Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Plan

I'm still really thinking about doing this half marathon May 3. I get bored easily and tend to lose interest in something if there's no carrot at the end of the stick. I developed my own little training plan for the gym and it's been challenging so far and I like it, but today I decided I should check out an actual half-marathon plan written by the pros.

The first I found was way out of my league - and it was for a beginner. Their definition of a beginner was someone who could already easily jog five miles. I cannot do that. So I kept looking and found a plan for a slightly overweight middle-aged mother of two who likes to walk and jog. Bingo! This plan is designed for someone who will eventually run a half-marathon, but averaging between 10.5 and 11.5 miles/hour. And no, that is not walking speed, but jogging speed.

So I checked it out and it makes sense to me. I understand the progression of difficulty and the overall goal. It's a 10-week plan ending with race day so I'd need to start training February 23. So now until then I plan to train for the training plan. I'd like to build up my endurance and start week 1 being able to achieve what is asked of me in week 1. For example, jog 3 ten minute intervals between 10:20 and 11:05 mph with 2 minute breaks in between. I can't do that yet.

The way I've been trying to build up my endurance so far has been increasing my mph by one point every other time I jog and increasing my distance at that pace by .15 miles every time I jog. So I'm increasing my intensity and distance simultaneously. I think that's the way I'll continue until February 23 when I start the real plan.

So far I'm in some sort of pain every night after I jog and sometimes the next day. My sciatica, my ankle, my right arm, my left shoulder. It's been something each time so far. But the pain in the ankles and sciatica has subsided since I started wearing new sneakers. But I'm no spring chicken so I'm gonna give it time - I really think these aches and pains will dwindle along with my weight.

So that's the plan so far. I'm pretty excited. I think 2009 is my year to shine and damnit, I'm going to Washington in June looking good so God help me.

1 comment:

Doug Walsh said...

Jess, this is really great to hear. You can always ask me for advice regarding the trailing (I can gear it towards your level).

Just to make one correction: 10.5 and 11.5 miles/hour only makes sense if your an Olympian marathoner.

What you're really thinking of is 10:30 to 11:30 pace as in minutes per mile, not miles per hour. Nobody measures running speed in miles per hour. Nobody. It's pace time/distance.

Kristin's fastest half-marathon was 1:58 which works out just about to 9:00/mile, give or take. If you do the ground work now and gradually work up to being able to run 5 miles by the beginning of March (mid-March) without stopping, then you should be able to get to 13 miles by early May.

Continue doing what you're doing until you can run 5 miles without stopping, then try to do a couple runs during the week of 3 to 5 miles (then 4 to 6 in April) and increase your "long run" on the weekend by 1 mile each week. That should get you close to being able to run (with breaks) 10 miles by the end of April. You won't need to taper for more than a week since you're not going to be really race-training. Just skip the long run the weekend before the race and just do two feel-good runs of about 3 miles each that week before the race. Good lucK!