At the moment I am looking at training plans and there are tons available from so many different sources - running books, running magazines, running websites, online coaching, etc.
And then there are the different levels of training plans too - run to finish, run to a PR, or run to win (lol!). This will be my first half so I don't have a PB to beat, but I don't want to merely aim to finish. A lot of run to finish plans seem to be aimed at total beginners - like the non-runner who signs up for a charitable cause or a Friday night dare and then thinks: "Gee, I better do some running, where do I start..." Not that there is anything wrong with that, in fact I admire anyone who does, it's just that I have been running for 18 months now and 'just finishing' seems under-ambitious to me.
I would like to train for a time goal estimated by the McMillan calculator from my 10 km PB. I haven't run a 10 km race recently, but did run a 5k last weekend. Going by my 5k time of 28:39, the McMillan calculator it gives me a guesstimate of 2:12.
Before my injury I had a few training plan options bookmarked, but post injury they are looking seriously ambitious. I've had to cut back my expectations a lot as I'm just not ready to jump into long runs yet. To be honest I'm pretty gutted about this and it has taken a while to accept. Especially as my previous prediction time was 2:04 (and I was harbouring a secret ambition to run under 2 hours...)
I need to start at a level where my long runs are between 5-10 k, so I'm considering following a 10 k plan to begin with, then merge like a zip into a half-marathon plan.
Paula Radcliffe's 'new intermediate' training plan for the 10k starts around the level I want, and if I cut a couple of weeks out (the 10km taper ones), that and the HM plan brings me exactly to Sunday 3 November. As long as I stay injury-free of course...
What I like about Paula's plan is that she schedules in strength training days and cross training days - something I need reminding of!
|Rest day + core strength exercises and stretches!|
It also suits me that it starts with four days per week and builds to five. But the mileage does increase considerably, and I am concerned that there are no cut-back weeks - I think these are important for me post-injury.
|The final weeks have long runs of 12, 12, 13, 14, 14, 13 and 10 miles|
Maybe I should stick to the plan in the book I have been following all along, where the final weeks are 10, 11, 8 miles:
Where oh where is the perfect half marathon training plan?! I suppose I will just have to see how my ITB behaves.
Which training plan did you follow for your first half marathon? As you can see I am still open to recommendations!
At the end of the day I want to a) run all the way, and b) finish happy with my effort, so c) next time I will have a time to beat!