So, now that I have a marathon scheduled late in the season, I am happy to sign up to a half marathon or two on my way there. A PR in the half is this close and I determined to make it happen! I just need to slice 5 seconds and I promise I’ll be happy forever!
And with that, let me announce… I am running the NEWPORT HALF MARATHON!!!
When: Sunday, September 18th, 2016. Racers take their mark at 8:30 a.m.
Where: 100 Town Square Place, Jersey City, NJ 07310. Click here for directions
Logistics: Bag check is offered (limited to one bag per runner). All runners will receive medals at the end of the race. Packet pickup will take place from 6:30 to 8:15 am in Newport Town Square, 100 Town Square Place, Jersey City. Free parking is available in the North Garage at 561 Washington Blvd. (Enter on Washington Boulevard, see parking information in Directions). No Headphones. No Baby Joggers. THERE IS RACE DAY REGISTRATION.
NOW… LET’S GET READY…
If you’re doing your FIRST HALF this Fall, make sure you get the basics covered:
– Consistent training, don’t skip workouts
– At least one speed workout a week. It could be 800s, mile repeats, or a good tempo run! FUN!
– Do at least a 5K or a 10K (better!) before the half so you practice racing (aka: pacing, hydration, pre-race fueling, race day gear, etc.) and know exactly where you are, fitness-wise. And, race rehearsal is super important!
– At least one long run every week. Doesn’t have to be long long but at least get up to anything from 7-8 miles to 15-16 a couple of times.
Now, if you’ve done a FEW HALFS and now you want to get faster… how do we do that??? that’s the tricky part… besides all those points above:
– speed workouts twice a week if you can handle them. Maybe do intervals mid week (800s, mile repeats, hill sprints) and a tempo with a few more miles after (to simulate a longish/hard run) on the weekend.
– practice race pace but not more than 4-5 miles.
– practice pacing, maybe you can do your tempos as a ladder (where each mile is faster than the last one)
– practice patience, the half is such a waiting game. You can’t go all out from the start and you need to learn to hold your horses: do a few races to practice this.
– DRILLS, at least twice a week! Here’s a good guide to learn. It’ll improve your form and it’ll help you keep going on the later miles of the half.
And then, set an appropriate goal. Nothing too easy or you won’t be motivated, and nothing too hard that will crush you while trying. This is also really hard to do, as we have to learn to be realistic and humble. But that’s the good thing about running, right? It keep us honest (and fit!!).
So, I’ll be adjusting my training a bit because I am also doing a full marathon this year, just a couple of months after the half.
CONSISTENCY + ENDURANCE + SPEED are the main ingredients to a bulletproof half marathon training program. You have to do enough miles to build a great endurance base (whatever that number is for you) and throw in as many speed workouts as your body can handle without falling apart. Periodization is Key. Sit dow and plan this out in 7 or 10 days periods to have a good idea of what’s ahead and where you’re resting. DO NOT SKIP RESTING.
These are the workouts I usually do, in a period of 7 to 10 days depending on the workout.
LONG RUNS: Anything from 10 to 16 miles. Pace can be easy, or progressive, or you can add a few race pace miles in the middle or end. For example, on the last 3-4 weeks before the race, you can add 3 to 6 miles at the end at the projected pace.
TEMPOS: As uncomfortable as they can be, tempos are the bread and butter of a half marathon training! A tempo can workout to be anything from 3 to 6 miles. Or less when you’re’ starting out, or more if you’re more advanced. Pace should be around your 10K to half marathon pace. you’ll have to adjust based on your level and where you are in the training program. After a few weeks, add a Progression tempo: start at race pace and drop 10 seconds per mile.
- Long Intervals: 2×2 miles at goal pace, with 4 minutes recovery jog in the middle. After a few weeks, updgrade to 2×3 at goal pace miles and then to 3×3 miles at goal pace, both with 3 minutes recovery jog in the middle.
- Mile Repeats: Start with 3 x 1 mile at 10K pace with 90 seconds rest. After a few weeks, you can upgrade to 4 or 5 x 1 mile at 10 seconds pace with 60 seconds rest. Eventually, you can do up to 6 x 1 mile, 2 weeks before the race.
- Hill Repeats! Hill intervals are speedwork in disguise, right? Go do them. Find a hill you can climb, time yourself, and do it a few times. Jog down as a recovery. The slower your recovery, the faster you’ll go up in your next climb.
- Yasso 800s. Basically: you run the 800 meters as fast as possible and then jog for recovery in the same amount of time it took to run the 800 meters Maybe start with 4 to 6 reps and build up to 10.
Of course make sure you warm up thoroughly before, do some drills and loosen up. And REST. you need time to recover so I usually like to have an easy week (where it’s just half the mileage and no hard workouts) every 4 weeks.
I am excited!! What’s your next goal race??? AND… who is doing the Newport Liberty Half Marathon with me?