WEEK 10 HALF MARATHON 2020 Training Plan You officially entered the second half of the plan during the 10th week. Congratulations for making it this far! There are no more ‘tune-up’ races after the completion of a St. Patrick’s Day-themed 10K event. You are now looking ahead toward your goal half marathon event.
Remember it’s especially important to foam roll before, after, or before AND after covering high mileage workouts, and perform the other warm-up and cool-down routines. Continue with strength work to prevent injury and help improve endurance.
Hopefully, if you were outdoors during the long run of WEEK 10 this past weekend you took note and were able to enjoy the first day of Spring on March 20. The songbirds may be starting to return to your region. I was amazed to hear a few scattered sweet tunes over a month ago. Over the following weeks there have been increasingly more tweeting and chirping bird voices especially just before dawn.
For me, having the silence of winter broken in this way is reason to rejoice and motivation to get out before or just after daybreak. Consider foregoing listening to music playlists to enjoy this special spring and summer experience.
[*NOTE: to learn more about birdsong, Birdwatchersdigest.com has a free download that may be helpful.
WEEK 11 HALF MARATHON 2021 TRAINING PLAN You should be settling into a rhythm by now, but you’ll notice a few changes on the horizon.
The WALK schedule includes the usual 1 short ‘easy’ walk + 2 longer ‘easy’ walks + 1 long ‘brisk’ walk. The 1 high intensity interval training (HIIT) on Thursdays is now bumped to a duration of 36 minutes. The option of a hill repeat isn’t provided after WEEK 12. It disappears in April, replaced by walks of same then decreasing duration as the long weekend walks increase to distances above 10 miles. After hitting 13 miles on April 24, the taper will begin.
IMPORTANT WALKER NOTE: If you are planning to cover the 13.1-mile half marathon distance just to finish in a custom solo personal race, you can treat April 24 as your official event day and be done with training!
If you’re registered for an organized event later in April or May, you may wish to continue to build mileage then follow the taper. The Earned Runs plan adapts (extends) a Hal Higdon program that stops at 10 miles in 12 weeks.
Rather than stopping at 10 miles, the Earned Runs (ER) plan is taking competition-minded walkers out to the actual distance. To gain confidence from surviving the full distance, but at a slower pace. In training you’ll be walking more easily with breaks and stops as needed. On race day, in the company of other competitors, ER thinks you’ll push yourself to a higher intensity, and for safety reasons to possibly avoid injury, is offering the opportunity to train the actual distance. However, this strategy is not based on the advice of an expert or another plan; information could not be found that supports or refutes it.
The RUN schedule includes 1 recovery walk + 3 shorter distance runs + 1 long run, each week. The types of shorter distance runs have not been specified up to this point, although 1 hill repeat session has been offered as an option on Tuesdays. Starting week 13 there will be an option of a tempo run on Thursdays.
However, runners can individualize one or both (hills and/or tempo) sessions now that all work is focused on the half marathon, as explained after this next paragraph in italics.
Remember, this plan is for beginners or those getting back into running races who did not have one available to them for this distance. Advanced runners who wish to increase their speed to a faster pace and finish with an improved time will have scanned this plan and likely realized it was not going to help with that. They will have likely used a plan provided by event organizers if formally registered for a race or found one online that promised to prepare runners for their “best finish time ever.”
Beginners can choose to run hill repeats on Tuesdays or run an easy steady continuous speed run that day. They have 3 options (see below) for running the shorter distance session on Thursday. Option #1 is for runners who only wish to “finish” the 13.1mile distance and are not concerned with time. Option #2 is for those who wish to finish strong but aren’t focused on gaining speed. Option #3 is for runners who wish to push their limits a bit more and test themselves in the upcoming event.
Jenny Hadfield offers 4 tempo runs for runners who are new to them in an article for Runnersworld.com, “Four Tempo Workouts for Runners”. Included are warm-ups and cool-downs, which are a must! You are roughly running 2-4 miles, because the exact distance will vary by running pace. With increased running intensity in certain segments, the swap with a 3-mile run would be fine, and suitable for the Thursday 3-mile run, especially if you're not running a hill repeat on Tuesdays.
Have fun experimenting with these shorter runs soon. There’s enough time now, before the race, to try the negative split, the tempo run, or both, and revert to the old comfortable routine if the change-up doesn’t work for you.
RUNNERS and WALKERS, recognize the progress you've made and be proud.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
*MOST ORGANIZED RUNS WILL STILL BE VIRTUAL IN SPRING 2021. HOWEVER, IF YOU HAVE REGISTERED FOR AN IN-PERSON ORGANIZED EVENT, read on:
If you are new to racing, the Jenny Hadfield “high-five” tempo workout listed first might help you deal with one aspect of competition, the speed-ups and slow-downs normally experienced in a race if you’re not a leader at the head of the pack. For example, in a competition you occasionally might wish to speed up and pass a group that has slowed down in front of you, then dial it back a bit after the harder work. Or tackle a long, low hill that requires more effort, after which you take a little breather by easing up.
When you are training by yourself or with friends you or they control the pace. In a competition with many other participants, you and your running partners will not always be in control as others surge or fall off their pace around you, which will prevent movement in a familiar straight-line direction. If not ready for it mentally and physically, it could throw off your race plan.
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. In 1978 I began participating in 10K road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health and longevity.
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