(2014) Training begins today!

Training begins today for my 2nd half-marathon - the Door County Half-Marathon. I can't wait! It's a beautiful course, up in Peninsula State Park. Hilly. Gorgeous views of the bay. Since it's Wisconsin you never know what the weather will be like, but hopefully on May 3rd it'll just be sunny and nice. Not snowy. Snow is totally possible.

There are about a million training plans out there and I've read through roughly half of them trying to find one that is right for me. I used to stress over it. When I was training for my first half I was seriously concerned about how rigidly I needed to stick to the schedule - I can't do my long run on Sundays, will it hurt me to do them on Saturdays? What if I have to switch some days around? If I can't do the schedule exactly should I even bother running ever again? And on, and on, and on... (more on how that's stupid later)

Having done some research - and knowing what does and does not work for my body (and my schedule) - here's what "training" looks like for me this time around:

  • Monday - Easy/hills (alternate weekly between an easy run and hills)
  • Tuesday - Strength & stretch (kettlebell or yoga)
  • Wednesday - Speed work (alternate weekly between a tempo run and intervals)
  • Thursday - Strength (kettlebell) + and easy run
  • Friday - Strength & stretch (yoga)
  • Saturday - Long run
  • Sunday - Rest & recovery

My plan is based mostly off of Hal Higdon's intermediate training plan, but I swapped the Monday & Tuesday workouts. I cannot, I repeat, CANNOT go more than two days without running. I become a very not nice person. No runs on Sunday OR Monday would make Monday a very rough day for everyone in the Allhiser household.

I also add a dash of Bud Coates' "Running on Air" techniques and training tips. I enjoyed his book and picked up some helpful tips. (Like, how to breathe. Turns out it's NOT a no-brainer activity. At least, not at first.) I've learned how to listen to my body and run based on what I'm able to do that day, not what I think I should be able to do (thereby pushing myself to far, leading to injury). My first year in running was all about the clock. I wanted to push myself to be faster every run, and that led to, well, a lot of disappointment. Now when I run I either just go for a set time (30 min, 60 min...) and forget about checking distance, or I'll go for a set distance and forget the clock.

So. Much. Better.

Half-marathon #2 is all about fun. I know I can do it, now I'm going to enjoy the process.

It's also about trouble-shooting because there's something on the horizon that Idon't know I can do - the Grand Rapids (full) Marathon, held in October. I'm using this training experience and the race as a testing ground to see if I want to tackle the big beast. If all goes well I'll start to train this summer.

Anyway. I'm excited. Having a goal race is a great motivator. I'm looking forward to sharing about the process with you all! Thanks for the support.

Get out and run.