Time to train

It’s almost time for me to begin training for the Quad Cities half-marathon.

Last year I ran 1:49:17 (8:20/mi). This year, while I’d like to run 1:30 (ha! ha!) I’m shooting for 1:45 (8:00/mi). So this week, I’ll run a 5K and 10K to see if that’s a reasonable pace. Run Less, Run Faster (the FIRST book) says equivalent performances would be 22:40 and 47:00 respectively. So I’ll be heading to the track, printed splits in hand, to aim for those marks. Given that I ran a 23:30 5K less than two weeks ago, and I didn’t think I was pushing myself that much, I’m optimistic. The 10K will be the real test.

The FIRST half plan is 18 weeks, so I’ll start 5/23 for the 9/26 race date. The plan averages about 22 miles of running weekly; here’s what that looks like when charted:

FIRST half marathon mileage

Halfway through the plan, weeks with very long runs (over 13.1 miles) alternate with weeks with longer intervals and tempo runs. So while the distance looks a little jumpy from week to week, effort is pretty consistent. I hope to swim and bike each week as well, given the FIRST 3+2 philosophy. With 400 miles of running, I’ll be looking at between 550 and 650 miles total, depending on the amount of cross-training I actually do. Last year, I was pretty regular, falling short only four weeks. This year, with no teaching to get in the way, I aim to do it all.

Data dump: here’s an OpenOffice spreadsheet with the running distances, including a 1.7mi combined warmup and cooldown for each track workout (my round-trip to the Macomb High track), and warmup and cooldowns when not integrated into tempo runs. For long runs, I just start slow, as FIRST recommends.

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