Running week-training programs

This week, I have been focusing on a week of running with Holy Craft.
I'm a few weeks out from running my fourth half marathon and am now entering double digit long runs.
Running is usually more fun {for me at least}
if you have a goal like a race in mind.
So today, we will focus on training programs.

I started running when I turned 30.
I've never liked it, but I do it because I like being outside and walking is too slow.
Through the years, I've also had lots of friends who enjoy running and have encouraged me to enter races or to run with them.  Running socially is fun for me.  It makes me forget that I am doing something that I don't really like!

I didn't really train for my first 5k, but I did do a few training runs in preparation for my first running event.
Those seemed to help because I ended up taking third in my age division in the first 5k event I ever signed up for!

For those of you who aren't runners but want to be,
I have heard nothing but good things about the couch to 5K program.
If you are literally not doing any activity and want to start getting up and moving, this 9 week program seems to help a lot of people.

The training program that I loosely use for half marathon training is the Hal Higdon intermediate schedule.

Essentially the rules that I follow are that I count back the weeks before the race starting with the week prior to the race and have my long run be one mile less than the race day run.
So, if my race is on the 14th, I will run 12 miles on the 7th, 11 miles on the 1st, etc...

I continue to count back weeks and miles subtracting a mile on my long run each week.
I really start training when I am doing more than 5 miles on my long runs.
When I start my training, I try to run 3 days a week.
One of those days is a long run, the other two days are 5k's.
I'm hitting the gym two other days a week {usually doing the elliptical and weights} 
and taking two rest days.

Once I start adding distance, my long run becomes my short run and I do that until I start to hit around 7 miles.  Once I hit 7 miles on my long run, my two other days of running usually jump to around 5-6.5 miles each day.  

About a month before my race, I am usually running around 20-25 miles a week, and cross training two days a week with two rest days.

There are a lot of training programs that focus a lot on tempo runs and speedwork.
I find that to be too difficult for me when I just see the goal being to run.
But I've heard plenty of people tell me that if they are looking to increase their pace, focusing on those tempo runs is a great place to start.

I've also seen a lot of training plans that increase distance early on in the program.
I'm prone to knee injuries {plus also I hate running}, so I like to keep it simple and stick to my add a mile mentality.  It seems to work for me.

I've never trained for a full marathon, but I will add that from what I have read, most people find their lives consumed by the training for a full marathon.  
It requires hours of running several days a week.
Because of this, the half marathon entries are on the rise.
It's not a race that is easy to run without some training, but the training isn't all consuming.

The best race sign I have ever seen!

The final thing that I want to mention is that I don't enter a lot of races.
I know of a lot of people who enter races nearly every weekend.
I get quite turned off by the fee that it costs to run.
I do enjoy the spirit of the race, the comradery on race day and the support of those spectators, however, 
that comes at a cost.  Depending on when you sign up some races can cost upwards of $100 or more!
Those runs can add up!

So that's how I train.
How do you prepare for a race?
Do you sign up for a race every week?
Every month?
Every year?
I'm interested to hear!

1 comment

Dara @ Not In Jersey said...

if you hate running, how do you keep doing it? I'm such a bad runner. I trained for and ran a 1/2 marathon - it took 3 hours to finish. I know you run at a much faster pace than me. I don't know how to get faster when it's so hard for me!

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