A 39.3 series is one of the area's biggest running challenges. There's now 2 series in the area with the inclusion of the Harvest Half Series. It's 3 half marathons in 3 weeks's time. 

We asked one of Lawrence's running leaders, Ellen Young, to share what she's learned about tackling this kind of challenge. Ellen was named a 2014 Health Champion, she's RRCA certified, and has coordinated running groups such as the Red Dog's Dog Days and Run for the Hill of It.

By Ellen Young

To complete the Harvest Half Series,

Picture of all the races logos

Harvest Half Series – 39.3 Challenge

these are some things I think you need to keep in mind.  Once you have done the necessary training to complete the first half, you will have the training needed to successfully complete the remaining two.  Since they are spaced a week from each other, you will not lose your distance conditioning in between races.  I believe you should:

Picture of Harvest Half Series Facebook Photo

Harvest Half Series – 39.3 Challenge

Try to have 3 goal times in mind for your half. 

  1. The first goal would be for optimal conditions: perfect weather, wake up feeling totally awesome, and you get to the race and there are sufficient porta-potties so you are not stressing over getting to the start line on time (fastest goal time of the three).
  2. The second goal would be if you are feeling great, but the weather is hotter than normal (or colder or snowing, or sleet, or rain) – just adjust your time knowing that you are there and while conditions aren’t perfect, you will enjoy the run as much as possible.
  3. Lastly, if you wake up and the weather is awful and you don’t feel well, then know you will get some exercise! (slowest goal time of the three).

When I’ve run the Heartland 39.3 Series, I have always considered Rock the Parkway as my first major event of the running season. Last year was the first year for Garmin Marathon to be in the series as well as the first year I ran it.  While I was hoping for a slightly better time the Rock The Parkway, the weather was awful – rain, sleet, hail – so the goal became to finish it. Running with the Cows, for me, has always been an enjoyable race.  I love the countryside and the rolling hills.

I have, of late, become a firm believer in Galloway’s RunWalkRun method and did witness, first hand, how it pays off in the last 3 miles of the Buffalo, NY half.  It is becoming more popular lately and I think, as people become older, and want to continue running, this is a way to prevent injuries and continue running.