Umm…Is it summer yet…?
Beautiful as it is to look at, the cold weather, snow, and lack of sunlight started to take a toll on my workout motivation this Winter.
By mid-January, the holiday fun is over and the long winter looms like the holiday credit card bill that you know is going to arrive any day now. I drool over travel websites and Eric and I start wondering if we are too young to become Snow Birds for 6 months of the year.
Amazingly, I have been able to stay consistent with exercise, but I haven’t felt the excitement and passion for exercise that I often feel during the warmer months. I realized I need a challenging goal to carry me through the rest of the Winter season in positive spirits. I am a goal driven person and I had a feeling that if I set a fitness goal for myself, it would make all the difference.
To put it simply: I need a GAME PLAN.
I created this Half Marathon Training Plan that would carry me through the winter with an end goal of running my 4th half marathon in April 2011. I haven’t decided on what half marathon race I will be running yet (so the last couple weeks of training may change slightly), but I will eventually figure it out over the next month or two.
My plan is adapted from Hal Hidgon’s Intermediate Half Marathon training plan. I have been running about 15-20 miles a week and I have run 3 half marathons to date, so I decided the Intermediate plan was a good fit for me. You can follow along my training on my races page as I will be updating it daily.
|Mon strength||Tue Rest||Wed Speed||Thu Strength + run||Fri easy run||Sat Rest or Xtrain||Sun long run||Mileage|
|1 (Jan 2-9)||Strength: Body Pump||3 m run||2 m run||Long run: 6.2 m/10k run||Rest||30 min elliptical, 10 mins weights||5 m run (50 mins, 6.0 mph, incline 2%)||16 miles|
|2 (Jan 10-16)||Rest||15 min Booty Booster, 8 min abs + 3m run||Speed: 1m warm-up (6.0mph)+ 8 x 400m (7.5mph)||5 m run (6.5 mph, 2% incline) + strength (12 mins legs)||4 m run||Rest||Long Run: 6 m run, 10 mins abs||21 miles|
|3 (Jan 17-23)||Strength||Rest||50 min tempo||3 m run+ strength||4 m run||X-train or Rest||Long run: 7m run||19 miles|
|4 (Jan 24-30)||Strength + 2 m run||Rest||Speed: 8 x 400m||3 m run+ strength||4m run||X-train or Rest||Long Run: 8m run||19 miles|
|5 (Jan 31-Feb 6)||Strength||Rest||40 min tempo||3 m run + strength||4m run||X-train or Rest||Long Run: 9 m run||20 miles|
|6 (Feb 7-13) Fall Back Week||Strength||Rest||Speed: 9 x 400m||3 m run + strength||4m run||X-train or Rest||Long Run: 5 m run||14 miles|
|7 (Feb 14-20)||Strength + 2 m run||Rest||30 min tempo||3 m run + strength||5 m run||X-train or Rest||Long Run: 9 m run||22 miles|
|8 (Feb 21-27)||Strength||Rest||Speed: 12 x 400m||3 m run + strength||5 m run||X-train or Rest||Long Run: 10 m run||21 miles|
|9 (Feb 28-March 6)||Strength + 2 m run||Rest||30 min tempo||3 m run + strength||X-Train||X-train or Rest||Long Run: 11 m run||19 miles|
|10 (Mar 7–Mar 13) Fall back week #2||Rest or Strength||Rest||Speed: 12 x 400m||3 m run + strength||2 m run||X-train or Rest||Long Run: 5 m run||13 miles|
|11 (Mar 14-March 20)||Strength + 2 m run||Rest||30 min tempo||3 m run + strength||Rest||X-train or Rest||Long Run: 12 m run||20 miles|
|12 (Mar 21-March 27)||Rest||Rest||50 min tempo||3 m run + strength||Rest||X-train or Rest||Long Run: 13 m run||21 miles|
|13 (Mar 28- Apr 3)||Rest||Rest||Speed: 12 x 400m||5 m run + strength||Rest||Long Run: 8 m run||Rest (Taper Begins!!)||16 miles|
|14 (Apr 4- Apr 10) taper week||Rest||Rest||4 mile easy run||X-train||Rest||Rest||Half Marathon (TBD)||4 miles + race|
Note: Bold text = Completed.
My training plan key is as follows:
Mondays: STRENGTH = Booty Camp Fitness DVD, Body Pump, OR 30 Day Shred DVD. I aim for at least 40 minutes of strength on Mondays.
Wednesdays: SPEED WORK = I do speed intervals of 400 metres (0.25 miles) with walking breaks in between for 0.05 miles. For example, I may run 400 metres at 7.5 mph, and then walk for recovery at 3.5 mph for 0.05 miles, then I keep repeating the intervals. If my training plan says, 12 x 400m, it means I will be doing 12 speed repeats, which is equal to 3 miles of speed work (plus recovery walking distance too). 1600 m = 1 mile.
Thursdays: STRENGTH + RUN = At least 15 mins. of strength training mixed with running
Fridays: EASY RUN = Running at an easy pace for myself (usually around 6.0 mph, incline 1%)
Saturdays: REST or X-TRAIN: Depending on how I feel I may take another rest day or I may do easy cross training (e.g., elliptical).
Sundays: LONG RUN = Each week I will be building 1 mile onto my long runs to prepare for a half marathon in April. The only time I will not be building mileage are my 2 fall back weeks.
Fall Back Week = A week that I decrease my running mileage to give my body a break. I have two fall back weeks during my 14 weeks of training. My last week is also a taper week before the race.
Rest Days = I will take 1-2 rest days per week, or more, depending on my training and how my body is feeling. The plan may change a bit from week to week based on how I feel. I may take more rest days as needed or I may switch things up a bit if my schedule changes.
Stretching/Yoga = I will be using Polly’s Yoga for Runners video for stretching after hard workouts!
This half marathon training is going to be a BIG challenge for me because I will be doing most of my training indoors on the treadmill, except for the times I can run outdoors safely (likely, mid-March and beyond). I have a rule of thumb when running indoors- I never put the incline below 1% and I often run at a 2% incline. This helps counteract that it is supposedly easier to run on a treadmill than on the outdoor terrain. Hopefully once I do hit the road, I won’t be horribly undertrained.
It won’t be easy, but I am confident that it can be done! I’m also including a lot of strength work like Body Pump and Booty Camp Fitness and weekly speed training too, which will help break it up and keep it exciting.
Racing is FUN…and the training…is so worth it. Sometimes, I just need to remind myself of this more during the Winter.
Hopefully, before I know it…April will be here and I will be running my 4th half marathon!
Since I started the training plan a couple weeks ago, I feel more motivated and excited about the training. Normally, I am not a training plan type of girl and I prefer to fly by the seat of my pants, but I think this will actually help my motivation this Winter. I am really looking forward to kicking off the running season with a challenging half marathon in April!
I’m not going to lie though, I may have to break down and get cable TV again so I have something to entertain my long indoor runs…
Do you use training plans for your workouts or do you prefer to just make it up as you go along? Are you training for anything right now?