Ok so if you've been following my blog for the past few months, you're probably aware that I am running in the 2013 Detroit International Half Marathon in October! I am a big fan of half marathons (my favorite race distance) and they literally changed my life. So, I like to try to pick out 1-2 bigger races throughout the country each year (if feasible) and just have fun with training and running! Oh and it keeps me in amazing shape so what's not to love??!
SO- whenever I train for a big race, I like (need) to use a training plan so I stay on track and prevent any race-day anxiety for lack of preparation. I am a BIG/HUGE fan of Jeff Galloway and the Galloway method (run-walk-run intervals) so I usually try his training plans. This time, I wanted to change some things up and basically googled half marathon training plans and I formulated my specific plan (in the pictures below) based on these training plans (forgive me- I didn't save the links so just google them if you are interested!):
- Runner's World SmartCoach (you can input a recent race result/pace and they will formulate a plan based on your specific body type and goals)
- Julie from pbfingers.com
- Coach Jenny (Jenny Hadfield)'s plan for Intermediate Runners
- Cool Runnings Half Marathon plan
- Shape.com (geared toward women runners)
- Hal Higdon (not really a huge fan of his but hopefully when I have time to run more than 3-4 days a week I can tackle his plan full-on)
- Jeff Galloway
For my specific plan, I know I can only handle 3-4 runs per week (every other day) and I know that having a 5 mile base/short run was crucial to my massive half PR last April so I knew I wanted to work on that again. I got the plan I used last spring for Divas HM from Julie at pbfingers.com (I am OBSESSED with her blog, and you should be as well) so I basically altered that 8 week plan to 12 weeks for my Detroit training.
As you can see, my longest "long run" is only 10 miles and this will be the first half marathon I've ever trained for without running 13+ miles pre-race. I think I am ok with that idea by now, especially because the fact I am in such better shape than I've been in for any of my previous HMs and I have the endurance to maintain that distance and speed is really my focus this fall. I know there aren't any specific days in my plan for speed work but I am going to throw in some Wednesdays for speed. The hardest thing so far in the past 3.5 weeks is actually getting outside because of the ridiculous humidity and rain. Hopefully, I can make it out to Country Park some more.
Training in falltime is always hard for me because my weekends are usually occupied with trips to Blacksburg for Hokie football but I'm hoping that I can not only make it to a handful of games but also stick with my training plan and hopefully get some training races (8K or longer) in on the weekends to get my mind back in racing mode!!!
NOW, the most exciting part of this post- race details! The main reason I fell in love with this particular race and the course is 1) because it's where my brother lives and I get to visit him/have a place to stay for free and a ride to race start hah! and 2) IT'S INTERNATIONAL! How many half marathons are there in the world where you can run in two different countries all within a 13.1 mile distance?! Below is the course map and after the first 5K, we run on the Ambassador Bridge into Windsor, Canada and then run a few (about 4) miles in Canada before crossing back into the USA via the Windsor Tunnel (a/k/a the 'underwater mile') and finish up the race in the heart of downtown Detroit!
I am beyond excited for this race but still have some anxieties about the course- 1) we have to run with our passports/passport card just in case someone stops you going into/out of Canada and I haven't been able to locate my passport since our trip to Puerto Rico last fall so I have about 58 days to find that bad boy! and 2) um, have you BEEN to downtown Detroit/Detroit in general? It's pretty scary! At least I have some time to get mentally ready for this race, which if you ask me is more important than the physically ready aspect!
How to you prepare for races? Do you have any particular training plan/running guru you swear by for race prep?