January’s Half-Marathon Training Plan

A few days ago, I teased this post explaining that I make a half-marathon training plan. And according to my Half-Marathon Shopping post, my first half for the year is in April. In order to maximize my training time (and because I’m a planning freak) I created a half marathon training plan that takes me up to the race in April.

So here’s a snapshot of January’s plan (which needs to be updated):

Looks confusing, doesn’t it? I’ll try to explain it 🙂

The top lines with purple backgrounds and numbers (highlighted in red below) are the calendar dates. This is modeled after a normal calendar, but it’s a little different for my January month because I didn’t start planning until the 6th 🙂 But from February moving forward, you’ll see the entire month.
And notice that the at the bottom right-hand corner, still in the red highlighted boxes, the background color is a shade of blue. This is when February starts. February has it’s own block like this one for January. I’m sure you’ll see it sometime in February 🙂



In this next image, highlighted in the red boxes are the estimated miles I need to run in order to be ready for my first half in April. For example, on Monday, January 7, my goal was 3 miles. 


For the most part, each week what I try to do is a medium-length run of 5 miles, with a speed run of 3 miles, then a long run. But sometimes this depends on the commitments I have to do that week. For example, if I know I’ll be out of town for three days, I’ll lower the estimated distance.At the end of each highlighted row, the boxes with the purple background color are my total estimated miles that week.

In the final image, highlighted in the red boxes are the actual distances I ran on the specific days I ran them. So, for example, on Monday, January 7th, I ran 3 miles.


On the hard-copy of my running plan, I write in each of these miles, but I also document it on my computer so I can refer back to it someday. Of course, my goal is to meet or exceed the numbers set in my estimated distance fields.

It really helps me to have a solid plan like this in place, especially if it’s one that I’ve created myself. Having a plan holds me accountable to workout. I love being able to actually SEE my goal distance, and know that that distance is what I need to run – no excuses.

I also post my running plan for each month on the refrigerator so I can conveniently see it, but others can too. I would hate for someone to come over to my house and see that my goal for the day was 10 miles, but I only ran 3! That’s what drives me to keep going, even during the hard runs!

When I’m not training for a race, though, I don’t use a running plan. I do try to get in a medium-length run, a speed run and a long run each week, but I tend to be more lenient and leisurely towards my workouts.



Do you use a running plan when you’re training for a race?

What is a typical training week for you?

What do you use to hold you accountable for your runs, if anything?


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