Archive | March, 2013

Time to get Serious!

14 Mar

I haven’t posted in a while and I bet you are all dying to know what I’m up to…. *crickets*…. ok , I’ll tell you anyways. My trusty workout partner and I have decided to train for a Half Marathon! After months of internal deliberation, it is now official, we even have a training plan. Fancy, I know. We are taking a slightly different approach than most people and for a couple of reasons. We are not planning on doing the race until fall or early winter of this year and we are starting now, which makes it about double the time most people train for this kind of race. One of the reasons for this is simply that we want to be as comfortable as possible with running that long of a distance, why rush into long distances when you have time to ease into them and become very familiar with them. Another reason is because we are starting with not much experience with long distance running, so even the beginer plans looked a little intimidating.

We based our modified plan off of runnersworld.com from their training program called Smart Coach. The free version doesn’t offer too much but since we were just using it to modify anyways, it served our purpose. The pay version, however, does look great if you need a solid plan with motivation from the internet. Personally, I need a little more than an email reminder to get my butt out off the couch. Aside from that, we printed out the longest plan they had which was 16 weeks and we have about 32 weeks, give or take, until the actual time we want to race. This allowed us to add in additional weeks where we felt the distance of the long increased a little too quickly. Fourty-five minutes and a cup of tea later we came up with a nice 32-is week long training program (which is subject to change). Here is the first 8 weeks of our plan:

Half Marathon Training - Microsoft Word_2013-03-14_10-51-56Half Marathon Training - Microsoft Word_2013-03-14_10-55-24

Looks easy enough… for now… These particular weeks are actually the same schedule as the one Smart Coach made for us given our information, we didn’t modify it until later in the plan (which I will post later). There are a couple of different work outs here that I will discuss: X-Training/Rest, Easy Run, Long Run, Speedwork and Tempo Run.

X-Training/Rest:

There is a lot of information out there on cross training for runners and a lot of different opinions. What I have taken from the information I’ve read is that on these days you need to give your body a break from the beating you’ve been giving it with all the running. Here is what the Smart Coach plan says about these days.

“Take a rest day, or do some cross-training such as walking, biking, swimming, elliptical training or strength training. Rest days are when your body recovers, and builds muscle and fitness. Some runners undermine their training plans by exercising too much on rest/recovery days; don’t be one of them.”

On our Cross Training days we usually get on the spinning machine, elliptical or swim laps. I have recently aquired a bike, so we may also add that to our routine. Also we take Sunday as a complete rest day (no planned work out) and Friday but I like to do some stretching or walking if I have time.

Easy Run:

Pretty self explainatory. The pace our calendar may be different than yours, the website takes your most recent race time and bases your training times on that. Basically, just run at a comfortable pace.

Long Run:

Also pretty self explainitory. Run at a comfortable pace but for longer than the easy run.

Speedwork:

This is about, yes you guessed it, working on your speed. Here is what Smart Coach says about the speedwork training day (4 mile speedwork day).

“Run a total distance of 4 Mi. Your run should include: – a warm up of about 1 mile at an easy pace – 2 repeats of 1600 meters each; your time for each repeat should be 8:40 – a 800-meter recovery jog after each repeat – a cool down of about 1 mile at an easy pace

Note: Warm ups and cool downs are generally 1 mile each. But on some days, you’ll need to make them longer to reach the total distance for your run.”

Tempo Run:

I don’t know much about tempo runs but here is a quick article from Runners World that gives you the low down on what it is and why it is helpful.

 “Run a total distance of 4 Mi. Your run should include:

– a warm up of about 1 mile at an easy pace – 2 Mi at a pace of 9:09 per mile — for a total time of 18:19. – a cool down of about 1 mile at an easy pace

Note: Warm ups and cool downs are generally 1 mile each. But on some days, you’ll need to make them longer to reach the total distance for your run.”

LONG STORY SHORT:

LET THE TRAINING BEGIN!

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