Today marks my first day of training for Rock ‘n’ Roll St. Louis. I’m a week short than most half marathon training programs, simply because I really didn’t want to worry about training while we were on vacation in Branson last week. And, I really feel that it’s important to take some time off between training cycles. You not only need it physically, but mentally as well. It was nice to go out and run and not really worry about my speed or how long or far I was running. In fact, I didn’t even do a long run this past week, but instead slept in while I still had the chance.
So, last week, I talked a little bit about the 3 things I am going to add in to my training plan in order to reach that PR. I am planning on doing the exact same plan that I did for Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago. I amazingly really loved the training plan. The whole concept of Unbreakable Runner (also known as CrossFit Endurance) is running with better form at a cadence that will help you get faster while keeping you injury free. While I wouldn’t say that I came out completely unscathed (I dealt with some tendonitis in my left foot/ankle for a few weeks), I will say that it did help me feel better after each run and ready to run hard only a day or 2 later. Which is honestly exactly what I had been looking for. I’ve been dealing with stupid little injuries on and off since Miles was born (19 months ago) and I was starting to think that I needed to change up my training cycles to give myself more time in between long and hard runs. Instead of a 7 day training cycle, I was starting to think I needed a 10 or 14 day training cycle (microcycle for my fellow run coaches).
However, I just couldn’t wrap my head around it and really wanted to try this program. While I feel it goes pretty much against everything I know as a running coach, for some reason, it just worked for me. I was doing a lot more speed work (2-3 sessions per week) but was also getting a lot more rest, which still keep just about the same mileage (20-30 miles per week). And guess what, I definitely got faster, despite not running a PR.
But, like I said last week, as much as I really liked the training program, those 2 key workouts were definitely missing from my training. Here is how I am incorporating hills + tempo runs into the Unbreakable Runner training plan.
Typically, the breakdown looks something like this:
Monday: easy run or short intervals
Tuesday: easy run or run bias HIIT workout
Wednesday: long intervals
Thursday: tabata sprints
Friday: easy run or HIIT workout
Saturday: long run
For the most part, I will be keeping every workout the same and in the same order. I’m really only going to be changing up HOW I do each workout. First, I’m absolutely going to be hitting my current speeds and paces that I need to be at (which, believe it or not, I had actually been running my easy workouts TOO fast and not worrying about my paces on my intervals – oops!). I have my paces all written down and ready to go and am going to be diligent about hitting those paces.
Instead of doing more of a leg speed workout when it comes to my Tabata sprints, those will be ALL hills. And I’m going to tackle the dang hill that kills me on every single run. You can expect to see me doing repeat after repeat on that hill to break it. I’m no longer going to let it break me! Ha!
And those tempo runs. Honestly, there are NONE in this training program. Yes, the “easy” runs are run at a percentage of your 5K or 10K pace, but I need to start doing more runs AT my half marathon pace. Quite honestly, I had NO idea what a 7:15/mile felt like, so I went into the race completely blind and that killed me. So, those tempo runs are really going to be key. There are several of my long runs that are run as long intervals (2-3 miles at a time) and I plan on doing a lot of those long runs at tempo pace OR do them as a fast finish to get my body used to running at half marathon pace.
[Tweet “My plan to PR at #RNRSTL in October”]
The other things I will be adding in to my training program:
- Heavier weights – after a summer off from weights and doing mostly body weight exercises, I’m ready to get stronger!
- Foam rolling – this will be my Sunday morning routine to get my body recovered from my Saturday long run and prepare it for the week ahead
- Yoga – Oh, how I’ve missed yoga! And thankfully, Beachbody On Demand is adding a 3-Week Yoga Retreat this month – I can’t wait to try it out! I need more flexibility back in my life!
- Hip Circuit – Like I’ve said, this absolutely HAS to be included if I want to stay strong and injury free! (Check out my FREE Hip Circuit for Runners to add to your running routine!)
I’m coming for you 1:35! This is going to be my year – the year of the half marathon – and I’m going to get that PR!