Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Starting HM Training...but what HM?

Ok – I am officially starting a Half Marathon training plan. I have not signed up for a HM yet, although I am currently leaning toward the Chicago Half Marathon on 9/14. The problem is that I would have to travel alone. The family is already committed for that weekend (out of town visitors). I do have a good friend in town though. And I grew up in the Chicago suburbs, so I may try to convince my parents to make the short trip into the city to be my cheering section. I think Chicago would be a cool place to run my first HM, because I have been going there since I was a kid…I mean we use to do field trips to the Museum of Science and Industry in elementary school (the beginning of the race is right outside the museum). So, has anyone out there run the CHM? Any advice?

The CHM would give me 16 weeks to train. Most of the training plans are for 12 weeks, but I need to build my mileage some more anyway, so I pulled a couple training plans last night (Hal Higdon and Nike+ coach) and put together my own custom plan. Hal Higdon seems to be a popular one, but I can’t get over the fact that it only goes to a 10 mile long run before a 13.1 mile race. The Nike+ plan only has 3 runs per week, which seems a bit weird. Anyway, I scheduled myself for 3 shorter runs (building from 3 to 5 miles) during the week and a long run on the weekend (building from 5 to 13 miles). I also have one cross-training/weight-training day and two rest days. Most of the runs are easy runs, since my goal is just to be able to finish this thing. I do have one of my short runs designated as an interval run though. I figure I can tweek the plan if I feel I need more speed-work or whatever.

I did my first scheduled run this morning…3 miles interval training. I tried to use the Serena Williams “Spontaneous Speed” workout (Nike+) which I have done on the treadmill (not as good as her other interval workout, but still good). Anyway, I guess those things weren’t meant for road running…just about every time Serena would tell me to pick up the pace, I would happen to be working my way up a hill!

Also, I realized today that I have been running more outside runs under an 11 minute pace than I thought. It is weird – I guess I tend to run faster outside than on the treadmill now. Plus, I usually run more (no walking) and can go further outside too! I wouldn’t have thought that a couple months ago!!


*jen* said...

Have you checked out the Smart Coach plan on Runner's World?
It's in the center of the page. I've heard of quite a few people using it. I thought it was a bit odd though because when I put in my info for marathon training the schedule it came up with only called for me to run 2x week with XT the other days. That didn't really make sense to me. It didn't seem like enough. As a result, I still don't have a game plan. I'm still trying to put something together.
Good luck with your training!

Rachel said...

I was in the same boat as you with the outdoor runs. I used to think that I would run slower and not as far but the opposite is quite true. I tend to run much faster outside and much further!

Also...I'm with Jen on the Smart Coach should check it out. Although I will say that it can be a little strange. I think the plan it made for me is a little on the tough side...but that's alright by me.

SueBob said...

I'm not sure why I didn't think of the SmartCoach...I sometimes forget there is more than the forums on RR. I will check it out later today.

jodes said...

Hi! I just found your blog today. Have you run a half marathon before?? If not, Chicago would be a great place for your first one (or second..third...). Its a flat course and very friendly. I've run it many times myself and plan on doing it again in September! I'm currently training for the Chicago Distance Classic (1/2 marathon) and that's on 10/10. Maybe you can get your family down for that one! :o)

jodes said...

its actually on August 10th. Guess i don't know my months. i look forward to reading about your progress!! Happy Trails!