5 Principles I Follow Frequently & How I Completed the Half Marathon WITHOUT Training for it

5 Principles I Follow Frequently & How I Completed the Half Marathon WITHOUT Training for it


Reed's Wellness and Fitness Training logo

On May 3rd, I ran the Flying Pig Half Marathon. I was pretty excited.

What you don’t know, is that I was not going to do the Flying Pig this year…period. You may or may not know that I have run the Flying Pig Full Marathon consecutively since 2010.

My wife could tell that I was not going to be happy if I had not run the race this year. In reality, I was playing it smart as I had not done much running the last few months. A few miles here and there, maybe, but nothing consecutive.

You may be thinking, “I thought you were a runner?” (Hence the name of my blog, “A Runner’s Enduring Excursion”)

Yes. I am a runner and I love everything about it. But, there will be times when you get to a stage of burnout, no matter what it is in regard to. When this takes place, you have to take a break from whatever it may be. So, I began to focus my attention toward strength training in order to become a “stronger” runner and individual overall.

Anyway, my wife and I were chatting that Friday evening and she essentially, out of the clear blue, called me a wimp for not running. She knew I could run the 13.1 mile distance.

So, also if you don’t know, I am not one to back down from a physical challenge. What did I decide to do?

Obviously you already know. I decided to run the half marathon. My issue was not necessarily that I could not complete the distance. My issue was and is that I am competitive with myself. So, after registering the day before and heading to the Expo, I was very nervous to say the least. I know myself. And I know that there was no way I was just going to “just take it easy”. I will push myself hard until I have nothing left in the tank.

I did my best to have fun with the race, and that I did. I texted my wife throughout the first half of the race, just before I “flat lined”. More than anything, cheering on other runners is what got me through it! I love motivating individuals, hence my choice within the fitness industry where I personally train and motivate individuals on a daily basis to be their best.

Our texts went a little something like this:

I just passed mile marker 1. I overheard someone say that there were 12.1 more miles to go? What?!?! I thought this was a 5K? Crap!

Houston, we have a problem. I’m dying!”…“Then slow down.”…“Houston, I can’t find the brakes.

Did I mention I hate running hills?”

God, I can’t wait for chicken and waffles, and a beer after this!” (We had planned on going to Taste of Belgium afterward in downtown Cincinnati. If you haven’t been there, you need to get on that!)

Joshua….are you there? Joshua?”…….. (Insert flat line)……..

Joshua, where are you? We are almost to the finish line”…. “Um, I just finished.”…. “What? You got there too fast.”…. “Ooops, sorry! J “

It went something along those lines anyway.

About the last 3 miles of the race, I began to check out—physically. It was all mental now. The pace which I ran and the hills were finally catching up.

Did I mention my wife and her friends? Geesh, they were like ninjas. I have never seen anyone hit check-points the way they did and I will never know how they did it either! But, they did. [Thanks for being there ladies!]

I ended up finishing the 13.1 mile course in 1 hour and 40 minutes, which is about a 7:41 average pace per mile. Sure, it was not my fastest, but I definitely had a blast running it and learned a lot from this race.

2015 Flying Pig Half-Marathon in Cincinnati, Ohio

2015 Flying Pig Half-Marathon in Cincinnati, Ohio

iPhone 5s 013

My wife and I following my race and cheering on the full marathoners. 🙂

What surprised me the most was that I was able to achieve the 13.1 mile course without training specifically for it. The hills did not bother me, the speed which I ran and did not train for did not truly bother me, I did not walk, and the distance did not truly bother me either.

Well, not until I woke up the next day and encountered these gems.

iPhone 5s 003


As soon as I walked through the front door, it was like a horror movie. I was waiting for the lights to flicker and go out, the horror music to play in the background, and then something to emerge at the top of the stairs just before it stole my last breath. But, nothing. Nothing came about. It was just myself and some stairs that creaked with every foot step that I made. I was the star of my own horror film.

So, I decided to take the stairs like so:

iPhone 5s 004

After “hobbling” around welcoming clients in and out the rest of the day, let’s just say that in between clients I spent some quality time with my Rogue foam roller.

Rogue Foam Roller

Rogue Foam Roller

Moral of the story is this: The expo was fantastic, the course was phenomenal, the crowd support was lovely, and I got my running legs back!

Next up….I decided to randomly sign-up for the Ohio Beast Spartan Race. Oh, did I mention it is in 2 weeks. Crap, I forgot to train for it too. J

Okay. So, there are two reasons why I wanted to write this article.

1) I love the Flying Pig Marathon and highly recommend it to anyone who has yet to.

2) What I realized is that these 5 principles that I perform frequently helped me finish the race. Now, this article is not an article to “brag” about the above mentioned by any means. As I stated, I am very humble to be physically able to perform the above mentioned.

My point is this….

You need a goal and that goal should not be a goal that will last 4, 8, 12, 16, 24, 48 or however many weeks.

