There are many ways to pick a training plan. It ultimately depends on your running experience level, distance and time goals. Now, I started out only three years ago with running. I was never athletic perviously, so I decided to do Jeff Galloway’s run-walk-run method. I build up my running with that. I can’t recommend this strategy more, because it really helps you to increase your stamina, speed, and prevent injury. I seriously don’t think that I could run any faster than if I ran the whole time, that may not be the case for super fast runners, or even moderately fast runners, but as a beginner, it is definitely true.
For our half marathon on May 1st, we (Andy and I) are trying to get a better time. In order to do that we are doing Jeff Galloway’s eighteen week training plan for increased speed on a half marathon. You can find similar plans on the rundisney training website. Overall, our training with this plan is made up of three different components.
1. The Running
Each week I have two 45-minute runs. I tend to space these out so that they are not close to the long run or speed work. On these runs I try to go faster than my goal pace for the half, because it is a much shorter distance.
Every other week I have a long run. The last training plans I did only took me up to 12 and 14 miles. This plan takes us up to 17 miles. This week I did an 11-mile run, and am are still a month and a half out from the race. The increase in distance though if really good for me, as I tend to really struggle with the miles past mile nine. It will be nice to have about five runs above that number.
Finally, on the weeks that I don’t have a long run, I do Yasso 800s (if you don’t know what this is, feel free to check out this video). This is my first time doing these, and while I totally see how they help, they are awful! I thought the long run was tough, but I would do those any day over these. I started with 2x800s and then will eventually end with 14×800.
2. Strength Training
Another super important part of the training this time around is overall strength training. I will probably do another post that is more in depth about this, because it makes such a difference. I tried to do it on the last training plans, but kept failing to get it in. This time around I have been much more diligent with getting these workouts in.
The main exercises that I make sure to do are core exercises. I do a routine with planks, sit-ups, side crunches, russian twists, and leg-ups. I can really tell the difference with these exercises. My posture, especially when I am getting really tired while running, has improved dramatically.
While I try to do the ab exercises at least four times a week, I also try to do some leg exercises to help strengthen the muscles I use while running. I have had some soreness with my IT band, which runs from the outside of your hip to your knee. To strengthen this I do lots of single leg lifts, lunges, squats, and hip bridges.
Now, the final piece in my training has been to try and tackle our nutrition. I think that I have figured out the fueling needed before, during and after our long runs, but I still have a lot of work to do on my overall nutrition.
The first step with this, has been to try and eliminate any sweets during the week. I have also taken all soda and Starbucks out of my diet. Finally, I have been trying to balance my macro-nutrients, which has meant increasing my protein intake. As much as possible I try to eat clean foods, but… let’s face it, working until 8:00 PM then going for a run and then trying to find time to eat, makes it really tough (but not impossible).