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    FRACKTHATNOISE   14,707
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Day 107 : Half Marathon Training Plan and Milestones

Thursday, October 04, 2012

I think I've mentioned like a million times now that I have a plan for reaching my half marathon goal.

Well, I have a general plan.

I'm looking for feedback here, guys - especially from those of you who are or have trained - does this look insane?

Right now my top mileage is 4 miles. So, I need to build my base up significantly in the next seven months. In order to do that, I've worked out a series of race milestones to work toward.. by setting mini-goals I think I've increased my odds for success.

Mini-Goal Races:
28October - Freaky 5K run
22November - Turkey Trot 5K
8 December - Jingle Bell 5K
MID-JANUARY - Unknown 10K
MID-February-MID-March - Additional 10K AND 10 mile road race
APRIL - Another 10 Miler
MAY - HALF MARATHON

October training: 2 days: 2.5 miles; 1 day 3.2 miles, 1 day 30 minutes; 1 day strength, 1 day Cross
November training: 2 days 3.2 miles, 1 day 4 miles, 1 day 30 minutes; 1 day strength, 1 day cross
December training: 2 days 4 miles, 1 day 5 miles, 1 day 40 minutes; 1 day strength, 1 day cross
January: 2 days 5 miles, 1 day 6 miles, 1 day 45 minutes; 1 day strength, 1 day cross
February: 2 days 5 miles, 1 day 7 miles, 1 day 45 minutes; 1 day strength 1 day cross
March Week 1: 2 days 4 miles, 1 day 7 miles, 1 day 45 minutes; 1 day strength, 1 day cross
March Week 2: 2 days 4 miles, 1 day 8 miles, 1 day 45 minutes; 1 day strength, 1 day cross
March Week 3: 2 days 4 miles, 1 day 8 miles, 1 day 45 minutes; 1 day strength, 1 day cross
March Week 4: 2 days 4.5 miles, 1 day 9 miles, 1 day 45 minutes; 1 day strength, 1 day cross
April Week 1: 2 days 4.5 miles, 1 day 9 miles, 1 day 60 minutes; 1 day strength, 1 day cross
April Week 2: 2 days 4.5 miles, 1 day 9 miles, 1 day 60 minutes; 1 day strength, 1 day cross
April Week 3: 2 days 5 miles, 1 day 10 miles, 1 day 45 minutes; 1 day strength, 1 day cross
April Week 4: 2 days 4.5 miles, 1 day 9 miles, 1 day 40 minutes; 1 day strength, 1 day cross
May Week 1: 1 day 4 miles, 1 day 2 miles, 1 day cross, HALF MARATHON.


So, I've called out progressive mileage goals - increasing semi-weekly. When I state a minute goal it's an easy paced run - not going for distance but for time. Strength training is my day to work on my core and upper body. Cross training will likely be biking. Maybe I'll swim, we'll see.

I've planned a few repeat weeks. As I learned with the C25K program, things don't always go exactly according to plan. I wanted the flexibility to step back if I need to. This also means I have the flexibility to step forward if I feel like I'm ready.

Alright, guys, have at it - does this look like a reasonable way to train?
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSMOSTIMPROVED 10/4/2012 11:06PM

    Frack- I have no idea! I will say that it is so important to get rest when you start to get run down. Also, think about how you are going to get your running in as the winter creeps up on us. I'm just so proud of how you just jumped right in there and got a plan going. You are just moving it along!
Keep it up sista!!!
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PASTAFARIAN 10/4/2012 3:34PM

    I totally agree with EMMANY - except for her opening sentence! The idea of going from 4M to HM in such a short time makes me wonder - what's the rush? If 5K races turn you off (too short for you to get warmed up? Some other reason?), why not focus on 8K and 10K races - at least for a while.

To skip these shorter races is to miss not only lots of fun races but also to miss experiences that will help you train for a HM. Better to make (and learn from) mistakes in shorter races than in longer races! And increasing distance isn't just a matter of extending your workout; lots of things change at increased distances. You may find that you have physical issues at longer distances. You may even find out that you have no pleasure in anything beyond a 10K. Nothing wrong with that. But when you set a goal of HM while having no experience at anything over 4M, it sounds like you just want to skip a whole bunch of important experiences.

Don't get me wrong - I know plenty of people do exactly what you're proposing. But you did ask for feedback after all and you did ask if you sounded insane. :-) No, you're not insane but you are not leaving room to learn, to recover from injury, etc. What's the rush?

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EMMANYC 10/4/2012 1:28PM

    I think that overall your plan makes sense. I have a couple of suggestions for you to consider.

1) Think about including a cutback week about every 4-6 weeks (your body will probably tell you when you need it). My sister is a very experienced long distance runner and racer and she says the cutback weeks help her body recover and come back stronger. She usually limits her exercise in a cutback week to "easy", "relatively short", "fun" and/or "different" activities. For example, she might do something aerobic every other day (instead of 6/7 days), and those activities might be things like riding her bike into town (5 miles there and back) to have lunch with a friend, going ice-skating, taking a dance class etc. Instead of some of her usual strength workouts, she tries something different like a yoga or pilates class - or gardening! She might fit a run in there (because otherwise she gets crazy legs) but it's a short workout and again, she tries to make it a different experience (running around the lake in a park she doesn't usually visit etc). And she sleeps a lot.

2) Include more strength training, especially ST specific to runners. I'm doing some physio right now and my PT has me doing core strength work about 6/7 days: abs, hips, glutes. It is making a big difference in my ability to run without injury. While it is best to give large muscle groups (like legs, arms, shoulders) a day off between ST workouts, my PT says it's ok to work your core almost every day - because really, it IS working every day to hold you up. If you're interested, I have a blog from about a month ago with an ST workout for runners. I would recommend that you do core strength exercises at least 2 out of 3 days and other strength exercises at least twice (preferably 3 times) per week. It doesn't have to be a long workout - even 10-15 minutes of targeted exercises can make a difference.

3) Do you have the option of taking a running class or joining a running group? If so, it's something you might want to consider at some stage. Ask people at your upcoming races if there's something in your area.

4) Don't be afraid to incorporate cross-training into your long slow runs from time to time, especially if you are experiencing some discomfort from the pounding your body takes from high-impact running. I often do my long slow runs as a combination of running, walking and elliptical. That way I can build up my endurance while reducing the risk of injury. You can also use cross-training (especially the elliptical and a spinning bike) to develop your cardiovascular capacity and leg strength to run fast.

Comment edited on: 10/4/2012 3:12:35 PM

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