I decided to use the Hal Higdon intermediate half marathon training plan again for my first half of the year. It’s a good plan, with a solid 12 weeks – I add in a 13th because Higdon’s plan doesn’t taper much before the race, and I’ve found that works well for me.
I wrote it out on my desk-calendar-hung-on-the-wall, and realized that SURPRISE! using this plan means training starts on Monday, Jan 9! Woo!
I’m really excited to get back into a structured training plan. When I don’t have one my workouts kind of flounder. I am worried about burning out this year. With 4 half marathons on the schedule (registered for 3!) it’s going to be an intense 10 months of pretty much constant training. I know that burnout happens, as at the end of the season last year I was really ready to just be done. I’m going to make a concerted effort to do some more cross training activities this year to keep up the interest. I want to maintain a positive attitude, because I’m really excited about each of these races.
The name of the game this year is endurance. Yes, I am still aiming for a long term goal of a sub-2:00 half marathon, but I don’t know if it will happen for me this year. Lots of intense speed work really seems to bother my ITBs and hips. I’m hoping that more focus on yoga and recovery this year will help. But, speed work aside, what I really want to focus on this year is endurance. Around mile 10, in both halfs last year, I totally just dropped off. The energy level tanked and I just couldn’t wait to be done. So, as the year goes on I want to build up my long runs. I’m using a familiar plan now, the next time around my long runs won’t start so short (long run this weekend is 5 miles, uh I do 5 before work during the week), and I’d like to focus on double digit long runs. Then after the second half of the year I want to bump my longest runs up to 15-16 miles.
I’m hoping that this increase of endurance will help me at the end of the race. Also, some longer runs will be a test for the possibility of a full in 2013 (yes, early to talk about, sue me.) It must be noted that at this point I do NOT have the full marathon bug. I do not want to force myself into it just because “everyone” else is doing it. I want to want it. Training for and running a marathon will be really difficult, mentally and physically, so I need to make sure it’s something I really want to do first.
Additionally, I still have a super long term plan of running a half in every state. I think that will be really fun, and give me more incentive to travel! I like going new places, I am just bad at instigating a vacation.
So there we have it! The pleasant surprise that this year of half marathon training( s) is about to kick off in just a few days! Let’s get this party started!