Somehow, I am already in week five of training for my third half marathon!! It seems like just yesterday I was starting the plan, but now I’m gearing up for an 8 miler this coming weekend! I have to say, I really enjoy being on a training plan because it takes the guess work out of exercising for me. When I have a plan in place, I feel obligated to make the time for working out, and definitely push myself harder than I do otherwise.
Overall, training is going quite well. I’ve been sticking with almost all of my planned runs and have moved from 5 to 7.3 miles for my long runs so far. My weeks have been looking something like this workout-wise with 3-5 workouts per week (mostly 3-4):
- 1 easy run, starting with 3 miles and now up to 4
- 1 day of speed work, alternating between tempo runs and intervals
- 1 long run, starting with 5 miles and working up to 8 this coming weekend
- 1-2 days of strength training
- 2-3 days of rest
You can see the actual by clicking here for my workout spreadsheet.
That said, there are definitely some areas for improvement so that I’m ready to rock on 3-17-2012.
When I wrote my initial post with my training plan for my third half marathon, I said I wanted to make sure to incorporate hill training, and that has not been something I’ve been focusing on enough. One good thing is I’ve been doing all of my runs outside except for the speed work, whereas with previous training I was doing almost all of them on the treadmill except for the long runs. The areas around me are pretty hilly, though I have been choosing flatter courses than I can and I want to make sure to step up the hill training for the rest of training.
Going forward: My goal is to do at least 1 hilly run a week.
Besides that, I’ve definitely been trending towards 1 day of strength training a week and while 1 is more than I’ve done any other time, I’d like to move that towards two per week for the rest of training. Based on recommendations from yesterday’s post, I went ahead and ordered Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism, and also found a Yoga for Runners: Intermediate Program that I ordered as well. I want to try to do the Yoga DVD on some Sundays after my Saturday long runs and will count it as strength training as well even though it’s not strictly strength. Having a bunch of options at home for strength training will give me less excuses to not get my two-a-week in!
Going forward: My goal is to trend towards two days of strength training per week.
Finally, I need to stretch more! Last night I did 4 miles after work and stretched because I was SO sore from No More Trouble Zones the day before. I realized while I was stretching that it was the first time in weeks that I actually stretched after a run. I have to change that!
Going forward: Stretch for at least a few minutes after every run!
Overall, I’m pleased with my progress so far and can definitely feel myself getting faster. I ran a 5k on the treadmill the weekend before last because my plan called for a 5k, but I wasn’t signed up for one. I ran it in 27:49, which is an 8:55 pace and by far the fastest I’ve ever run a 5k on the treadmill, and while it was challenging, I felt great! My runs have been trending in the mid 9:00s overall, and my pace at my last half marathon was 9:59, so I really want to keep my eyes on the prize and make a PR happen come March 17th! I think if I continue to focus, I can definitely make that happen.