In my initial post about my goal of running the Fairfield Half-Marathon on June 23 in 1:20, I focused on the why’s of designing the plan to help me achieve my goal. It is worth repeating here: “To achieve my goal, I must design a plan to take me from where I am today (about 40 miles per week of training, 10 years older) to a 1:20 half marathon in five months.”
In this post I write about the what’s and how’s of designing the plan.
My plan comprises the following key elements:
- Increase weekly mileage from 40 miles to 60 miles to build aerobic base.
- Schedule 3 hard days and 4 easy days each week (alternate hard/easy whenever possible). Hard days include long run, tempo/threshold run, track workout. Easy days include runs with my 11 yo son (other than track workout) and medium run. This approach enables my body to adjust and reduces risk of injury.
- Alternate hard/easy weeks, do not increase mileage three successive weeks without consolidating progress. Again, my body needs to adjust and this reduces injury risk.
- Include at least one long run, increase from 8 miles to 13 miles to ensure I can run half-marathon distance.
- Include one tempo run per week at predicted half-marathon pace (6 minutes per mile) with length increasing from 2 miles to 8 miles. Monitor effort using my Garmin 610 GPS and HRM. Helps determine what HR will be comfortable during actual race.
- Run as much on soft surfaces as possible (trails and fields), but practice on roads so that body can race 13.1 miles on road.
- Strengthen upper, core and lower body through free weight training and core exercises two to three times per week. Builds strength, flexibility and aids in injury prevention.
- Ensure balanced nutrition and sufficient calorie intake to sustain training mileage and intensity. Prioritize sleep (easier said than done) to help body recover from workouts.
There are probably elements that I missed or that will need to change based on experience during the first few weeks. I would love to hear what others think and any advice is welcome and appreciated.