Saturday, November 23, 2013

Half Marathon Training Plans

As this month winds down, I'm starting to think about my 1/2 marathon in the spring.  I'm really excited and my nerves and apprehension about this race have definitely calmed down since I ran my 10K.  I knew when I crossed that finish line that the 1/2 marathon was well within my grasp, with the proper training, of course. So, I am trying to narrow down my options for a training plan and could use a little advice/input.  Here are my options so far:

  • Train Like a Mother Half Marathon: Finish It Plan (http://anothermotherrunner.com/2012/06/11/corrected-and-free-finish-it-half-marathon-plan/) The pre-req for this Another Mother Runner plan is to be able to comfortably run 6 miles and have experience running shorter races, as well.  I don't know that I would qualify myself as being able to "comfortably" run 6 miles, as I've just done it once, but this plan is still doable for me.  It's just under 4 months, which will be perfect considering I will start training after the New Year and my half is on April 6th. I also love that Dimity and Sarah have included symbols in the plan, one of which is a "pass" symbol, meaning if life gets in the way, you can skip that particular workout.  However, there is another symbol that means you must do the workout for that day come hell or high water, no excuses.  I love my AMR books and podcasts and I've heard great things about this plan, so it's definitely a contender. 
  • Hal Higdon Plan (http://www.halhigdon.com/) I've heard great things about Hal's plans, too, and I like that he has several different half training plans (two novice plans, intermediate, advanced, and a walk plan).  The Novice 1 plan is a beginners plan, with the expectation though that you can run 3 miles three to four times a week. The Novice 2 plan is a little different in that it calls for 4 days of running, as opposed to Novice 1 which allows you to sub one day of running for cross-training, so you might only run 3 days in stead of 4.  I think I would do the Novice 1 plan, but I'm a little intimidated by the fact that the plan calls for potentially 3 days in a row of running (if you don't sub a run for cross-training) and I'm very particular about taking rest days in between my runs.  I feel like this helps me avoid injury and burnout, but maybe running a few days in a row would actually help build muscle and stamina? I also love that Hal and Bluefin have created app's for these plans that are available for purchase.  Definitely one to consider. 
  • Jeff Galloway Plan (http://www.jeffgalloway.com/training/half-marathon-training/) When I started reading about RunDisney races, Jeff's name popped up a lot, as his training plans are recommended for RunDisney events.  Jeff's plan is intriguing in that during the week your runs are measured in minutes not miles.  In his plan, only long runs are measured in miles and I could be on board with that. Jeff also has a section on his website devoted to mental training, which is fantastic.  So much of running is a mental challenge, so I love that he speaks to that on his site.  There is also a half marathon training app available for Jeff's plan. 
  • Independent Training The other option I've considered is going my own way.  As you may know, I started running with the Couch to 5K Program, but I switched gears a little over halfway through to do my own training.  I can be a bit rebellious, so sometimes following a plan can be a challenge and part of me wonders if I should tackle half training the same way I tackled my 5K and 10K; on my own. I also know that training for a half is serious business, so maybe I should follow a plan. 
So many choices!  Luckily I still have a few weeks to figure out what I want to do. 

Are there any other half marathon training plans you'd recommend I consider?  

We took the boys out to eat last night, which was a nice treat.  Jack even sat in a big boy chair instead of a high chair and he did really well.  His teachers shared a funny story with me yesterday when I dropped him off.  Apparently on Thursday, he climbed up on a rocking horse in his classroom and used it as a diving board to jump into the pack and play.  I had to laugh because that is such a Jack-Jack thing to do.  That child is fearless!

Today my Mom and I went to a local craft fair and ran some errands, which was fun!  Nick and I both got new winter coats because Old Navy was having a great sale.  Last year, I used a light weight fleece jacket throughout winter and it worked well, but it's only November and I can already tell that the fleece isn't going to cut it since I seem to be cold all the time.  My old winter pea coat is way too big (hooray!), so a new (smaller) winter coat was in order.  I'm making headway on my Christmas shopping list and projects, which feels good! 

A co-worker shared this quote with me yesterday and I adore it!

"Go forth and set the world on fire."