Thursday, March 18, 2010

Training Chart

I have found that I work best with a goal in mind, preferably one I have had to front some cash for. So this is part of the reason why I sign up for the Steamboat Half Marathon every year. Of course the fact that Steamboat is one of the most beautiful places in Colorado and 5 days away with my family and friends is one of the best weeks of the year for me has something to do with it too.

So, how does a novice/intermediate runner like me prepare for a Half Marathon?

Every year I follow Hal Higdon's Half Marathon training program. I find his website to be very informative, realistic and best of all FREE! He says "The excitement around half marathons often is the same as at a marathon -- except you get to go home early." I love this and it is exactly why I train for at least one half marathon a year. In my opinion a half marathon is not a race just anyone can get up and run, but at the same time the training is not so time intensive that I would fail to do it right.

With my two young boys I just have not gotten to the point yet where I can dedicate myself enough to training for a marathon. Although, my friend Tracey and I have promised ourselves that we will run a marathon together before we turn 40. Unfortunately that window is quickly closing and at least Tracey has the experience of running 5 marathons behind her (I know I know, already with the excuses).

Anyway, for the past several years I have followed Higdon's Novice 12 week program, but last year Rebecca and I thought we would try to bump it up to the Intermediate program. After all, we definitely fit the description - "THE ABOVE [Intermediate] SCHEDULE IS FOR EXPERIENCED RUNNERS: individuals who have left their Novice roots behind and who want to improve their performances. You should be capable of running 30 to 60 minutes a day, five to seven days a week, have competed in at least a few 5-K and 10-K races, if not a marathon, and at least be willing to consider the possibility that some speedwork might help you improve."

Last year we created our workout calendar (well I did and forced my spreadsheets on Rebecca), and everything started out easy. After all we were more than ready for this. ROAD BLOCK: I can not get myself through the speed workouts. Let's face it, I am a 10 minute miler. I enjoy this pace and I can continue to run this pace for miles on end. I hate sprinting, but I KNOW it would help me in many ways. First it would knock my body out of its doldrums and it may also decrease my mile time. The question is, is the pain worth going from a 10 minute mile to a 9:45 minute mile? I still won't win, but maybe I would finally hit that elusive 2:10 half marathon time I have always longed for and have come so close to.

This little tirade brings me back to yesterday's post and the how I mentioned that blogging was partially selfish. I figured if I created a workout and told everyone about it that it would make me even more accountable and more likely to stick to the parts that I don't like. So I promise continued updates.

My 12 week training program officially started this week and I am going to get out of this funk, get myself excited and start training for this race the right way! Anyone want to join me?

My Plan:
Mondays - Easy Run starting with 3 miles increasing 1/2 mile every other week
Tuesdays - Yoga and/or Sculpt & Tone Class
Wednesdays - Alternating 400 m weeks and tempo runs
Thursdays - Yoga and/or Sculpt & Tone Class
Fridays - 3 miles easy and strength
Saturdays - 3 miles easy increasing 1 mile every third week
Sundays - Long Runs starting with 5 miles, increasing 1 mile a week

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