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I don't use any training plans at all, however, depending upon what your base is like, an 11 mile long run could either be challenging or a walk in the park. How many miles had you run in the six months prior to starting the sixteen week training progam?
Fat old man PRs:
Not many at all, between injury in the fall and cold weather I was just back into 3.5 - 4 miles 4 times a week when I started the training plan.
Last long run felt pretty good up to about mile 8 or so. Last 3 miles felt pretty hard although my pace was only marginally slower. Legs were toast at the end but seemed OK by the next workout a few days later.
Current week's plan is less but there's a 12 mile run weekend after next.
I do want to stick with the plan but I was just wondering if anyone knows how they measure up.
Hmmm, maybe it's just me, but a plan with only one long run per week sounds a bit thin for a half marathon training program.
Once again, speaking strictly for myself, until I got myself up weekday daily 8+ mile run with at least one 12+ mile run on weekends, I didn't feel I was physically prepared to safely run a half marathon.
Fat old man PRs:
OK...the plan does get up to about 7 miles on the weekday runs and 14-15 on the long run near the end. Has been a challenge because the long runs were increasing by 2 miles for a few weeks. I was also comparing the plan to some beginner plans I've seen...while this is my first HM I'm trying to train for running it at a 10:00/mile pace.
Seven on weekdays and fifteen on the weekend long run toward the end of the program sounds reasonable; a few more questions:
Fat old man PRs:
If you get your hands on the course map, you can then use one of the walking/running route interactive mapping web pages to recreate the route; most also show a graph for the elevation gain/loss below the map. Elevation change is all relative, if you live and train in say Chicago, a race with 400' of gain will be difficult, however, if you live and train here in New Hampshire, 400' of gain will hardly be noticable.
Regarding your pace, if you're able to hold your current pace through the rest of the training program, then a 2:15 HM is pretty reasonable.
If your body reacts to training like mine, then it is a pretty good bet that you'll do well in your race; that said, if you then maintain week 16 for say another four to six weeks and then run another half marathon, odds are you'll knock an easy ten to fifteen minutes off the time.
Keep us posted.
Fat old man PRs:
I consider training plans to be a guide. Good information in general, but I always feel that it is necessary to adjust to my needs and ability. I played around a bit with the runkeeper plans, didn't like them as-is, and modified to suite my style. Don't take a plan that you find as "the plan" - adjust it and make it work for you. Just my two cents...
Here's a map I drew out, it's the Monadnock HM in Jaffrey NH:
The climb a little after mile 6 looks a bit intense but a lot of the course is pretty flat.
The one modification I'd like to do on the plans is use the "slow" weekday runs as an opportunity to get used to and run my target race pace (10:00). I tend to go too fast on those runs anyway.
Based upon the hill work you're doing in training it looks like the hills at the six and eight mile marks should be relatively easy. I'm thinking the plan you have in place should prepare you to meet or beat your goal time.
BTW, if you ever want a challenge with even more hills, you might want to consider the New Hampshire 10-Miler around Massabesic Lake; that race has something like 725' of elevation gain/loss with a nasty in the fifth mile, a long grinding nasty in the seventh mile, and another nasty in the ninth mile. Once beyond the nine mile mark it's pretty much all down-hill to the finish.
Fat old man PRs:
Started week 8 of the plan, long run next week will be 13 miles which I will stretch to HM distance. Total climb on the 12 mile route I've done twice is 930 feet...lots of little up and down stretches. Going to do the 13 miler on a rail trail for a change of scenery...and a lot less climbing. Slow run pace has been just under 11:00/mile, at that pace I usually feel like I can just go on and on. The weekday 6 mile runs I've done at or near 10:00/mile feel fine but I don't feel like I could sustain that for any much longer than an hour or so.
Have a vacation in a few weeks which will throw a wrench in the training plans. Going to WDW which aside from the heat and humidity will not have much in the way of running paths with enough distance. Thought was to try a few shorter runs on the treadmill (which I do not enjoy) and then hopefully resume the plan when I get back home.
Edit: Has anyone taken a "partial" break like this and if I do back off on the training for several days should I be OK with jumping into the program when I get back? Main concern is that I have a 14 mile run planned the day after returning and I don't want to get injured...should be rested from running but I don't want to overdo it.
So I got back from Disney World on Saturday and threw myself right back into the training this morning. Long run of over 14 miles with a 4 mile "fast" segment in the middle. Tough run...even with a few short (3-4 mile) runs in the Florida humidity last week the heat here in New England still got to me...I struggled for the last half and had to walk a bit after mile 12. Pace in the fast segment was OK but I was barely moving at the end. Hoping the other 14 mile runs that I have planned will go a bit easier...at this pace I'd be lucky to break 2:20 much less get near my goal of 2:10.
At this point I have two 14 mile long runs under my belt. Pace is between 10:30 and 11:00 which I'm not terribly happy with, but I can run the distance and that's a realistic expectation for a 50YO first timer I guess. This past weekend was a 6 mile run on Saturday followed by the 14 mile run yesterday. Next weekend's long run is "only" planned to be 10 miles.
Question I have is on training/life balance...the plan I'm using has me doing two more 14 mile long runs before the race (2 week taper) but I have other things I'd like to do over the next few weekends which would prevent me from running each weekend day.
At this point in my training (HM is on 10 August) should I mainly be concerned about getting in those long runs over the next 3 weeks and not as concerned about the Saturday run and/or other runs in the week?