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#1 of 11 Old 12-18-2012, 05:00 AM - Thead Starter
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Hi all! I'm starting to train for a half, about 12 wks (Mar 17) and wondering how best to plan my week. Hoping to PR, would love to run ~7.5 min/pace. Hal Higdon plan seems to maximize fewer running days with specific workouts, which I like. Conversely, Runners world plan for advanced half adds in more mileage but not always specific about how to run them.

Here's what I'm thinking and I'd like to know if you think this will get me to my goal or how to tweak it:
Sun LR
Mon tempo run
Tues 5 miles easy with a friend
Wed hill repeats
Thurs spin or rest
Fri track type workout
Sat swim or rest

Thanks in advance! I should add that all runs are done pushing a stroller, except parts of the LR.
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#2 of 11 Old 12-18-2012, 06:52 AM
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I would flip this in the air and have the cards come down much differently, but before I go there let me say that I hate to see you do a tempo run the day after a long run. You might be able to do it with quality the first few weeks, but as the long run gets longer and as you accumulate more miles on your body and joints, it will be harder to hit, and you will open the door to injury.

 

Here's what I'd rather see you do:

 

Day - workout (what you had)

 

Sun - LR (LR)
Mon - spin or rest (tempo run)
Tues - 5 miles easy with a friend (5 miles easy with a friend)
Wed - speed workout (hill repeats)
Thurs - spin, swim, easy 4 to 6 mile run, or rest (spin or rest)
Fri - tempo run (track type workout)
Sat - 3 to 6 miles easy (swim or rest)

 

*Assumptions were made that the 5 miles easy with friend is non-negotiable, meaning that you have to run on that day. If not, let me know, because we can move things around to be more ideal.

**I took out the hill work, but you don't really want to not do hills. You ideally will do either hills or speed, because hill work is speed work, for the most part. So for speed work, which I purposely changed the name of from track to speed, you can start the early weeks with hill charges and then as weeks roll on merge over to proper speed on the track. If you really want to stick to the track, then push hills over to Friday tempo by, say, warming up with a 2 mile run to a nearby gradual hill (not too steep, but make sure it is at least a two minute hill), charging it OVER THE TOP (don't stop until 10 to 20 seconds after you crest) several times with proper rest, and then jogging until you recover and then launch in to tempo for two miles. Ideally you'll start with hills for two three-week chunks and then merge in track. But you can do both as described above.

***If a PR for you is a stretch goal, after a month of long runs, start incorporating race pace or slightly faster intervals into your long runs. It's not as hard as it sounds. Say you have a 14 mile long run, warm up 3 miles, then do two miles at race pace, recovery jog for one mile, then two miles again at race pace, recover a mile, one mile at pace or faster, jog home. <-- these are bread and butter.

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#3 of 11 Old 12-18-2012, 10:45 AM
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I'm sure Thor covered it (no time to read his novella at the moment), but if it were me tempo/hills/track would lead me to injury by the end of week 2. You are much faster and I know have a much deeper base than I ever had so take me observations with a grain of salt.
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#4 of 11 Old 12-18-2012, 10:51 AM - Thead Starter
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Thanks for the thoughtful reply, Thor. You answered a couple of questions that I was thinking about with my proposed program

- ok to do both hills and track type (speed) in one week? probably not. I'd much rather just stick to hills anyway - sprinting up them, using that as my hill and speed workout.

- ok to do tempo run day after LR? probably not. 

I probably won't ever be on a track, but can find a relatively small rolling (nothing flat around here) street to do some fartleks, or use my Garmin to measure 400 meters for speed work - but will wait and incorporate in later.

- like the idea of sprinting over the hill and 20 sec+/- over the top, adding some of those into my tempo runs

- also like the idea of incorporating 2 miles of race pace into my long runs - yes my PR is a stretch, but I feel like with quality workouts (not just going out and running) I can get there. Especially since my training includes pushing 50 lbs of toddler/stroller

- yes, Tues is non-negotiable, works better as recovery as my friend and I run different paces

 

Part of me wants to make sure I'm running enough distance, while the other part is craving less with specificity. Also, while pushing an extra 50lbs may add to my strength, it can also lead to injury, so maybe best to err on the side of less vs more.

 

Again, thanks for the comments. You helped put it into perspective.

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#5 of 11 Old 12-18-2012, 11:09 AM - Thead Starter
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Sparty, just saw your comments and totally agree. Part of me knew it, just needed to hear from others! Thanks!
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#6 of 11 Old 12-18-2012, 08:04 PM
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Hi Speedy Beth!

