feel strong and grounded.
What recommendations would you have for first-time half marathoners? Seek out a good training plan that gives you accountability and incentive. I’ve used New York Road Runners Virtual Training plans in the past and loved them, especially the interactive elements and training logs. This time I’ve made my own plan based loosely on what I learned through NYRR. Listen to your body and DON’T OVERTRAIN (a recipe for disaster).
Do you have any specific goals for the upcoming La Jolla Half Marathon? This is my first real race since a 2015 marathon, when I was just coming back from an injury. My goals are simple — I want to enjoy the ride and run happy, hopefully run negative splits or at least have a great handle on pacing with enough gas in the tank to push at the end. My goal’s to finish with high fives from coworkers and my partner and then go have a HUGE fun brunch.
What is your mantra for conquering the Torrey Pines hill? Um…a miracle?! No seriously, lean in, stay focused and if I feel like I need to save my legs, I walk and then make up a little time later.
What might a typical training week look like for you? I’m being conservative this time and easing myself back into racing. I run only three or four days per week — never consecutive days. Sunday: I do a long run. I’ve been gradually building by one mile each week to get to 10 or 11 before race day. Monday: rest/active recovery. Tuesday: 4- or 5-mile tempo run. Wednesday: cross-train with weights. Thursday: speed work — intervals or hills on the treadmill or outdoors. Friday: run 4 easy miles, or cross-train with Gyrotonics or Pilates. Saturday: rest or cross-train.
How do you cross-train? Gyrotonic and Gyrokinesis methods, Pilates, and weights. I’m really lucky to have a co-worker here at The Ranch help me in the weight-training department — it’s out of my comfort zone and yet I’m having a lot of fun!
What is your training strategy or mantra? Stay at a strong pace and enjoy the run. I’m looking forward to pushing it at the end.
What do you love most about running? I love running in nature. Trail running keeps me happy.
What recommendations would you have for first-time half marathoners? Start training two or three months in advance with an eye toward race day. I focus on staying hydrated and eating healthy.
Do you have any specific goals for the upcoming La Jolla Half Marathon in April? I’m on training pace to finish at 1:27.
What is your mantra for conquering the Torrey Pines hill? Stay focused, slow the pace down a little, but keep moving!
What might a typical training week look like for you? My track workout is typically reps of 12 x 200’s, 400’s or 800’s. I take advantage of the gyms here at The Ranch to cross-train, pushing it for a solid hour of upper body strength training. My weekly long run is 10 to 11 miles.
Hector Tamayo — Retail Manager
What is your training strategy or mantra? When I notice that you can go for more, give more and get more: it feels great!
What is one exercise or practice you feel is most valuable for you to stay injury-free? I like to listen to my body: if I’m tired I rest and if I feel I have more energy, I go for more!
What do you love most about running? That moment when I’m mentally clear and I can listen to my breathing.
What recommendations would you have for first time half marathoners? Respect the training, start eating better, and always stay hydrated.
Do you have any specific goals for the upcoming Half in April? Relax and enjoy the race. I’d like to beat my PR of 1:50.
What is your mantra for conquering the Torrey Pines hill? OMG! Just try to not stop and keep going. Just keep running … just keep running.
What might a typical training week look like for you? I run three times a week, 7 miles a day. I’ll run longer on the weekends but I listen to my body.
How do you cross-train? 15 minutes of strength training at home with my kids every day, mostly light weights and stretching.
Learn more about Rancho La Puerta’s running program.