I counted out the weeks until the first half marathon I plan to tackle this spring, and I was excited that I still have about two weeks of fun workouts before my program kicks in. Though I’m itching for a mileage spreadsheet to follow (I’m incredibly cool, in case you hadn’t noticed yet), I was relieved to know I have time to relax without guilt. Moving is all that matters, whether it’s in the yoga studio or on the stationary bike.
The actual half-marathon training can be fun, too. Don’t worry. A couple of my friends want to run a half marathon this spring and one first-timer asked me to blog through the training. It can be intimidating to take on. When do I start? How many times a week do I need to run? I remember when I first started thinking of doing a longer race. Google results for a training program were complicated because many mixed in speedwork. Most amateurs don’t train for a half-marathon around a track and are not clear on how to measure 800 meter intervals, for instance, along their running route. Count me in that category.
The training program below is much more straight forward. It’s 10 weeks long, and the only prerequisite is that you can run 3o minutes or 3 miles comfortably before it begins. I’ve used this multiple times.
There’s opportunity for flexibility throughout this schedule. You can flip days, cut miles when you’re legs are screaming and add intervals or other variety to runs. The first couple times I used this, I just ran what the schedule said. I ran when it said to run, and I did yoga or the elliptical when it said to rest. Or I rested! And I finished races satisfied. Last year, I started to play with it a bit, doing a hilly route or running fartleks on the shorter days. It’s up to you and how your body is responding.
So if you want to run a half marathon this spring, here’s your quick, affirmative commitment check list:
- The pace may be slow, but I can run for a half hour without walking
- I will make the time to run (and stretch after my run) four days a week for the next 2.5 months
- I will set aside two hours, one day a week to do a long run, stretch and refuel. If I cannot make this happen on a weekend day, then I will absolutely get it done on Thursday or Monday
- I believe in myself
- I believe in myself
- I’m ready to pay the registration so I can’t back out
I plan to run the Great Bay Half Marathon on April 7th, so I’ll be starting to run more seriously the week of January 28. Look for blogs throughout the 10 weeks and join me in preparing for a race of your own.