Sunday, August 19, 2012

Half-Marathon Training: Week 2 + Update

Last Week
Last week was a bit of a bust as far as my half-marathon training went, but it was a lot of fun. Sunday to Tuesday, my boyfriend and I rented a car and drove 1.5 hours north of the city to the lovely Buttermilk Falls Inn and Spa. It was a wonderful birthday trip!
Our adorable rental Fiat
The Inn had a working farm that provided most of the fruit, veggies, and eggs for breakfast, afternoon tea, and dinner. I definitely indulged in their tea time goodies and devoured many pieces of fresh, delicious fruit. We also had an amazing dinner at the restaurant the Inn ran, Henry's Farm to Table Restaurant.
The Inn's restaurant
The property had several trails around the farm, down to the river, etc., that we walked our dog along every day (did I mention it was dog-friendly??).
Mason meeting a donkey
Besides eating our way through the farm, we also did some shopping at the Woodbury Commons Premium Outlets for some fall clothes, I got a pedicure at the Inn's Spa (loving my purple toenails), and did the Walkway Over the Hudson, a large pedestrian bridge that spans the entire Hudson near Poughkeepsie.
The bridge used to be the main railway across the Hudson, connecting the Western part of the U.S. with the Northeast 
Unfortunately, I also got sick while we were away, so I spent Sunday to Wednesday battling a nasty head cold. Lots of sleep and liquids and a community hot power yoga class at Pure Yoga West seemed to clear it up, however, and after a super kick-ass beginner class with Physique 57 founder Tanya Becker on Thursday morning, I was ready to hop back into training. Woot!

Back to Half-Marathon Training!
I haven't really talked about the plan I'm using for training for my half-marathon on October 14. My trainer, Amanda, sent me a plan to guide my training that I tweaked to fit my own goals and time commitments.

The basic parts of each week's longer race training are:
3 “short” runs
These runs should be roughly 1/3 to 1/2 of the distance your long run is.

As your long run gets longer (say, over 10 miles), two of the short runs should be more like 1/3 of your long run distance, and one should be closer to 1/2. So for the week you run 12 miles, two short runs would be 4 miles and one would be 6 miles.

In the last week and a half, these should be even shorter, so closer to 1/4 of the total distance.

1 long run
The long run should start at the furthest distance you can comfortably run and then add 1 mile each week until two weeks before the half-marathon.

Then, in the week before the race, do your short runs but no long run so your body is ready for the half-marathon.

The long run is the best way to tell how long you need to train for a race. You can count back, subtracting one mile from the race distance each week, to figure out when to start training, making sure to keep the week before the race as a “rest” week.

1 hill run
Hill work is important to building up your endurance since most races do not take place on a totally flat course (unless you’re in Chicago, in which case you’re really lucky).

Start by going up a large hill 2-3 times and try to work up to 4-5 times by the end of your training.

Cross training is extremely important to preventing injuries when running. It can consist of cycling, swimming, strength training, etc.

For me, I normally plan on taking either a strength and cardio class or doing a strength workout consisting of squats, push ups, lunges, planks, and other full body strengthening exercises.

A rest day is super important for allowing your body to recuperate. Make sure there is at least one a week. This doesn’t mean you have to be totally inactive, but nothing that’s very hard on your body should be done. I like to schedule a yoga class for my rest day.

This Week
Here's what I hope to accomplish this week:

Rest (STRONG class at Strala Yoga)
X-training (strength workout)

Run (4 mi) + possible yoga class

X-training (Physique 57 class)

Hill run (3x up Cat or Harlem Hill in Central Park)
Run (3 mi) + X training (strength workout)
Long run (8 mi)

If my foot stays painful (it may be tendinitis -- I'm just trying to ice and stretch it, while taking ibuprofen to keep the swelling down), then I may replace the Tuesday run with a spinning class. 

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