Half-Marathon Training: Week 1

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For some reason song lyrics always come to my head when I sit down to write. My alternate title for this post was going to be “I got 99 problems, but a treadmill ain’t one”. 99 being the number of minutes I spent on my treadmill yesterday logging my long run. A new longest distance treadmill record for me, but when this ———> is what your weather app has for the temperature outside, the choice is pretty easy. Shorts, a tank top, and my treadmill it was!

 

Last week I briefly mentioned that after much thinking and little action I had finally signed up for a goal half-marathon. The 3 I had my sights on were: the Newburyport River Run 1/2Boston’s Run to Remember , and the Horseneck Half. Newburyport and Horseneck had the advantage of being new courses for me, and supposedly beautiful courses at that. Horseneck was the least expensive of the 3 at $55, and the Run to Remember the most expensive at $85. The Run to Remember had the distinct advantages of being by far the closest race to me, the earliest start time (7am vs 9am), and having real bathrooms with a place to wait indoors before the race. So what was holding me back from registering? The cost and the fact that there is some serious bottlenecking for the first 1-2 miles of the race. In the end, convenience, real bathrooms, and a chance of avoiding end of May heat with an early start time won out, and I registered for the Run to Remember. This week put me at the start of my 16 week Run Less, Run Faster training plan, but since I’d already started following it awhile I ago I adjusted some of the runs rather than starting over at week 1 or jumping ahead to week 11.

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Weekly Training: February 8 -14

Monday: Gym – This week I remembered to document my gym time so I’m actually sure that I made it. 45 minutes of strength and stretching

Tuesday: Since I had originally planned for a March or April half-marathon my training this week would have been RLRF’s week 11, so I decided to modify it the workout. 2x400m @ 7:24, 800m @7:30, 1600m @7:47 and then back down again. I decided to try again at RLRF’s recommended paces for these distances and was feeling the extra work. The 1600 pace felt comfortable, but the others were really pushing it. I ended up skipping my last 400, because I was fried by that point. Overall I ran 6 total miles at 9:10 average.

Wednesday: Plan: 6M Easy – Actual: 6M @9:29 – This run felt a bit labored, probably still tired from my run the day before. I should have eased off pace a bit to make it truly an easy run, but I wanted to get it over as quickly as possible.

Thursday: Plan: 1M Easy, 5M Mid Tempo, 1M Easy – Actual: 1M @9:33, 5M @8:35, 1M @9:28 – My mid-tempo paced miles felt really comfortable the whole way through. They felt so much easier than my run the day before, even though they were faster. 

Friday: Gym – 40 minutes of strength & stretching

Saturday: off (aka the day I should have run so I could have done it outside) Really what I should have done was head to the gym so I could have watched geeked out over the Olympic Trials Marathon while I fit in my own run on the treadmills. I looove Des Linden and Meb Keflezghi, and was so happy to see them make the Olympic team. They both seem so genuinely nice. Watching Amy Cragg, the women’s winner, and Shalane Flanagan, who clinched the 3rd spot, work together was so inspiring. Shalane was clearly in bad shape the last few miles and looked like she was lost at times. You could see that Amy, was concerned for her and kept checking on her, even grabbing and opening water for Shalane to dump on her head. I read afterwards that Amy kept telling Shalane to just get to the next mile or the next aid station where they could get water and she would feel better. That she slowed to stay with Shalane and talk her through it, only taking off when she could see Des closing in behind them, was such a nice sign of friendship in a competitive sport. It was interesting to watch how each of the competitors raced and what they do to motivate themselves. Des and Jared Ward (the 3rd place finisher for the men), both spoke about how at times there was a break away that was too fast for them and they had to be confident in their own pace and race strategy – which clearly paid off. Jared, who teaches statistics, wrote his master’s thesis on optimal marathon pacing and ran splits of 1:06:31 the first half and 1:06:29 the second half! That is impressive consistency!

Sunday: Again, I didn’t feel the need to run 14 miles this early in training for a half, so I modified it to 11 miles. 2 episodes of Scandal + 15 minutes of Making of a Murderer got me through this run! 

Weekly Total: 30 miles

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7 thoughts on “Half-Marathon Training: Week 1

  1. I’ve been “training” for my half in two weeks but not really following a plan since I started so late (b/c of my injury) BUT when I do my next one–whenever that may be–I plan on using RLRF so I’m really looking forward to following your training journey 🙂

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    • RLRF has been great for me! I like the variety of the workouts, and while I’ve replaced a cross-training workout with an easy run this go around, I like that it builds it in to the program. I’m excited to see how you like it, once you find your next half.
      Given your new 10k PR, I don’t think your injury has slown you down! Looking forward to seeing what you do this half and then again with a full training cycle!

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  2. I think I mentioned, this might be a great method for me to try after the Salt Lake cycle when I have to figure out how to cram 3 marathons in 3 months. Glad this is working out for you. Real feel = -31, insane!!! Yeah, I would be on treadmill too or running 128 laps on an indoor track like Jane!!

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    • 3 marathons in 3 months – I feel tired just thinking about it! 🙂 RLRF might be a good option for you to help avoid burnout with that type of schedule! They have a section devoted to training year round for multiple races. Although since the focus of the book is largely on increasing speed, they recommend not racing (as opposed to “just” running) more than 2 marathons per year. I’d love to hear your thoughts if you check it out!

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      • Yeah, not sure how it will go so will see how bad I’m dragging by Missoula in July! I will pick up the book at some point and check it out for sure.

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  3. The weather this weekend has been unreal! I’m curious to read more about RLRF and see how things go. I’m following McMillan’s plans in You (Only Faster) and enjoying it so far, but am always interested in other plans!

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    • Wasn’t it crazy? And now it feels like spring her today! I’ve been wanting to read McMillan’s book, but my thrifty side is waiting until my library gets it. I’ve listened to him on a lot of podcasts and he has great advice, so I would think he has a strong training plan too.

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