Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Doing My Own Thing

To train for my first half marathon, I searched for training plans until I found that I liked.  I ended up using this one from Pink Runner, and I liked it a lot.

This time around, I had a much more difficult time finding a plan that worked for me.

I started with Smart Coach from Runner's World.  I've heard of lots of people being successful with these plans, and I did like what I saw.  However, my struggle came when you plug in your weekly mileage.  Right now, it's low, but I would like to gradually move it higher.  Smart Coach gave me plans that either consisted of an 8 mile tops long run (I want to get up to 12) for shorter weekly miles and sometimes 5 runs a week for the higher mileage plans (something I don't think I can commit to).  I really liked that speed work and tempo runs were worked in, though.

5 days a week may work if I was here...but not in good ol' Illinois, during the school year!
After more searching, I found a pretty promising one on About.com: Running/Jogging.  In particular, I liked this one catered toward "Advanced Beginners."  It had the mileage I wanted, but lacked the speed work I am hoping for in order to meet my time goal.

More searching ensued, and I finally decided to throw in the towel.  It was time for me to make my own plan.  So, I looked at all three plans I mentioned and made a 12-week training plan for myself.  It looks a little something like this:

Week Monday Tuesday Weds. Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Total Miles
1 3 mi Easy XT 4 mi Speed XT XT 5 mi Long Rest 12
2 3 mi Easy XT 4 mi Tempo XT XT 5 mi Long Rest 12
3 3.5 mi Easy XT 4 mi Tempo XT XT 6 mi Long Rest 13.5
4 XT 4 mi Easy XT 3 mi Easy XT 7 mi Long Rest 14
5 4 mi Easy XT 4 mi Speed XT XT 8 mi Long Rest 16
6 3 mi Easy XT 4 mi Tempo 3 mi Easy XT 9 mi Long Rest 19
7 2 mi Easy XT 4 mi Tempo XT 3 mi Easy 7 mi Long Rest 16
8 XT 3 mi Easy 4 mi Easy 3 mi Easy XT 10 mi Long Rest 20
9 4.5 mi Easy XT 4 mi Speed 3.5 mi Easy XT 8 mi Long Rest 20
10 5 mi Easy XT 5 mi Speed 3 mi Easy XT 12 mi Long Rest 25
11 XT 4 mi Easy XT 5 mi Tempo 2 mi Easy 7 mi Long Rest 18
12 XT 2 mi Easy XT 3 mi Speed XT Rest 13.1 Race 18.1

As I planned, my essentials were:
  • Start with low mileage, and gradually build up to about where I was last time. 
  • No more than 4 running days per week.
  • Speed work and tempo runs built in.
  • 12-mile longest run.
  • Sunday rest days.
(PS: Please excuse the green boxes; I'm highlighting my progress as I go :)).

If this plan works, I will be ecstatic.  I feel like I am taking a bit of a gamble, because I have never flown solo like this before, and I have zero experience when it comes to creating training plans of any kind.  Heck, I've only been running for two years in the first place. 

Why do I have Central Park on the brain today?
Training started yesterday, and my shin definitely gave me some trouble.  This is unsettling, but I'm trying some things to make it work.  I'm kind of intimidated by tomorrow's speedwork (using Smart Coach's suggestion of 2x1600 at an 8:47 pace with 800 jogs), as I have never really done it before (short of sprinting during the chorus of a song).  Wish me luck!

Have you ever made your own training plan?  Any suggestions for me?

Check out my guest post at Pink Giggles for more half marathon talk!  :)


  1. I think having a plan definitely helps! I'm running a 10K next month, and I'm hoping that will push me to keep going, because I'd like to eventually run a half marathon!

  2. Go for it! You can do it for sure! :)