This week is the start of my training for the National Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon on March 17th. For each of my other two half marathons, I’ve used Hal Higdon’s half marathon plans as the starting point for coming up with my own plans. I used his Novice 1 program for my first half marathon and my legs just about fell off once I hit mile 10, which was the longest run in that plan. The second time around, I added in a few extra weeks so that I could complete 12 miles before race day and I had a MUCH better race. I saw that he has since added the Novice 2 program, so I am giving that a shot this time around, but adding in two days of strength training (as were included in the Novice 1). Here’s my schedule:
I plan to go to Body Pump classes on Mondays and Thursdays to get in my strength training. I’m hoping to get into the habit of getting up early to get in the midweek runs before work, but to be honest, I doubt that’ll actually happen. I’ve never been very good about being a morning workout person. If I can do that, I may add in the occasional Tuesday spinning class, because I really like the instructor. I also plan on going to spinning as my main form of cross training on Sundays, but I might alternate that with yoga, hiking, walking or any sort of cardio.
The plan suggests running the Tuesday and Thursday runs at an easy, comfortable pace, and doing the Wednesday runs at “race pace.” I do my midweek runs on the treadmill (I might get outside for the 5 miles ones towards the end), and when I run on the treadmill, I vary my pace to keep it interesting, kind of like a tempo run. I’m going to try to push it a little harder on Wednesdays, though, maybe closer to my 5K race pace. I have three goals for the race: a base goal (minimum I’d be satisfied with if I have an off day or poor race conditions), a realistic goal (what I should be able to accomplish considering my training and the race specifics), and an optimistic goal (what I might be able to do if I follow my training closely and everything goes just right on the day of the race).
Base Goal: finish strong
Realistic Goal: set a PR (currently 2:20:33)
Optimistic Goal: 2:15:00 (10:18/mile pace)
There you have it… my half marathon training plan. I might try to do a weekly recap each weekend just to keep a record of my training on here this time around. And it all starts tomorrow, after taking a LONG break from regular training. Stay tuned…