Half Marathon Training Week 1 & Upcoming Races

A few weeks ago, I went into a fugue state and registered for a shit-load of races. I’m pretty sure I will regret this by the third or fourth race, but the price was right on most, and a deal is a deal, amirite?

                                 Source: Redbubble.com
                               Source: Redbubble.com

My upcoming races are:

I’m doing all of these with either friends from my running group, or friends I’ve made elsewhere, so I can’t slack off. #accountability With the exception of the Night Nation Run (which is basically a rave without the Ecstasy), these races are pretty heavy duty, which means I need to put in some effort and show the hell up on race day. And since I want to PR my half marathon, that means training for Lake Louisa started this week. 

For my training plan, I’m using Nike+ Run Club’s “My Coach” feature. You input information about yourself, such as the distance you’re training for, your best distance and time, your age and weight, and what you consider to be a “long” run at your current fitness level. The app then generates a plan for you which tweaks itself based on your performance. Even though this is only the first week, I am enjoying the program! Since I’m not a naturally gifted runner (or athlete in general, let’s face it), I wanted to give myself plenty of time to build up my mileage at a pace that is comfortable for me, which is why I started training now. Here was my training schedule this week:

  • Monday: CrossFit
  • Tuesday: “Kick It Off” 1-mile run (12’59” average pace)
  • Wednesday: Benchmark workout (13’19” average pace)
  • Thursday: Rest Day
  • Friday: CrossFit
  • Saturday: CrossFit + extra strength training workout with a friend later in the afternoon
  • Sunday: 2.5-mile long run (14’24” average pace)

My pace times are all over the place. Earlier this year, I ran a 5K at a 12’38” pace, and I have been hoping to replicate that pace in all other runs since. But as much as I hate to admit it, that pace is not sustainable at this time for me. I’ve been consistently in the high 12 minutes/13-minute range, and I would like to get to that 12:30 pace time by race day. Today’s long run was particularly rough. I ran on a treadmill since it was raining out, and it has been a minute since I was last on one. Instead of easing myself into the run and warming my body up like I normally do, I started at a 12’30” pace right off the bat. I ended up slowing it all the way down to a 13’20”, but the damage had already been done, I think. My legs were already tired and sore from yesterday’s double workout, and by starting out too fast today, my calves were howling. I kept having to slow down to a walk for a few seconds to give them a rest before picking up the pace again. 

                       Source: DogsBestLife.com
                     Source: DogsBestLife.com

With the exception of the long run, I’m pleased with how this week’s training went, even more pleased that I made it a priority and completed all of the scheduled workouts. I think my biggest obstacle will be to not stress out over pace, and whether or not I’m hitting my goal pace – rather, just to ease into the run, run to the best of my ability, and work up from there. I find I run my best when I do that instead of getting in my head. 

Are you training for any races? Do you get stressed out over pace? What do you do to cope?

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