Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Training Plan for the Livestrong Half-Marathon

The Austin Livestrong Half-Marathon is February 17, 2013.  I'm finished with my paid training program and working with the coach, done with the Run for the Water 10 miler, and done with obsessing over the presidential election. 

It's time for me to think about my training plan.  Typically they last 12 to 16 weeks.  I've been looking at various plans with thoughts about tweaking them based on what I've learned from my work with the coach. 

Contenders and thoughts on them:
Galloway to goal plan - I've done this plan before.  It features 3 runs a week plus an easy walk day. The week day runs are basically timed runs and the weekend ones alternate between an LSR and 800 repeats.  This would be the easiest plan to do and easiest to supplement (more on that).  The plan would officially start 11/13 with a 30 minute run and a 5 mile run on Sunday.
Runner's World Smart Coach plan - The Runner's World site allows the user to enter some specific information such as a recent race time, race date, how hard you want to work, and race distance and it spits out a pretty detailed plan.  Start date could vary depending on when I'm ready to make the program spit out a plan.  Upside is that every run has very specific purpose and pace listed.  Downside is that all the Thursday runs (speedwork or tempo) require a 6 mile run which is (for me) a pretty high expectation and time investment for a week day run.  The other thing about the plan is that the LSRs start with a 10 mile run the first week and with the exception of a few recovery weeks all the LSRs are 10-14 miles. 
Hal Higdon - I've never done a Hal Higdon TP but I've heard good things about them.  The Novice 2 plan basically calls for 4 days of running a week.  T-W-Th are a 3 mile, 3-5 mile, and 3 mile run.  The Wednesday run alternates between a race pace run and a normal run.  The LSRs build from 4-12 miles with a week dedicated to running a 5K and another a 10K race.  The plan is 12 weeks long so it would start the week of 11/26.  So the difference between this and the Galloway is basically running T-W-Th rather than running T-Th/walk F and speedwork is every other W rather than every other Sunday.
No Meat Athelete - The No Meat athelete has an entire program called the Half-Marathon roadmap with workbooks and sheets and cds or maybe DVDs and a book and etc.  The book portion is available on Kindle for just 2.99 so I may buy it and see what it has to say.  I'm not sure that I'm going to find anything in a plan that differs significantly from the others listed above but it might be interesting to see what he says will be different for someone "running on plants." 

I'd like to make some decisions and settle on a plan in the next week.  Partially the choice depends on my knee.  Although I've never had any problems with my knee, it has been hurting since the morning after my 10 mile race. I will probably try to put on a brace and run this weekend and see how that goes.  In the meantime, I'm taking NSAIDs pretty regularly and resting it. 

Some factors that will influence my plan and my carrying it out include the fact that the training plan period will include both my childrens' birthdays and parties (or party if they share as they keep saying they will do), my niece's Bat Mitzvah, my niece's Bat Mitzvah project fundraiser softball game, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and the start of the Legislative Session. 

Whatever plan I choose I want to also:
Become more fit (which is a more positive way to speak possibility into reality than saying lose weight).  That said, I'd like to settle at a healthy weight about 8-10 pounds lighter than I am now.  I also believe this would improve my running speed.  Two changes that should be simple but hopefully make a big difference are:
  • Making sure I drink 64 oz of water EVERY day by using the water tracking app.  I believe that I average about 40-50 oz of water and 20 oz of iced tea per day. I need to increase my water consumption and be consistent about it.
  • Not snacking after 8:00.  ChocolateWife and I have a pattern of watching TV, crafting, and having a snack in the evening.  I need to ... not (to put it simply).  Yes to TV. Yes to time with ChocolateWife. Yes to crafting.  But no snacking.  Or perhaps 1 evening snack a week on the day of the long run.
I will also supplement the plan with at least 2 and possibly 3 core workouts a week.  And if I can get an arms/shoulders or chest/back workout in as well that would be ideal but I'll concentrate on running. 

And I may substitute the occasional bike ride for a run or walk day.  I really enjoyed the bike rides in my plan with the coach and it seems like a good cardio workout but a change of pace that was refreshing. 

I need to make some choices (and need my knee to feel better). I've enjoyed my week+ of rest and I'm ready to get back to a plan!

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