Training As a Snail Runner

You may be a slow runner, but you can still take on a half-marathon if you want to.


By Sarah Klena


Snails of the world, unite! We may be slow, but we are darn persistent! This article goes out to all my runners who are bringing up the back of the pack. First of all, go you! You’re already faster than the people sitting at home watching TV or sleeping in. Just by lacing up your sneakers and heading out the door, you’re already ahead of most people. Own it.

I am a self proclaimed Team Snail lifetime member. I will never win the Boston Marathon or even a local 5k. That’s alright by me. I’ll never see my intervals in the single digits during mile repeats or break any major records. A-ok. I’m just glad to be out and moving!

Here are some suggestions for my fellow snails and/or those just starting out running and have the goal of running a half marathon!

  1. Be consistent. I should practice what I preach here. The only way to build up stamina is to work for it. At a minimum, you should try running for 3 days a week plus do some cross training on your off days.
  2. Have a training plan. For example,  once a week, work on speed; on another day, work on tempo or hills; and/or pick a day to work on your long run.
  3. Run with friends that are at your pace. Fellow snails make amazing friends. They hold you accountable, text you at 4 a.m. to get you out of bed, and chow down with you on eggs after your long runs. If you’re lucky like me, they become some of your best friends.
  4. Pay money to run. Sign up for a training group or pay for a race. This investment will keep you interested and also give you something to aim for.
  5. Buy some new workout gear and sneakers. My first pair of running sneakers were neon yellow. I couldn’t help but smile every time I put them on. Sometimes a new pair of shoes or running shorts will brighten your mood.
  6. Keep moving. So you’ve hit your wall at mile 10. What to do? Crawl if you must but keep moving forward. Cover the miles in your plan that day, even if you have to walk. It’s important to keep your body moving.

Regardless if you come in 1st or 101st, keep your head held high. You’ve accomplished something few others have.

Sarah Klena is a blogger, educator and runner living in Orlando, Florida. After surviving a massive widow maker heart attack at the age of 31, she has made heart disease awareness her mission. Through her blog, Heart Attack at 31, work with the American Heart Association and speaking engagements, she tells her story and motivates others to take care of their hearts. Her story has been featured in Good Housekeeping magazine, The Dr Oz show and in numerous online publications.

Main Photo Credit: ChiccoDodiFC/

Aug 10, 2015

Thank you for the article! I ran my first half marathon slow with a hurt knee in 02:49:16. Sixth from the end. But I finished! Hopped across the finish line to people congratulating me!

Aug 12, 2015


Sep 15, 2015