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Fall Half Marathon Training Plan

Posted Sep 10 2011 4:49pm

Oh my gosh half marathon.

I created a training plan for my first half marathon, came in under my goal time, and shared how I prepared for it. Now it’s time to get a new goal and come up with a new plan!

Are you sick of me talking about running yet?

Just one more post and I’ll stop the running chatter and share a chocolate cake, bread, or cookie recipe with you. Deal?

The new plan comes with a fairly large goal which many have told me is impossible. Although I’ve been discouraged and not as motivated to get this going as I was with my last race, I’m positive that sharing this plan with all of you will give me the accountability I need to get my butt in gear!

The details

Race: Last Chance Half Marathon

Date: November 13, 2011

Goal time: 1:59:00 (cut 15 minutes from my previous race time)

Weather conditions: cold with a chance of snow

The training plan

I’ve built up my base and am hopefully past all the knee issues I dealt with during my last year of training. As a result, I’ve kicked up the intensity a notch.

Interval training

I’ll be doing Tempo, Fartiek, and Hills combinations twice a week. These runs help to teach my body to use oxygen for metabolism more efficiently and in turn, will increase my lactate threshold [the point when my body fatigues at a certain pace].

During any exercise, lactate and hydrogen ion are released into the muscles. The ions make the muscles acidic, eventually leading to fatigue. The better trained you are, the more you’re able to push yourself and the better your muscles become at using the acid. The result is less acidic muscles that can keep on contracting, letting you run farther and faster.

These tempo runs help me push to that threshold and teach my muscles how to manage at higher speeds. This is going to be key if I want to cut off 15 minutes from my race time.

Tempo runs

Using the pace in the table above, I’ll begin each tempo run with a 1km warm up and end with a 1km cool-down.

  • Week 1: 3 minutes tempo pace 1 minute jog in between
  • Week 2: 4 minutes tempo pace 1 minute jog in between
  • Week 3: 5 minutes tempo pace 90 second jog in between
  • Week 4: 20 minutes tempo pace
  • Week 5-10: 1 km warm up tempo pace to half complete total distance, jog for 5 minutes, repeat

Fartiek/Intervals

Coming in at week 7, I’ll be doing 2 km warm-up, 1 km cool-down. 500m hard using pace listed above, 500m walking. Repeat until 1km left on the clock, then cool down.

Hills

Using the pace in the table above,

  • On the treadmill #1: Warm up for 10 minutes. Peak at 4% for 1 km with build up and down to 1%. Run 10 minutes, walk 1 minute.
  • On the treadmill #2: Warm up for 10 minutes. Alternate between large hill and interval hill – 4% for 100m then 1% for 100m etc.
  • Outside: Warm up for 1 km. Find a hill and run up and down for the required distance. Run 10 minutes, walk 1 minute.

Steady and LSD training

Steady runs are the middle men between tempo and LSD runs (below). They help to strengthen and challenge your aerobic system, but shouldn’t tire you out. For marathon training, steady runs help to increase the total amount of quality miles an athlete can run before they become fatigued.

The LSD run should be done slowly to minimize fatigue and risk of injury. Generally speaking, it should be ~20% slower than race pace.

LSD runs:

  • Help your joints and muscles adapt and build your endurance
  • Teach the body to run efficiently
  • Allow your body to burn fat as a source of energy.
  • Enhance the body’s capacity to deliver oxygen to your muscles
  • Teaches your body to store more energy as glycogen in your muscles

Steady runs

The plan is to follow the required pace and km in the table above and use a run 10 minutes, walk 1 minute interval to avoid injury.

LSD (long slow distance)

Keep up to the required pace and km in the table above using a run 10 minutes, walk 1 minute (walking should be pace = 7:23min/km) interval to avoid injury.

Strength training

My trainer has put together an amazing program for me! We went through it yesterday and I nearly died… in a good way. The main focus is:

  • Massively strengthen core
  • Focus on glutes
  • Build stability muscles
  • Exercises I can do at home if need be

It’s absolutely perfect. You can checkout the pdf version here.

Nutrition

Uh-oh this may have to be it’s own post. Maybe I lied about limiting my running chatter.

In a nut shell, here are some areas I’m going to improve on:

  • Increasing complex carbohydrates
  • Moving fat consumption to about 25% of total intake (right now it’s at about 35% if I had to guess. I love my coconut oil, what can I say?)
  • Taking a calcium-magnesium supplement to support muscle contraction and relaxation (supplement to be 600mg calcium:400mg magnesium after exercise and before bed)

Okay… time to jump in the pool.

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