Half marathon training 2.0.
Last year marked my first half training program and left much to be improved upon. If you would like to read about my halfs, you can find them here & here.
For me running has NEVER been about achieving a certain time but rather about finishing and improving. I just want to get BETTER than I was before. I know I'll never be an elite runner but I love running because it truly doesn't matter! I can enjoy it as a hobby and a form of exercise with no pressure whatsoever.
So this year I decided to sign up for another half marathon, except I wanted to up the ante. I'm not quite ready for the rigor of marathon training at this point in my life but I still wanted to challenge myself - enter the Flying Pig 3-Way Challenge.
On Saturday May 2 I will run the 10K and then the 5K, with about an hour in between. Then on Sunday May 3, I'll run the half marathon for a total of 22.4 miles. Really, I'm just doing it for the bling! ;)
Last year, I "followed" the Indy Runner's Half Marathon program which met every Tuesday night for long runs and various other days for easy/shorter runs. While I enjoyed having people to run with, I didn't really get a chance to meet many people AFTER the runs and Tuesday nights were pretty tough when you had 6+ miles to run. Eventually I started doing my long runs on my own on weekends.
This year, I decided it would be a good idea to have someone create a personalized training program for me since the 3-Way Challenge involves multiple races and it's my first time. I found Out for a Run when I saw Lindsey in Women's Running Magazine/Instagram. After a thorough questionnaire and a few back-and-forth emails, my training program arrived!
I have to be honest. I'm kind of scared of my program. Obviously there's more running than I've ever done on it and it involves a lot of back to back runs. My longest run is scheduled for two weeks out, peaking at 14 miles.
I'm a rule follower. So there's something about having an outsider source prescribe a program that somehow legitamizes it for me. Someone has taken the time to assess my fitness goals and has determined this is what I need to do to get there. If I follow my program, I should succeed! Plus making a monetary investment helps as a motivator, too.
So while I'm not going to share my exact plan, I can tell you it includes 2-3 easy or speed runs a week (3-8 miles), 1 long run (4-14 miles), 2-3 cross training days, and one rest day. 6 days of training a week with a rest day for tons of stretching/foam rolling/walking. I'm pretty excited to see how my body transforms with this approach.
Here is my tentative race schedule for 2015. Since my long runs are scheduled for Saturdays, I'm trying to plan a few races during the harder ones just to keep me motivated and honest with my training.
2015 Race Schedule
Feb 1 - Groundhog 7 miler
Feb 21 - 5K + 5 mile Polar Bear Doubler
April 11 - Hoosier Half Marathon
April 18 - Carmel Half Marathon
May 2 - Flying Pig Marathon 5K + 10K
May 3 - Flying Pig Half Marathon
After May, I'm not sure where my running will take me. I start my clinical rotations in July so I may start to focus more heavily on lifting/Crossfit or I may continue on to run another half or two. If I decide to run, this will likely be my schedule:
Sept 19 - Indy Women's Half Marathon
Nov 7 - Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon
Nov 26 - Thanksgiving Day 10K
With boards approaching, it probably seems a little silly to be training this hard but I'm actually looking forward to it. I do my best work when I'm busy and I think the intense physical demands will force me to be efficient with my time and take good care of myself. Hopefully all this running will help my brain and body run at peak performance!
Here's hoping the weather warms up so I can leave the dreadmill behind!
Any runners out there? Have you ever done multiple races? Any advice?