Your goal should be to make a lifestyle commitment to being fit and healthy.

You need to be consistent and persistent.

You need to be patient.

You need to train for life.

When you train for life, you are able to take on any unforeseen events—like running a half marathon or the Beast Spartan Race the day of the event.

When you train for life, you have the ability to maneuver like a Superhero.

So, pick your Superhero and prepare to train for life by programming the following into your workouts:

1] Mobility

Before each workout or spontaneously throughout the day, spend 5-10 minutes warming up with use of dynamic stretches and foam rolling. This is important in order to improve range of motion and so that you may activate muscles which you will use while working out. As a result, those muscles work more efficiently than inefficiently.

Here is a dynamic warm up option: Perform 10-15 repetitions for the first 4 and perform the last 3 exercise for about 15-20 repetitions per leg.

Half Kneeling Thoracic Rotation — My clients love this one

Dynamic Blackburns

Bodyweight Hip Thrust

Squat to Stand

High Knee Runs

Butt-Kick Runs

Lateral Shuffle

2] “You should do each of the basic human movements – push, pull, hinge, squat, and loaded carry – daily.” –Dan John

Each and every day, I incorporate at least one exercise from the push, pull, hinge, squat, and loaded carry family. At least 1!

Here is a list of exercises for each family of movements. Choose 1+ exercise from each category and perform 3 sets of 8-12 repetitions with an adequate amount of weight to keep the intensity high.

Push: Push Ups, Handstand Push Ups, Bench Press, Push Press, Pallof Press, and so forth.

Pull: Pull Up Variation, Bent Over Row, Single Arm Band Row, Band Pull Aparts, and so forth.

Hinge: Deadlift, Band Pull Through, Single Leg Romanian Deadlift, Kettlebell Swing, and so forth.

Squat: Bodyweight Squat, Goblet Squat, Bulgarian Split Squat, Barbell Back Squat, Overhead Squat, and so forth.

Loaded Carry: Farmer Walks, Suitcase Carry, Racked Carry, Bottoms Up Carry, and so forth.

3] Metabolic Finishers

The end all be all of a workout when you know you did your best. You know you gave it your all! Metabolic finishers are a great way to burn fat and consist of an exercise or group of exercises at the end of a workout. Most commonly, I have found that a timer works best with my clients. Choose 3-5 exercises, choose a range of sets, choose active and rest time, and do the work! Typically, I set the active timer for :20 seconds and the rest timer for :10 seconds. That means you work for :20 seconds, and rest for :10 seconds, then repeat.

Here are some variations:

  • Perform 6 total rounds: :20 Seconds / :10 Seconds


Bear Crawls

  • Hill Sprints
  • Perform 3-5 total rounds: :20 Seconds / :10 Seconds

Kettlebell Swings


Jump Squats

  • Perform 3-5 total rounds: :20 Seconds / :10 Seconds

Mountain Climbers

Jump Squats

RKC Plank

Sled Pull

4] Move Daily

Whether I exercise or not that day, my ultimate goal is to keep moving daily! I have a Garmin vívofit and make it a goal to obtain a minimum of 10,000 steps per day. Need a buddy? Friend me on Garmin Connect @ Joshua_reed09. Remember that old saying, “use it or lose it”? Well, it stands true.

5] Fluid and Nutrition: The Short and Sweet Version     

Protein: Consume plenty of protein! I typically recommend 1 gram of protein per body pound. Consuming plenty of protein aids in stimulating your metabolism, improving muscle mass and recovery, and reducing body fat. Examples: Fish, Dairy such as cottage cheese and Greek yogurt, Beans & Legumes, Eggs, Lean Meats such as turkey, chicken, and ground beef.

Hydration: Consume 2-3 liters on average of total fluid intake on a daily basis.

iPhone 5s 021

Real Foods: In essence, the goal here is simply to consume lots of “real foods” like fruits, vegetables, and good fats. Examples: Spinach, apples, kale, tomatoes, raw/unsalted mixed nuts, avocados, extra virgin olive oil, and so forth.

In conclusion, would I recommend anyone follow this and go run a half marathon? No. With that being said, please note that I was able to run the race I did with use of my years of past experiences running varying lengths of road races from 5K’s to Full Marathons and with use of the above mentioned 5 principles.

What races do you have coming up this summer?

What do you do on a daily basis?

Joshua Reed
Joshua Reed is an Certified Personal Trainer through the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and is the owner of Reed’s Wellness and Fitness Training. He currently operates a small space in Ludlow, Kentucky and travels to see clients in the Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati area. He offers both personal, online, and small group coaching from his location, the client’s home, and/or outdoors. He is a 2012 graduate of Eastern Kentucky University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Adult Fitness and Wellness Management. Joshua currently attends the University of Kentucky’s, where he is earning a Master’s degree in Biomechanics with a concentration in running mechanics and injury prevention.