November 14, 2011

half marathon training plan

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Several people have e-mailed me asking what plan I used for my half marathon training.  As I've mentioned before I based my training on Hal Higdon's novice training plan.  When I originally started training I was planning on having 17 weeks, so I didn't increase my mileage as quickly in the beginning.  I wanted to build a strong running base since I wasn't used to running quite that many miles in a week.  Thankfully it ended up working out, and I survived the half with only 14 weeks of training, and my higher mileage only coming in the last few weeks.  I figured since more than one person had asked for specifics, I'd be nice and lay the training plan I followed out for you.

This may not be EXACTLY what I did, but it was what was on my calendar.  I usually did another light strength workout sometime during the week, but nothing major for my legs, mostly arms.  Circuit refers to a circuit aerobics class I took at my gym.  Higdon's plan calls for cross training that day, but I figured since it was a circuit class I was getting an endurance workout along with my strength.  As far as running miles, I always tried to make sure I actually RAN the miles listed, but also included a warm-up and cool down walk, making my mileage at least .5 miles more for each workout.  I switched my rest days from Fridays to Thursdays, because the back to back days of running was starting to take a toll on my joints.

Also, even though none of these workouts are listed as speed workouts of any sort, because the majority of my shorter (weekday) runs were done on the treadmill I messed with speed a lot just to keep myself entertained.  I believe that is why I went from averaging a 10:30 pace in the beginning, to a 9:14 pace the day of the race.

(click the image to make it larger)

Remember, I am by no means an expert!  I did not start 'running' until March of this year.  I had zero clue what I was getting myself into.  I just googled half marathon training plans and picked the one I thought looked the most doable.  From there I tweaked it a bit to fit my schedule and my personal fitness level.    

To tell you the truth, I'm kind of happy I ended up running the race when I did.  I think another three weeks of training would have stressed my body, and I was starting to get a wee bit burnt out.  But having the training plan/something to train for really held me accountable.   Right now I really really REALLY need something to focus on again.  A couple people are trying to persuade me to run the Georgia Marathon in March (cough cough Krissy and Kelly), but I'm not sure I have the time to fit all the training in, not to mention I don't know if I could physically make it there.  Chris will be working and my dad has a business trip, so it would be just me, my mom and Ryann.  Not really the ideal situation when I'm trying to accomplish a marathon.

We'll see though.  I'm going to start following one of the Hal Higdon marathon training plans, most likely Novice 2.  The only thing I'm really worried about?  The last couple times I've run I haven't been able to make it farther than 3 miles straight without feeling like I was going to die (aka stomach issues, boo).  I need to take a look at my diet and see what is giving me the trouble, probably um, too much chocolate or something.  I've gotten really bad with the chocolate again... The other problem is I've been running later in the day because of the colder morning temps (that is if I get the opportunity to run outside).  I'm sure that is messing with me a bit, I am definitely a morning runner.  But I hate the cold...

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Jennifer said...

good luck with your training! Thanks for sharing your plan :)

Chelsea said...

Love your training plan! So important to stay organized... I just might have to make something up like that to get my butt off the couch again ;)

Krissy said...

You definitly have it in you to do it AND do it very well! I hope we get to see a Georgia Marathon Race Recap on your blog!!! I have the exact same problems when I run late in the afternoon or evening. I find if I have ANY dairy or meat that day, there is no way I can run. I like running first thing in the morning. If it is going to be 3-4 miles or less I usually run on a empty stomach. If it is more than that I will have a granola bar. Or if it is a race or a really long run I will have a bagel and maybe and apple with a bit of peanut butter. I had 4 miles planned the other day and didn't get around to running til about 5 pm once Chris was home. That quickly became a 2 mile run. Cold doesn't bother me when I am running. Really once you get moving, as long as your ears are covered, cold isn't that bad! I even sweat in the 30s after a half a mile! But I know Kansas will get colder than Georgia!

Real Housewife in MN said...

Nice work on the training plan! I've used that same plan to run four half marathons, it totally works! Each run I just try to set measurable small goals. Not even time necessarily, but maybe it's a 1 mile time or run 20 minutes straight without walking; stuff like that!

I also need something to work towards. I love doing a 5 mile race or even a 10 mile run. IT's a good distance to train towards and doesn't take much effort to build back up if you keep running 2-3 times/week. Congrats on the accomplishment; remember: If it were easy EVERYONE WOULD DO IT :)