Posted by: Drew | August 6, 2007

Half Marathon Training Week 1: recap

Alternate titles

  • Best week ever
  • Double mileage, no problem
  • Running in 90+ heat is “cool”
  • I’m training for a what?!?


Scheduled for an easy 3 miles, so that’s what I did.  I’m aiming on my easy days (Monday, Thursday, some Saturday’s, and Sunday) for an average pace of between 10:00 and 10:15.  For this late evening run (9:15 PM), I hit a 10:08 average.  This felt like a very comfortable (and sustainable) pace.  I did have a little bit of IT band pain after two miles, but it did not get worse than a slight nagging so I finished the run.  When I got home, I had a very painful massage from my in-house therapist.  She loosened some of the tension in the IT band and also started the process of breaking up some knots in my quads.  I iced and heated.  Life is good.


I was scheduled for a track workout, 5 x 400 at 5-K pace.  I spent the evening working on a friend’s deck and didn’t get home until 10:30.  I don’t mind running late, but that’s pushing it even for me.  On the bright side, my left leg felt great.  None of the residual pain I’m used to from runs where I have IT issues.


Wednesday is a scheduled rest day (every week) due to softball.  We won, I stayed healthy, life continues to be good.


Thursday is my 3 mile run plus strength training day.  I decided to get my run in before my workout at Equivita at 5:30.  This required slipping out the door at work at bit early (not tough) and running in the 91 degree heat and humidity (considerably more intimidating) at 4:50 PM.  The heat slowed me down a little (averaged 10:38/mile), and my run went a little over my scheduled distance (3.58 miles), but it was nice to be able to get out and run in the heat and do it safely.  I know if I’d tried to do that run at a medium/hard pace I would have been hurting.  But after my run I cooled down in front of a fan for a few minutes, started sucking on some Gatorade, and proceeded to hammer out a hard workout.  Good day overall, and the legs felt awesome.


Friday is my other rest day by design.  We did dinner and a movie with friends, and had a good time.


Saturday was scheduled for 3 easy miles (Saturday’s will generally switch off between easy pace and half-marathon pace each week), so that’s what I did.  Rather than run early (which I don’t like) or late (which wasn’t going to be possible given the evening plans), I decided again to run in the mid-day heat.  Left at just after 3 PM, 88 degrees and humid.  My legs felt awesome despite the increased mileage and frequency I’d added this week.  And even though it was quite hot, I overshot my pace goal and averaged 9:30/mile.


My first “long” run.  My longest run without stopping in my life prior to yesterday was four miles (done twice in my races earlier this year).  I was scheduled for five miles yesterday at easy (or slower) pace.  I wasn’t scared by the distance, I was actually looking forward to it a little.  It was raining in the late morning/early afternoon, and the thermometer said it was only 72.  I figured this would be a great time to get out and do five easy miles.  As soon as I stepped out of the house, I realized that the previous two days really hadn’t been all that humid.  I now knew what it was like to feel like I was cutting through the air.  It didn’t feel like I was breathing the air as much as chewing and eating it.  I made sure to keep the pace easy (this was increasingly difficult as the run seemed to get easier as it went on, especially after 3-3.5 miles), and finished in 50:57 for an average of 10:12/mile.  I had another painful massage on my left leg last night, with some post-treatment ice and heat.

All in all, I did just over 18 miles in the last week.  And I feel just as good or better than I have after many recent four to seven mile weeks.  That is very reassuring.

The plan

I have taken Hal Higdon’s Intermediate Half Marathon training plan and customized it for my life schedule (softball, vacations, etc.).  It’s a 12-week program, with five days of running per week.  I’m incredibly excited to actually begin my training, and it feels great to have a goal in mind.  To determine my pace goals for my runs (easy, tempo, HM pace, etc.), I decided on a “target” finish time of 2:00.  Hitting this goal will require an average pace of about 9:09.  I put target in quotes because it’s not going to kill me if I don’t hit this, but it’s something I think is attainable and provides me a good range of doable paces to work with in my training.  I’ll try to have the plan posted here soon, so you can see what’s coming up for this runner.

Thanks for stopping by.  See you out on the road.


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