And somehow, here we are at the start of another training cycle. My half this spring will be a NEW one to me, the April Fool’s Half in Atlantic City. For years, I’ve done the half marathons closer to me instead…. But this year I decided to branch out. It will be a VERY early morning for me (and my BFF who will be joining!), since AC is nearly two hours away from me – but I’m sure my adrenaline will make it work. I’m stuck doing an Open House for work the whole day prior, too, so not ideal, but I’ve heard good things about the race and will absolutely leave it all out there. Also, you KNOW I love a flat course…. no way AC will disappoint there!
I have no time goals for the race. I didn’t race a half last spring or fall, because I had a lot going on in life. I ran a 10 miler in the spring, and didn’t go past 10k this fall. While I’ve run double-digit numbers of half marathons, I usually have some idea of where I will fall time-wise. This year, I’m going to see how training goes, but I am hoping I can stay in the low 12-minute-miles at most. If I can sneak an 11:30 or 11:45 in there for a few miles along the way that would be pretty cool too – but not heart breaking if I don’t. Either way, I’m excited to have my BFF waiting for me at the finish line (she’s speedier than I am!), and her company for my drive in both directions. Also hopefully I will be able to finally meet Meridith of Scootadoot in person, since this race is her turf – and it was her race review from last year that convinced me to get out of my comfort zone!
Training-wise, since I maintain a 5k base at all times, I always start my training plans with a 5 miler. My schedule of “long runs” goes like this: 5, 6, 6, 7, 7, 8, 8, 10, 8 to 10, 6, 3 to 5 eeeeeasy, RACE! When I first started doing halfs, I used a Hal Higdon plan and just slowly morphed it into what worked for me over the last 10ish years. This is kind of my tried and true method. I also don’t get too crazy if I have an off week or need to cut a run by a mile or two. I’ve built enough wiggle into this (for example, two weeks at most mileages) that if I get sick or just am not feeling it that week, I can wimp out a little. Between long runs, I will generally run 2 to 3 other days of the week, three to five miles per run. I try to make at least ONE of those mid-week runs speedwork (for me, that’s usually 800s). Some years, I’ve thrown in a day of swimming, too, but I haven’t figured out if I can fit that in this spring yet. None the less, this method to my madness has kept me running injury-free, healthy, and relatively happily for nearly 10 years. Am I super speedy? No. But am I finishing my races still able to walk stairs? Generally, yes. So for me, that keeps it enjoyable!
And so, this weekend, 5 miles it shall be! I promise to try to be a bit better about keeping you all updated along the way!
What are you racing this spring?
What are your tried-and-true half marathon training secrets??