Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Quest for the Perfect Half Marathon Training Plan

I was in the Running Room the other night buying a new shirt when I happened to glance at their calendar for their clinics. The Half Marathon clinic, with the Ottawa Race Weekend HM as the goal race, starts February 2nd. I'd banked on having until early March to work on my mileage and frequency. February 2nd would really throw a kink in my plans. Heck, it's the day after I get back from Hawaii. So naturally, I started freaking out. I hadn't planned on a 16+ week training plan.

I'd looked at a few HM training plans a few months back but hadn't found any that I liked. Some were too easy, others used minutes instead of miles or kilometres. Most cap the long run at 10 miles and I'm not comfortable racing a distance I've never completed in training.

On the other hand, a lot of plans were too intense with 4 straight days of running a week. I knew I'd end up injured instead of actually racing. Other plans used the walk/run method, which has been hugely successful for some people, but it's not my cup of tea.

I know I could've just altered the plans, jumped in at a convenient place in the plan... but there would've been a lot of adjustments. So, I continued searching for this elusive plan and today I finally found a plan I like! It's Ryan Hall's Half-Marathon Training Plan from RunnersWorld. The short plan weekly mileage is right where I'm going to be when I'm ready to start training. There are 3 rest days a week and no more than two runs in a row. It takes me above the half marathon distance in training, which will relieve a lot of the race day pressure.

It's perfect. Now I can rest easy, as it's a 10-week plan. No February 2nd start. I get a couple more weeks to maintain my mileage before I jump into this plan.

Oh and as for the shirt, I got it on clearance for $30 instead of $90. Score!

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