marathon training

Ultimate Guide to Training for Portland’s Shamrock Half: Part 1

Come wintertime in Portland, as the days grow shorter and wetter, you might not be too hyped about running outside. But actually our winters are relatively mild. Getting yourself out the door may be hard, but once you start running, we bet you won’t even feel the cold and drizzle. And if you want to be in shape for any races in the spring, now is the time to train.

That’s our challenge to you: This fall, sign up and start training for a 2015 race like Portland’s inaugural Shamrock Half presented by LifeWise in March.

marathon trainingTo get the scoop on half-marathon training in Portland, we teamed up with Torrey Tindbo, Communications Director for Team Red Lizard (TLR). TLR is a nonprofit running club in Portland that organizes group runs for members almost every day of the week. Even if you’re not training for a race, you can still meet local runners and check out new routes by joining one of their runs.

Tindbo has been involved with the group for more than 15 years, running on their cross-country team and serving on the organization’s board. So if anyone has advice for half-marathon training this winter, it’s him. Here’s what he had to say:

1. Don’t skimp on rest days

Tindbo is a big believer in rest days. Instead of training with weekly mileage in mind, he chooses to focus on the quality of the run. That means making sure to take those recovery days, so you can train at your best.

2. Train hard

marathon trainingThough he’s a fan of rest, Tindbo also believes in doing more with your training than simply racking up miles. He recommends getting in speed work during the week, and using the weekend for longer runs at your intended race pace.

3. Start easy

If this is your first race, don’t worry about your time. Instead, just run what feels comfortable. You’ll want to enjoy the moment when you cross that finish line. Plus, we know the thrill of completing your first race will be motivation enough to get you to sign up for another.

4. Set a training schedule

marathon trainingEver heard of the Hal Higdon training program? It recommends a 12-week training schedule for runners with a base-level endurance of approximately three miles. For more experienced runners, Hal Higdon offers intermediate and advanced schedules, each of which include speed work.

5. Don’t forget cross-training days

Tidbo recommends fitting cross-training into your weekly routine. For him, that’s biking to work a few times per week. For you, that could be anything from yoga before work to indoor swimming at the gym.

Up for the challenge? Race for free in the Shamrock Run!

marathon trainingLifeWise is proud to sponsor the inaugural Shamrock Half-Marathon on March 15. This half-marathon is a new addition to the popular 5K, 8K and 15K races that Oregon’s largest running and walking event offers every year.

If you’re a LifeWise member, you can snag one of a limited number of free entries for 5K or 8K events (Note: LifeWise members who responded early already scooped up the supply of free entries for the 15K and half-marathon events).

Simply complete the online form to receive a promo code for your registration. You’ll need to have your LifeWise member ID number handy (on your insurance card), and interested members better act fast — the race usually sells out by January!

Also, here are some other upcoming races in the Portland area:

For more upcoming running events across the state, check out this 2014-2015 Oregon half-marathon calendar.


Jori Saeger

Jori Saeger is a Seattle-based adventure enthusiast. On most weekends you’ll find her running around Green Lake, hiking in the I-90 corridor or exploring small towns by bike. During the week, you’ll find her squeezing in a barre or spin class and whipping up new, healthy recipe creations. You can follow her adventures at <a title="" href="" target="_blank"></a> or on Instagram at <a title="@jsaeger" href="" target="_blank">@jsaeger</a>.