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3231 Views 10 Replies Latest reply: Feb 10, 2012 3:13 PM by rcktgirl05 RSS
EA22222 Rookie 5 posts since
Jan 27, 2012
Currently Being Moderated

Jan 27, 2012 8:07 AM

30 days before first half!

I'm running my first half marathon in four weeks and could use some advice on how to schedule my runs for the next month leading up to the race. I'm running for the experience and to finish, and while it'd be nice to have a kick-butt finish time, I'm OK with my 9:30 pace and speed is not my main motivator.

 

I've been training for the past several months and have developed a relatively good base of mileage and have overall good cardiovascular health and endurance. I've been doing 5-mile maintenance runs two days a week and usually run a longer 5-8 mile run on the weekend. I also cross train three days a week and have one rest day per week. My longest runs to date have been 10 miles in length, one completed in December and one completed this past weekend.

 

I've lost this past week of running due to a cold and hope to be back out on the pavement next week. But not running this week has made me think a lot about what the next four weeks should look like for my training and I could use some advice. How much mileage is enough to keep me prepared in the next month? I've looked at a number of different training plans that call for five days of running per week and completing 11-12 mile runs up until the week of the race. For a newbie like me where speed is not a big issue, those plans seem too intense and recipe-for-injury for me. I'm not looking to "skimp" or over-taper, but I also want to make sure I don't over-train and risk injury before the big day. At the same time, I don't want to be undertrained and underprepared. With a month left to go, I feel like this is the time to either increase or decrease my running. Anyone have any advice on what my miileage and run frequency should look like in the next four weeks given my current training and base level?

 

Many thanks in advance for your input!

  • NzAndy Pro 77 posts since
    Oct 23, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Jan 27, 2012 8:46 AM (in response to EA22222)
    30 days before first half!

    Two words: don't worry.  Your main concern is to be healthy so take it easy until your cold is gone.  You shouldn't do any intense training during the last 2 weeks before the race and you're not likely to make major gains in the remaining 2 weeks before that cut off with a cold.  You'll be better off going into a maintenance pattern of a few shorter easy paced runs each week for now.  If your cold clears up in time you can try to do some short sprint work up to the week before the race but your endurance is pretty well set at this point with most of the next week off.

     

    Since you've never run a half I'd advise that you just go out on the day and enjoy the run, learn from it, and plan for your next one.  A few short runs per week (2 or 3) can do wonders for holding a fitness level for about 2 months before you'll start to lose your peak.  So, in short, do a few easy runs until you feel better and don't worry. 

     

    Best of luck on the race.

    Andy

  • erik-k Expert 36 posts since
    Mar 4, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Jan 27, 2012 10:30 AM (in response to EA22222)
    30 days before first half!

    What you're doing is not very different from Hal Higdon's novice half-marathon program.  It calls for two medium-length runs a week, one longer run on the weekend, one day of cross training, one day of either a shorter run or cross training, and one day of strength training. With 4 weeks to go, you should have completed a long run of 8 miles.

     

    You've done all those things and more, so it sounds like you're in good shape. If possible, I'd basically follow his plan the rest of the way, though you may not be able to find a 10K race at this point (run a nice slow 9-10 miles if you can't, and if health allows).

     

    http://halhigdon.com/training/51131/Half-Marathon-Novice-1-Training-Program

  • BOSNPM We're Not Worthy 2,481 posts since
    Nov 20, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Jan 27, 2012 10:37 AM (in response to NzAndy)
    30 days before first half!

    One week is not going to hurt you, but I would still continue on like you have for 3 weeks.  You only need a 1 week taper for a half.  So maybe a 8 this week and a 10 next followed by a 6-8 the week before.   As Andy stated the main goal should be to start the race healthy, adjust your plan as you need to start healthy.  Good luck

  • Jasko123 Legend 461 posts since
    Apr 18, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Jan 27, 2012 4:06 PM (in response to EA22222)
    30 days before first half!

    I agree with excellent advice already offered.  Getting in some additional long runs at the 10 miles might be beneficial to increase your preparation, endurance and confidence for the half.  As Erik suggested, you can also focus on your medium-length distances at a slightly increased pace and taper back the LR a bit as per your schedule and comfort level.  Since you have a full month, you could consider more instense training in the next couple of weeks, with a moderate plan to maintain/stabilize your base around 9 days prior to the event. 

     

    Congratulations and best wishes for your race!

  • crswiney Rookie 3 posts since
    Jun 7, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Jan 30, 2012 2:11 PM (in response to EA22222)
    30 days before first half!

    I just did the Tinkerbell Half Marathon yesterday with Team in Training. Just remember - you have put in the work; you can do it! Once you get to mile 10 it is all mental from that point on.

  • danhouse1 Amateur 7 posts since
    Jan 16, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Jan 30, 2012 2:20 PM (in response to EA22222)
    30 days before first half!

