Tuesday, January 5, 2016

2016 Pittsburgh Half Marathon Training Plan

I'm currently "in-training" for the Pittsburgh Half Marathon on May 1st. I say "in-training" because while I don't need 16 weeks to train for a half marathon I do want to start building now. I spent October - December focused on strength training. I typically ran once per week, MAYBE twice. Definitely a change of pace.

But now, I'm ready to work on BALANCE as I strive to maintain strength while becoming a better runner (any/all tips for what's worked for you appreciated).

I have a few running goals this Spring & I'm linking up with MarciaPatty & Erika today for Tuesdays on the Run to share them.

1. Run a sub 25:00 5K : I've never done this, in fact I've only ever raced 1 x 5K, but I came so close, and I want to break 25.

2. Another HM PR : I have my eye set on the Boston Trail HM as my goal HM this spring...but for some exciting reasons (that hopefully I'll be able to talk about on Thursday) that may not be in the cards this spring. So, I'm looking at a few others that might work, one north of Pittsburgh on April 2nd. But for right now, Boston Trail is still on the books.

3. More pace specific running : I've always just sort of made up paces & run how fast or slow I was in the mood to run. I know paces have their purpose, so I'll be doing some time trials to help better determine what paces I should be running.

So, without further adieu...my PGH HM 2016 Training Plan

Week #
Week Of
MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
BUILD
1/11 -- 17
TIME TRIAL + ARMS
SPEED PYRAMID + 5 HILL
LEGS+ 3
OFF
FULL BODY
6-8 MILE RUN
HIKE
BUILD
1/18 -- 24
TIME TRIAL + LEGS
4 MILE PROGRESSIVE RUN
ARMS + 3
OFF
FULL BODY
6-8 MILE RUN
HIKE
BUILD
1/25 -- 31
TIME TRIAL + ARMS
4 X 1 MILE @ 8:20
LEGS+ 3
OFF
FULL BODY
6-8 MILE RUN
HIKE
BUILD
2/01 -- 07
TIME TRIAL + LEGS
SPEED PYRAMID + 5 HILL
ARMS + 3
OFF
FULL BODY
8 MILE RUN
OFF
BUILD
2/08 -- 14
TIME TRIAL + ARMS
4 X 1200 + 5 HILL
OFF
LEGS + 3
FULL BODY
10 MILE RUN
OFF
BUILD
2/15 -- 21
ARMS + SPIN
8 X 400 @ 7:00 + 5 HILL
5 MILES
FULL BODY
NEW ZEALAND
NZ
NZ
BUILD
2/22 -- 28
NZ
NZ
NZ
NZ
NZ
NZ
NZ
1
2/29 -- 06
OFF
8 X 400 @ 7:00 + 5 HILL
LEGS+ 3
OFF
FULL BODY
6 MILE RUN
OFF
2
3/07 -- 13
LEGS + 3
4 X 1.5 MILES @ 8:20
OFF
ARMS + SPIN
OFF
MAD MARCH 5K + 7
OFF
3
3/14 -- 20
ARMS + SPIN
6 X 800 @ 7:25
OFF
4 MILES
FULL BODY
12 MILE RUN
OFF
4
3/21 -- 27
FULL BODY
3 X 2 MILES @ 8:20
OFF
FULL BODY
4 MILES
6 MILE RUN
OFF
5
3/28 -- 03
ARMS + SPIN
2 X 3 MILES @ 8:20
OFF
4 MILES
FULL BODY
12 MILE RUN
OFF
6
4/04 -- 10
ARMS + SPIN
3 X 2 MILES @ 8:20
OFF
LEGS + 3
FULL BODY
6 MILE RUN
OFF
7
4/11 -- 17
OFF
3 MILES
ARMS + SPIN
3 MILES
OFF
BOSTON TRAIL HALF
OFF
8
4/18 -- 24
OFF
OFF
ARMS + SPIN
LEGS + 3
FULL BODY
6 MILE RUN
OFF
9
4/25 -- 01
OFF
3 MILES
ARMS + SPIN
3 MILES
OFF
OFF
PGH HALF
LIFTING/CROSS TRAINING
LONG RUN
9:30 PACE
SPEED WORK
400 @ 7:00

800 @ 7:15

1200 @ 7:30
EASY RUN
9:00 - 10:00 PACE
RACE
5K GOAL, SUB 25
HM GOAL, 8:30 PACE
OFF DAY


After deciding that I wanted to focus on the balance between strength & running & armed with the knowledge that I really don't like running more than 3 days a week, I created my own training plan.

