Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Half-Marathon Training Program

Friday I signed up for a new half-marathon training program.  I actually signed up for the training before signing up for a race.  I’m leaning toward the Dare to Ascend half-marathon.  I think I’d enjoy a trail half marathon although I know a trail race is, by definition, harder and slower than a road half.  But I do like running on trails and the race is at the right time.  If the See Jane run Half Marathon were happening, it would be at the perfect time and would cost only $30 or perhaps nothing (I forget) but they are not running the race so that’s out. 
I’ve been feeling like without a goal race until next February, my training was just sort of plodding along.  I didn’t have a real compulsion to get out of bed and run one day versus another and while out on a weekend run, I didn’t feel like I was committed to any given distance or pace.  I would just run a bit and feel done and walk the rest of the way.  And the truth is that I’ve read blogs, books, recommendations, training plans, and everything else in the world and it’s just an overwhelming amount of input.  I can look at one plan that says run this much and these days and another that says the opposite.  One says race this often at race pace and one says don’t push too hard. 
One of the podcasts I listen to is produced by a set of trainers and he is frequently a guest on other podcasts.  One of the things I’ve heard him say is that every workout should have a purpose.  Another is that most people train too hard.  They are trying to do every run at race pace.  Both of those things really struck a nerve for me.  My race pace (based on Galloway formulas) would be 11:36 mm but I’m trying to do all my training (except LSR) at <12:00 which seems quite close to race pace.  So if not at race pace, how much slower should it be?  And am I training too hard? Running too long?  Too much?  Not enough?
So I signed up for some training that seems to be sort of hybrid pricing and setup.  The cost is not as high as one-on-one training would be but higher than buying a book or a prefab program or something.  I’m still trying to come to an understanding of the logistics of the training. It appears that I have a coach who will give me a weekly program that’s sort of customized and I’ll use the online tool to enter my training results, comments, metrics etc.  I don’t know how much direct interaction there will be.  Saturday she posted my first week of scheduled workouts which are sort of structured to give the coach an idea of my baselines.  It includes 3 strength workouts, 3 run workouts, 1 bike workout, and one core workout.  But the total time is just 5:55 so it’s not vastly different from my current time investment. 
I’m sort of simultaneously excited and anxious about the training.  I would certainly like some guidance and would like to see some improvements in my fitness and pace. 

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