With 7 training weeks left before the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in D.C., I have just enough time to really up my training effort and see what I can do. For my last few races, I have sort of “coasted” through training in that I have continued to do my usual thing and have enjoyed the steady ongoing gains. I am excited to see what can happen by ratcheting up the intensity and trying to learn more about technique and the science behind running.
I have scoured the internet and looks at tons of training plans but I didn’t feel that confident in any of them. Although what I have been doing has been working well, I read so much conflicting information that I didn’t know what route I should take. Luckily, my dad is amazing and was an incredibly competitive runner back in the day. I googled him the other day and found a local newspaper article about him winning a 1992 Labor Day 5k with a time of 15:15. That’s some serious stuff!
In any case, he knows what worked and the great thing about running is hard work, sweat equity, and basic principles will always prevail. After conferring about current PRs, current weekly mileage, etc., I came away with this:
It may not look like much but it is the foundation for a training plan that will set me up for success now and in the future. Now while it isn’t that much different from what I have been doing, it has just a bit more structure, more mileage, and some solid suggestions for pacing for key workouts.
Like any great plan, it has 3 key workout a week:
- Intervals/Speed Work: I am going to be more committed to getting this in every week and on the track with the treadmill acting as just a fall back. This plan extends the warm-up and cool down phases a bit. The other key is to make sure to keep the rest intervals no longer than the speed intervals. This will also require a slight modification to the way I have been doing track workouts.
- Tempo Run: This plan sets the pace for tempo runs at 7:50 (which is a bit slower than my race pace PR) with 4 miles at tempo plus a half mile warm up and cool down. Historically, I’ve been running 3.1 miles closer to race pace. Ideally, this should be run on a track so pace can be monitored closely to ensure that you are staying on tempo (my watch is often unreliable on pace)
- Long Run: This will stay the same at 11 miles a week.
I need a little build up since my weekly mileage has been in the 20-23 mile per week range and this plan builds to 35 miles. I am nervous but excited to see how this will go. Keep reading over the next 7 weeks to find out how it goes!
Here’s the full plan. I hope to stick to it and modify only when absolutely needed:
Well, here goes nothing readers!
Do you get nervous when starting a new training strategy? How do you ramp up when a big race is approaching?