I am in no-way certified at anything, and this training plan is very different than anything I've made before. But I am interested to see how it turns out. I'll call the 7 weeks leading up to & during my New Zealand trip my "Build Phase", after I return I'll begin the real HM training.

My off days rotate to a certain extent because of what I guesstimate the BF will have off of work. His rotating schedule can leave me guessing sometimes, but shuffling a few things to be able to sleep in together is always worth it.

While I have most Sundays listed as off days I'm certain almost all of them will include hiking, biking or yoga. But I hate to dictate to myself months in advance what I might be in the mood to do that day.

I've added my plan to the new Training tab at the top of the page.
My Tuesday workout updates will refer back to this plan, hopefully I'll have only good things to report.

Any feedback on my plan? Please be honest. Tried something similar? Did it work?
How do you handle vacation during your training plan?

8 comments:

  1. This looks like a fantastic training plan! I'd be clueless to figure out a plan on my own, so kudos! New Zealand sounds amazing, I hope you enjoy your trip! Good luck with all your goals!

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    1. Thanks! I've been mixing & matching plans to create my own for a while, but this is the first time I've sort of truly gone rogue! Guess I'll see how it plays out.

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  2. Wow, this is very thorough - GREAT job putting this together! I create my own plans too and I love it!

    One thing that's been helpful for me is that I give myself a target range for my paces instead of an exact pace I need to hit, based on what's in the ballpark for my goal times. This allows me to adjust my expectations for when I'm not feeling as good, or it's hot/icy/windy out, whatever. I also try to do my running by effort, not pace - I know that sounds counterintuitive when you have a time goal, but our bodies know effort, not pace, and it takes time for our bodies to learn what certain paces feel like. This method helps me learn how to run and get used to the pace naturally. I'll take my Garmin with me on those workouts but won't look at it til the end, and then analyze the splits later and adjust for the next workout based on whether I went too fast/slow, etc. And most importantly - don't freak out if you're not super consistent right away. It takes time to build consistency, but keep it up and as the weeks go by you'll start seeing better results in your splits.

    I'm going on vacation for a week during this training cycle to Guatemala, where I won't be able to run at all, and I'm not concerned about it. I'll have a solid base built up by then and I know from experience that I'm not going to lose any running fitness after one week off. Just try not to worry, is my advice. Muscle memory is a powerful thing. Go on vacation, and when you get back, pick up where you left off. It will come back quickly :-)

    Good luck!! So excited for you!

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    Replies
    1. I really appreciate the feedback. I've struggled with pacing. What feels good some days feels impossible the next, and sometimes I look down & am running a 7:30 pace effortlessly. So, I really just don't know what to make of that exactly. Haha.

      I may have to take your advice about the not looking at the Garmin bit, I'm always just so curious though when I hear the little beep each mile. May have to block the screen so I can't see it!

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  3. This looks like a great plan to me! I agree with having a target range. Sometimes I'll feel like a failure if I don't hit 9:00 pace exactly, but then if I'm in an acceptable range I feel great and take it easier if I'm tired, which is always a good thing.

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    Replies
    1. I'll definitely be taking a look at adding a range. I didn't have one for my long runs before because I try to run with a local pace group. They're not always right on the mark, but whatever they go, I go.

      Thanks for the feedback Gretchen!

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  4. I think finding what works for you with training is so important, so it's great that you've built your own plan to test that out. I also LOVE that you built it around your BF's schedule too. My quality time with my husband is one of my top priorities, so I understand! I also like that you've added the flexibility of doing what you feel like on Sundays. I think it's a great plan for you!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the feedback Jennifer! I feel like I've learned so much about my running recently that I'm really thinking this plan is going to lead to some great results for me!

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