    EA22222:

     

    You'll do fine. I'd encourage to do a couple more 10-12 runs. Do them easy.

  • rcktgirl05 Pro 83 posts since
    Jan 25, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Feb 3, 2012 8:30 AM (in response to EA22222)
    30 days before first half!

    I also just ran the Tinkerbell Half this past weekend.  I had been following a stretched out version of the Hal Higdon Novice plan since about July (I only started running in April.)  I got all the way up to the 10 mile run with out any problems, then two weeks before the race I was going to do 11 miles even though Hal said 10 was enough, but we were out of town for my daughter's hockey tournament.  I was not comfortable running 11 miles in a strange town and I just didn't have it in me to do 11 on the treadmill so i did a combo of 5 on the treadmill and an hour on the stationary bike at thet hotel.  I thought I would pick up an 11 mile run the following week, which was the week before the race.

     

    Well, I ended up getting a really bad stomach flu that lasted 6 days and I couldn't run at all.  Talk about worried!  I was freaking out that I only got to ten miles and I wasn't going to have any long runs for 2 weeks prior.  Then the week of the race, I ended up with a cold.  I had a nasty barking cough with sneezing, runny nose, headache.  I was a mess!  And I was really angry that I trained for 6 months with no problems and I was sick the very weekend of the race.  I  did a 3 mile and a 2 mile mid week.  Then I pumped myself full of Vitamin C and Echinacea and off to Anaheim we went.

     

    You know what??  I had a great time and I finished the race.  I ran the whole way with the only exceptions being when the crowd bottlenecked at Sleeping Beauty's Castle and water stops where I walked for a few seconds to get water.  But I consider that running the whole way.  At mile 10, I thought... ok this is now farther than I have officially ever run. Cool!  My family was waiting to cheer me on at Mile 11 which gave me a boost.  At mile 12.5 I started to get a little cramp, but at that point there was NO WAY I was going to walk!  It is totally mental at that point.  I learned that in my long training runs... as long as I didn't psyche myself out of it I was always able to finish the new longer distances.

     

    I think you will do fine.  I wish I hadn't worried so much.  My training all along was a lot like yours... two 5 milers in the week but I did 3  on wed instead of cross training and then long on the weekends.  Best advice I got was to carb up starting two days prior, not just the night before.  And I used gels every 3-4 miles, which I hadn't done on my 10 mile run (only used one during that).  The excitement of realizing half way through that you ARE going to finish truly is enough to carry you through.  Good luck and have fun!

     





    Every truly great accomplishment is at first impossible.

    Completed C25K 12-19-09

    CTCA 5k Feb '10... 39:45

    Completed C25K (again) June 2011

    Tinkerbell Half Marathon Jan '12... 2:53 PR! (Every first is a PR right?)

    Litchfield Park Friends of Rec 10K Mar '12 1:09:25 PR!?

    Upcoming:

    Peoria Pioneer Days 5k 4/14/12

    Pat's Run 4.2 Mile benefitting Pat Tillman Foundation 4/21/12


  • rcktgirl05 Pro 83 posts since
    Jan 25, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    10. Feb 10, 2012 3:13 PM (in response to EA22222)
    30 days before first half!

    Race times for me were about the same. I got up at about 3:15 and tried to eat a banana but it was just too early in the morning.  I could only eat about half of it.  I also ate about half a power bar when I was waiting in my corral, that was about 5:00.  And I took a gel right at the start time at 5:45 but it turns out that (because I didn't have any proof of time and I was in the General corral... pretty near the front even) I didn't even cross the START line until about 30 minutes after the race started!  so keep that in mind for your planning if you're in the back.  One other thing that I did to hydrate was that I alternated drinking water and G2 gatorade starting 3 days before race day.  I drank some G2 when I first got up that morning, but my nerves were too wrecked to do much else as far as eating or drinking before the race.  That's the main reason why I went with 4 gels instead of my original plan to use 1 or 2.

     

    Oh and one more thing that I wish I would have done after I saw everyone else doing it... when you put stuff in your bag for the bag check- take flip flops to change into after the race!!  the finish line was utter pandemonium because everyone emptied into a parking lot and families were meeting there too.  It was insane and it took me and my family a while to find each other. Then it was a long hike back to the other side of the park to get to the shuttles. Oh how I wish I could have taken off my shoes!! 





    Every truly great accomplishment is at first impossible.

    Completed C25K 12-19-09

    CTCA 5k Feb '10... 39:45

    Completed C25K (again) June 2011

    Tinkerbell Half Marathon Jan '12... 2:53 PR! (Every first is a PR right?)

    Litchfield Park Friends of Rec 10K Mar '12 1:09:25 PR!?

    Upcoming:

    Peoria Pioneer Days 5k 4/14/12

    Pat's Run 4.2 Mile benefitting Pat Tillman Foundation 4/21/12


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