Hi guys! Hope your Tuesday is off to a good start. Mine is because I started it off right by knocking out an “easy” 3 miles before work in 30 minutes flat – followed by stretching. Some days runs are just harder than others, and today I had to fight for this one even though it was just 3.
It is so hard for me to get up in the mornings to get my workout in, but I am always so pleased to have it out of the way. My goal is to try to wake up 1-2 mornings a week to start per week, and then hopefully it’ll become a habit so it’ll get easier and I’ll have more free time in my evenings. I wrote a post about tips for waking up to get workouts in the AM that you can find here, but I still really struggle with it.
Yesterday morning, Caitlin did an awesome post on how she creates a training plan, so I was inspired to finally put my plan into my own document, rather than using the print out of Hal Higdon’s Intermediate plan and crossing it off/making my own notes. I mentioned earlier that I wanted to use this plan, but make some tweeks to it. Here’s what I was hoping to accomplish with my tweeks:
- Maintain the speed training and a long run once a week
- Run only 3-4 times a week, rather than the 5x a week prescribed for injury prevention and to avoid burnout
- Incorporate 2 days of strength training per week
- Have the long run be 12 miles, since this is what I did for my first half marathon and it worked really well
- Allow some flexibility/moving around of runs in case things come up, which I’m sure they will
With Hal’s Intermediate Plan, he talks about doing runs at a 5k pace, race pace, and then intervals. Here’s what I’m doing for each of those:
- 5k pace – 6.5 mph
- Intervals – 7.0 mph
- Race pace – 6.3 mph
If I am able to maintain 6.3 mph on race day, which is a 9:31 pace, I will finish the half in 2:04:45, cutting over 11 minutes off my time from my first race. I will be very happy to finish with anything under 2:06, and pleased with myself for finishing under 2:10. Here’s a really awesome Pace Calculator tool that I used to figure all that out. 🙂
Here’s a link to my training plan spreadsheet. My basic strategy for adjusting the plan to suit my needs was to cut out at least one of the easy runs per week, and sometimes two if there were 3 easy runs for that particular week. I tried to keep all the speed work/long runs/pace runs as is, and then adjust the other ones accordingly. This plan also comes with built-in flexibility, because I know some things will come up where I won’t be able to run the plan exactly and might have to switch around some days, and I’m OK with that!
Also, I’m planning on doing most of my training inside on the treadmill, even though the race itself will be outside. I’m hoping things warm up a bit by the end of March, and I’m also planning on trying to do a few of the long runs outside to prepare myself for race day. That said, I really don’t love running in the cold. I like running outside way more than running inside when the weather permits, but I don’t want to force myself to go outside to run in the cold because I know I won’t be happy and then I’ll start hating training. To prepare myself adequately, all of my treadmill runs will be done at 1.0 incline, which should account for some of the wind drag of running outside.
Also, I am not sure how my weight loss will go once I get into the later weeks of training. I’ve had a few emails from people asking me about that and whether I’m going to be disappointed if I do gain weight and if I gained weight while training for my first half. So, to respond to some of those questions:
- I don’t know if I gained weight during training for my first. I wasn’t really keeping that close track of my weight because I wasn’t following Weight Watchers. If my weight did fluctuate, it wasn’t too dramatic in either direction.
- Listening to my body’s hunger signals is going to be more important now than ever before. I don’t want to restrict myself so that I’m hungry – thats a dangerous thing when you’re training to run long distances. I’m not sure whether I’m going to eat all of my activity points or not, but I’ll keep you posted as training progresses and I assess my hunger levels.
- I don’t want to gain weight, but training for this half is going to take the front burner so to speak rather than losing weight. I don’t think it’s going to be a problem during these first few weeks of training because the distances for running aren’t too much longer than I’ve been used to running. After I get into 8+ mile runs though, I know I’m going to have to fuel myself more than I normally do.
- I realize this doesn’t really answer any questions, but bottom line is I’m going to play it by ear. 🙂
I am pretty excited to have my plan set in stone and am feeling really good about it and about crushing my time from my first half!
Have you ever done a road race and are you currently training for anything? If you’re a runner or walker, do you prefer the treadmill or being outdoors in winter weather?