May. 23rd, 2011

tehuti: (Running Wolf)
For those of you that aren't on my Facebook, for whatever reason, you may be unaware that I have signed up for my first half marathon. I'll be running in the Rock n' Roll Half Marathon in Providence on August 7, 2011. It was Aimee's idea, so of course she is running it as well.

Last week was my first week of training for the half marathon. A half marathon is 13.1 miles, or slightly more than 20k. The longest distance I've ever run is 10k, which I did at the Bridge of Flowers Run last summer. Aimee and I ran it in slightly more than one hour. The training program we are using is a 12 week build up to race day.

For the next twelve weeks, I'm going to update my progress here. Mostly, it's for my own memory. I want a way to track how I am feeling, in addition to how I am doing. For the nuts and bolts of the training, I'm using RunKeeper. It's an app and website, little different from the multitude out there for runners and fitness buffs. The reason I'm using this one, as opposed to any other, is simple. This one offers FourSquare badges, and I'm a sucker for those! If you are a runner or track your workouts somehow, and use RunKeeper, let me know and we'll link up there.

The first week went quite well. Here was the schedule:

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 2 mi
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 2.5 mi
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 3 mi
Sunday: 20-30 min EZ run or cross-train

None of the distances were particularly difficult, so I jumped them up a little. I did the Tuesday run on the treadmill, going for speed. 2 Miles, 19:22 minutes, 9:41 per mile. My normal pace is around 12:30 minutes, so running almost three minutes faster than that was a challenge. I was a bit sore the next day, but not so bad that I missed Thursday's run.

The weather broke that day, so I was able to get back outside. 2.56 miles, 28:20 minutes, 11:07 per mile. The training calls for you to run faster than race pace on the weekly "short runs", to build stamina. Aimee and I are planning to run the half marathon at about 12:30 per mile, so this pace qualified. Later on in the program, the weekly runs really will be shorter than the long weekend one.

Saturday I did 3.11 miles, 39:12 minutes, 12:37 per mile average. The long run is supposed to be at race pace, so your body gets used to how it feels. I have run considerably faster than that in the past, and anticipate getting back to those times on the "short runs" as the summer progresses. One of my New Year's resolutions was to break 30 minutes for a 5k, so I'll definitely be keeping that in mind as I train this summer.

Sunday was a cross training day. The idea is to do something other than run, or go on an easy run, at slower than race pace. I took it as an opportunity to get the bike out for the first time this year. 4.48 miles, 24:35 minutes, 5:29 average pace. At the three mile mark, my phone told me my pace and distance. It occurred to me that, at some of the 5k races I've been to, the winners RAN as fast as I was pedaling.

Physically, I held up pretty well. My legs are a bit sore, but that is to be expected. My feet are good so far, and my hamstrings and Achilles are a little tight. I'm concerned about how my legs will hold up, but so far so good. My lower back is also a little tweaked, but nothing I'm overly concerned about now.

Overall, good first week.

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