WEEK 13: HALF MARATHON 2020
TRAINING STARTS Runners: your long run this week is the distance that some half marathon plans stop:12 miles. Walker plans often stop at 10 miles. Both Earned Runs plans have you going farther.
My very first half marathon was closed, incredibly after the race had started, because of dangerous conditions including downpours of cold rain, thunder, lightning, hail, and high winds. A storm had rapidly blown across Lake Michigan that morning and the "Park2Park" race course followed a lakeshore road between state and county parks. I had been at my personal mid-point in the course, roughly the 6.5-mile mark; the top finishers were undoubtably already in the shelter area, warmer and dryer than the slower paced runners.
In spite of beautiful and mild weather conditions pre-race, I had significant doubts about crossing the finish line. My confidence received a small boost upon overhearing other first-time half marathoners, next to me in the starting chute, talk about their training. They had covered 12 miles on their longest training run, as instructed by a trainer. I knew I had accomplished the exact distance, 13.1 miles, and then tapered 2 weeks.
I don’t know their finish times or in what physical condition they were at the race’s end, or whether the strategy worked for them in such terrible weather. I was able to push through to the cold and wet end partly because I had covered the full distance and had rested with the taper. The training experience helped me survive.
Unfortunately, there was no official time clocked after the race was called. But the ordeal was so memorable for everyone involved that in addition to the official race shirt the next year, another ‘survivor’ t-shirt was also made available, marking the event.
The Earned Runs plan has you continuing the next week to reach 13 miles and then tapering for several weeks. If you wish to make it 13.1 miles, for mental training, go for it! If your race date is a week earlier, the taper will be shortened, by one week.
So, you’ll keep on keeping on with the Earned Runs plans in order to hopefully acquire both emotional and physical insurance that finishing the race is entirely possible, especially if the going gets tough on race day.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
NOTE: Check out the article from Runnersworld.com if recovery from longer runs is becoming an issue. Overall, the expert referenced in it recommends cold over heat therapy.
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EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in 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.
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