 

I just wanted to let you know that I would like to throw my $.02 but it's time for bed!  I read Thor's first comment.  Totally agree on that.  More later! 

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#7 of 11 Old 12-19-2012, 06:45 AM
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> ok to do both hills and track type (speed) in one week? probably not. I'd much rather just

> stick to hills anyway - sprinting up them, using that as my hill and speed workout.

 

Since you haven't done proper speed in a long time, you will be more than fine by staying off the track and instead getting in your speed on hills. But be sure to charge the hills; don't just plod up them. You may have to work up to it, but that's okay. Anybody can get fast by running hills, as long as they do it the right way. Try to find a hill that takes two or more minutes to run up. If you have a three minute hill, even better.

 

> like the idea of sprinting over the hill and 20 sec+/- over the top, adding some of those into my tempo runs

 

Yes. Also, if you do speed on hills, consider extending that two minute hill to 2:30 by running up and over the hill. This teaches you and your body to recover on the fly. And it teaches you how to race! Because that is precisely what you must do to take back seconds, even 10's of seconds, on race clock. Next time you're with a friend out for a run and you approach a hill, charge it and run beyond by 15 to 30 seconds. Stop, turn around, and count how many seconds you gained. It's a lot.

 

> also like the idea of incorporating 2 miles of race pace into my long runs - yes my

> PR is a stretch, but I feel like with quality workouts (not just going out and running)

> I can get there. Especially since my training includes pushing 50 lbs of toddler/stroller

 

Definitely. You can start with mile pickups at race pace. Don't worry about pace during recovery portions. Work up over the weeks to, say, a 5 to 6 mile pickup. Instilling race pace is important for running economy. The only way to run your pace in a race is to make it seem easier on the body. Know how when you go to the gym and lift a weight the first time your muscle ache for days? Same the second time doing that exercise. But third and fourth times, your muscles aren't as fatigued. The muscles adapted to that weight and range of motion. Same with race pace. Do it often enough in training so that you become more efficient at running that pace (running economy at race pace).

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#8 of 11 Old 12-19-2012, 09:51 AM
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Great thoughts Thor! 

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#9 of 11 Old 12-19-2012, 12:12 PM - Thead Starter
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Yes, great thoughts. You've given me a lot to work with - thanks!
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#10 of 11 Old 12-19-2012, 02:05 PM
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I like Thor's framework, and I have followed similar plans more than a few times in the past. 

3 key workouts (LR, race pace or tempo, shorter/harder hill or intervals) seem to be bread & butter for many serious recreational runners.  Now I am not sure how many miles you are going to run during those key workouts, and how aggressive your goal is, but the total mileage may be a bit on soft side? 

For my last marathon training, I did weekly race pace run, per one of the Hanson's coaches' suggestion.  It started at 8 miles, I think, and went to 12miles toward the end (sandwitched in easy 2mile w/u and 2mile c/d).  As Thor said, running at the target pace is a great way to learn how to run at the pace, and gage your progresses as the weeks go by. 

Another one is 2miles x 3 or 3miles x 2 at half marathon pace (he called 'tempo' run), that was another key run to me.  He didn't suggest anything faster run than half pace.  There are different thoughts to the philosophy out there.  Some think runnning much faster, i.e.1200x repeats are important to marathoning.

Marathon is a quite different animal than half, but if I apply the similar two key workouts to a half.... you may wan to do a race pace run at 7:30 upto maybe 6-8 miles straight? Plus, a tempo run at 10K pace 1.5mile x 3, or 1mile x 4.  I would imagine 10k pace would be close to 7:00.

 

I recently read an interesting article on the Outdoor magazine.  This guy, I forgot his name, is causing quite a discussion at other running forums.  Anyway, his theory is so many people run too many miles too slow.  So his plan is like hard, hard run, at 200x 400x, 800x repeats a few times a week and 5k/10k run as a long-ish run.  And lots of cross-fit / weight training. 

Anyway, I thought pushing 50lbs kid/stroller helps your strength for sure!  So you may not need any slow long run to get your goal. 

 

Good luck!  

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#11 of 11 Old 12-19-2012, 06:40 PM - Thead Starter
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Yes, Yoshiko, I thought mileage was a little low too. And my concern was I didn't want to add running days with no purpose just to get more miles in each week. But, then I don't want to injure myself with too many speed or hill workouts. You and Thor have given me several different workout ideas to mix in a 5th running day. Thanks for your thoughts!
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