After the Chesebro Half Marathon this Saturday I'll pick back up with an official training plan for my next half marathon which will be 12 weeks later.
A couple weeks ago I signed up for a teeny tiny FLAT half marathon along the ocean in Ventura, CA that was recommended to me by a fellow running club member who ran it last year. It's reasonably priced by half marathon standards (though not by my husband's standards, as he feels I should pay nothing to run) and it supports a non-profit organization. I thought a June half marathon would be out of the question, but apparently it will be cooler with the breeze coming off the ocean and the 7am start should mean it's not too hot out yet.
My goal? Break 2 hours.
I think this is a reasonable goal. Please tell me if you disagree.
Let's take a walk down Half Marathon Memory Lane.
April 2010, my first half marathon: 2:21:10
Sept 2010, aka "The Suck": 2:30ish.
April 2011: 2:19ish
May 2011: 2:15:32
Sept 2011: 2:12:01
Nov 2011: 2:06:49
If I could shave 5:12 off a half marathon in 9 weeks, I'd like to think I can work to shave 6:50 off in 12 weeks. Why not.
Now my question is, which training plan to use. As previously mentioned, I am a fan of the Run Less Run Faster/FIRST Training plan and felt I saw great progress with it in the fall, using it only for a short period of time. However, the RLRF plan calls for only 3 quality runs a week, with 2 days of cross training.
Until either the State of California fixes its disaster of a budget and positions magically appear OR I find myself a new line of work, I will likely have plenty of time on my hands for lots of running, not to mention nice weather most of the time. 3 "quality" days of running was great so I could be picky with when I ran in NJ where it rained often enough.
Regarding the cross-training, while I enjoyed my old gym's group classes, I would prefer to not spend money I myself am not earning on a gym membership here. I do have a bike and if I grow some muscle so I can lift that thing, I could start carting my bike around in the back of my car to bring it to a nearby mostly-hill-free bike path for some cross training.
It kinda defeats the purpose of using Run Less Run Faster if you add in 2 more days of running, huh?
(Re)enter Hal Higdon.
I used his plans last Spring. I'm now considering the Advanced or the Intermediate. For both, you should be capable of running 30-60 minutes a day, 5-7 days a week.
The advanced plan includes speed on Tuesdays, tempo on Thursdays, and long runs on Sundays just like my running group, with shorter easier runs 2-3 additional days a week.
Regardless of which plan I use, I hope to/expect to keep up with our weekend hikes we've been doing every weekend since we moved here. I think that can count as cross-training, or at least counts for not using my muscles the exact same way running uses them.
1. Thoughts on my time goal for June- Ambitious? Reasonable?
2. Do you use an official training plan?
3. Cross-training: yay or nay