I've made my training plan for my next half marathon, which will be the Rock and Roll Half Marathon in Montreal on September 23, 2012. I was secretly very excited when I realized I had enough time to complete a 16 week training plan, which Runner's World Smart Coach says is ideal.
My plan is based mostly on the Runner's World Smart Coach iPhone app, which someone on Twitter suggested a while ago (sorry I cannot remember now who it was!) I am using their suggested runs and paces with a few changes. First, I have put in some hill workouts and taken out some of their easy runs towards the end of the plan. Second, I have increased most of the paces based on my plan to do 5:1s during this half as opposed to running straight through. If I end up running more, I figure I will just end up with a better time!
I am aiming for about a 2:26 finish, which is a full 10 minutes faster than my finish time at the Toronto Women's Half Marathon but is only 5 minutes less than my finish time at the Disney Princess Half Marathon. The Smart Coach seems to think this is reasonable and possible, and I'm choosing to believe it. :-)
In the past I have used a combination of plans to design something that I thought would work. Instead of using that approach this time, I am going to trust the training plan that someone much smarter and more experienced than me has come up with (other than the few minor changes set out above). I have printed the training plan off and put it on my fridge again this time so hopefully I will follow it (I didn't do this for the Toronto half and found I let myself get really lazy with my runs).
The plan, very very briefly, is:
|(all distances are in km)|
I didn't include the detailed plan because it's many pages long with all my paces, etc. and wouldn't fit on the screen. If you'd like more details, let me know!
I like that every four weeks or so there is an easy week. I also like that my next planned race - the Midsummer Night's Run 15k - fits perfectly in the schedule. That week called for a 16km LSD and I'll be doing the 15k, probably at race pace, instead.
Right now I'm one week in and have skipped one workout - the hills on Wednesday because my hip was bothering me - and one workout has been bumped by a day (my 10k LSD which I'll be doing tomorrow since we were travelling today). We are travelling on a couple of occasions but I think I should be able to run where I am or move things around easily since there are only 3-4 runs per week.
Lastly, in somewhat related news, my Team Tough Chik kit should arrive by then so I'm looking forward to wearing my team shirt for this event.
I have high hopes for this training plan and I'm hoping it all goes well!