2 weeks ago I registered for my first half in nearly 2 years…or it will have been more than that by the time I cross the finish line. And after not running for well over a year consistently due to pregnancy and the winter from hell here in Minnie, I am basically starting all over in my training. I would have considered myself an intermediate runner after my last half, but I truly feel that I am right back at the beginner stage, even though I have been racking up the miles the last few months. I really want to dive into training and be consistent and committed. So I am going to share my training on mondays in this new series where I will talk training plans, gear, nutrition, injury prevention, and recovery.
In part one of this series we are talking training plans!
I have written myself a training plan that I am very happy with. One that is challenging, yet allows for lots of rest, and a variety of different workouts. I am really glad that I trained for my first half with TNT and had some old plans to look at for inspiration.
The plan that I created for myself is really customized for me and my current level of training but creating a plan that works for you is very easy!
Here are some tips to help you create a half or full marathon training plan:
- Make sure you build in dedicated rest days, active rest days, and X-training. I kept these days very consistent in my plan. For example, Sundays & Thursdays are my dedicated rest days. I will cross train on Tuesdays and Fridays.
- Do not neglect hill repeats, and speed training!! My half is along a river, so hills are guaranteed. I elected to schedule 1 session of hill repeats every 3 weeks or so during the first few months of training, and then every 2 weeks in August and September as I want to be strong on the hills this go round. I also scheduled several KOB (Kenyan Out & Backs – run out, then run back faster) sessions during my training, at least twice a month.
- Don’t increase your milage too much week to week. If you are new to marathon training, your plan should begin with either a walk/run method for the first few weeks, or run for time (30 mins, 45 mins, etc) rather than focus on the miles. You should hit half the event milage by halfway through your training, with a gradual build to about 90% of the event milage and then…TAPER! 🙂 Everyone loves the taper.
- Schedule your long runs on the weekends, that way you have some time to recover before heading back to your daily work routine.
- Don’t be a slave to the plan! If you feel like you need to shorten your long run, or need an extra rest day after that killer sprint workout take it! Being flexible in your training will keep you injury free for event day.
If you don’t want to write your own, there are many plans out there to choose from. Here are a few to get you started: