I’m training for a fall half marathon and want to incorporate PiYo as one means of cross-training since it will help strengthen my muscles, stretch sore, overworked muscles, and increase my flexibility. Many of the moves in PiYo are fantastic for athletes because they focus on balance. When you think about it, while running you are always balancing on one leg!
Benefits of cross-training:
- Incorporate activities you enjoy. Running is fun, but there are lots of other activities or sports that we might like to do over the course of a 12 to 16 week half marathon training plan.
- Give over-worked muscles a chance to rest. Running is a repetitive movement and it works the same muscles over and over. That’s to be desired when training for a marathon or half marathon, but it’s also advantageous to allow those quads, hamstrings and calf muscles a chance to chill.
- Strengthen other muscle groups and core. Let’s face it, running works the lower body but you’re not going to sculpt your arms if you don’t add to your running routine. Cross-training allows you to work areas of the body that running doesn’t target, like chest, back, arms, shoulders and core.
- Injury prevention, correct imbalances and rehabilitation. Stretching, active recovery and rehab moves target specific weaknesses so you can stay injury-free and strong.
How to incorporate PiYo into your half marathon training:
First you must start with an excellent half marathon training plan.
You may have a favorite half marathon plan to follow or, if you’ve run many races, you may have created your own (like I did). Running (or walking) is the basis of your plan and must be a priority if you plan to run 13.1 miles in the near future. Your cross-training should complement that running plan.
New to running and need a half marathon training plan? Check out Hal Higdon’s website for lots of free training plans. There are schedules for all fitness levels from beginner to advanced, and even a half marathon walking schedule.
- Most plans (like Hal Higdon’s) have strength/stretching and cross-training days built into the schedule. Simply substitute a PiYo workout for these stretch and cross-training days.
- If desired, use short, less strenuous PiYo workouts as your cooldown after a run.
- Do more intense PiYo workouts (Drench, Sweat) on days you do NOT run or on short run days.
- Don’t feel the need to cram the 60 day PiYo program as-is into your current half marathon training program. You’re already getting loads of activity – no sense in burning your body out.
- LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. If it feels like you are working too hard, back off your schedule. Fitness is for a lifetime.
A sample PiYo Half Marathon Training Plan.
Here is my PiYo and Half Marathon training plan, and it is intended as an example ONLY. If you decide to print it out you will see my personal guidelines. Just remember this was written for ME by ME, at the fitness level I am now, taking into account my own personal athletic “issues” (bad knees that make it impossible to run two days in a row).
Supplement the PiYo Eating Plan!
Fueling your body is critical.
Just a quick note about nutrition. If you are training for a marathon or half marathon, you need to FUEL your body. You cannot follow the PiYo Get Lean Eating Plan guidelines as written and get results. The calories are too low for your running days. You must nourish your body so that your muscles stay strong and repair after your runs.
Eat back your running calories.
If you follow the PiYo eating plan, I would suggest eating back your running calories. I ran 8 miles yesterday and my BodyMedia Fit showed a 900 calorie burn for that run. I just ate back those calories and still ran a small and safe deficit at the end of the day. (If you use Gu or other energy gels during your run, as I do, you can count those as part of “eating back your calories.” I had about 200 calories during the run so only ate back 700. Eating back your calories allows the glycogen in your muscles to replenish so you will be ready to rock your next training run.
On non-running days, simply eat as prescribed in the plan. I don’t burn many calories doing PiYo alone, so eating 1200-1400 calories is fine for me if I am in weight loss mode.
Don’t obsess about the calories, but just remember that fueling for your training is important, so EAT on running days!
Now make your plan.
Please write your OWN PiYo half marathon training plan to suit your unique situation, abilities and needs. Good luck and rock your 13.1!!
Make sure to take a peek at the PiYo Ultimate Review and Guide for all the details on PiYo – the workouts, the meal plans, the works!