Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Let the Training Begin!

Ever since August 1st when little Eloise was born, I have been doing what I call "base-building."  I've been basically getting back in shape.  It was tough going for a while, but slowly and surely I have built back my running endurance, getting up to 3 miles and then 4 and 5, and working on my pace as well.  When I reached 6 miles that was really exciting and even more so when I got up to 7 miles.  I've only run 8 miles twice, and both times it felt a lot like a long run, but I know I'm getting there.  I'm not sure why 8 miles is a bigger hump than the others, but I don't intend to give up on it. 

Jason and I are signed up for the 3rd year in a row to run the Seaside Half Marathon in March.  The first year we ran it I PR'd with a 1:44.  The second year I was pregnant and only ran 5 miles of it.  This is the 3rd year and whether it is reasonable or not, I am aiming for another PR.  I've decided to go for a 1:40 which would be around 7:40 pace.  To me that is fast.  The longest I've ever held a pace like that was in a 10k and I only did it a few times. 

I've been base-building and base-building and as the months have ticked by, I've known it was time to wrap that part up and get down to real training.  So I did what I do for my clients and I made myself a training plan.  And it is a doozey!  I tried to schedule it around days I have babysitters and days that may be treadmill workouts, including rest days and some cross training as well.  Writing it all down and planning it out adds a certain level of commitment for me and that will help me stick to it (hopefully). 

Starting next week I have 11 weeks to train for the half marathon.  I have planned a total of 13 pace runs, which gives me two a week starting at week 5.  I have factored in swims and short runs for my rest days and 20-minute Jillian Michaels' workouts (JM) for my pace workout days.  Those are going to be challenging days, but I don't think I'll get to 7:40 pace for 13.1 miles unless my training matches my goal.  According to the training chart I use, my easy runs should be around 9:00 pace and my long runs should be around 10:00 pace, although I'm not sure what qualifies as a "long run" these days.  I'm thinking 10 miles and up for a while. 

Here are my first two weeks of training, starting Sunday, December 16. 

Dec 16 - 22
Sun - Swim/Run 3-5 miles
Mon - JM/5 miles
Tues - 8 miles
Wed - Swim/Run 3-5 miles
Thurs - 6-7 miles
Fri - 5 miles
Sat - 8 miles
Total: ~ 38 miles

Dec 22 - 29
Sun - Swim/Run 3-5 miles
Mon - JM/6 miles
Tues - Christmas Day - 6 miles
Wed - 8 miles
Thurs - JM/5 miles
Fri - 5 miles
Sat - 9 miles
Total: ~ 41 miles

Week 5 of my training begins incorporating my pace runs and I will have two each week.  Here are what the first 3 weeks of pace workouts look like:

Week 5
Pace Workout 1 - 1 mile warm-up, 2 miles @ 8:00 pace, 1 mile cool down
Pace Workout 2 - 1 mile warm-up, 3 miles @ 8:00 pace, 1 mile cool down

Week 6
Pace Workout 3 - 1 mile warm-up, 2 miles @ 7:50 pace, 1 mile cool down
Pace Workout 4 - 1 mile warm-up, 3 miles @ 7:50 pace, 1 mile cool down

Week 7
Pace Workout 5 - 1 mile warm-up, half mile @ 7:30, half mile rest x 4, 1 mile cool down
Pace Workout 6 - same as above

These get increasingly faster and longer each week.  I'm hoping the progression of pace and distance is one I can handle... I think it is, but we shall see.  If it is too easy I can tweak it as I go.

I am a little nervous about my training plan but I'm excited too, and I will take it one day at a time. I'm not going to focus on the entire week of workouts, just the workout slotted for the day. And I will, of course, document my training here for any accountability and encouragement I can get from you, my readers and fellow runners!


  1. I am sorry that we missed each other! Even though it was a hot day, both of our husbands did great!!! I like your plan for focusing on one workout at a time. I try to treat every run like that as well...especially races. If I can continue to put one foot in front of the other, I know that I will make it! Looking forward to following your Half Marathon journey!!!

  2. How exciting! I love to see something written down. It makes it official and I love checking the boxes each day! Your plan looks really challenging but I have no doubt you can do it!