The 12-Week Plan

Every training plan is different, with different recommendations for cross training, hill training, and interval training. All of those elements are integral, but on the most basic level, I’ll be following this schedule from halfmarathons.net:

Screen shot 2014-02-09 at 11.22.15 PM

I know. It looks torturously fun to me too.

I hope to follow this plan rather rigidly except my rest days will be Tuesdays and Fridays (because I find Mondays weirdly invigorating). To keep me on track, I will be training once or twice a week with the Steel City Road Runner’s Club which meets Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. I will also use a virtual running coach, who will evaluate me based on my exercise level and help me better train based on my specific needs (I feel like this is the type of training the Jetson’s would employ).

In order to cross train — or include multiple types of exercise into my workout to keep my body healthy and safe — I plan to take a yoga class a week and to do one of the following alternative exercises: biking, swimming, elliptical-ing, or resistance training.

I also plan on slightly increasing my protein intake to supplement my new levels of exercise and watching my diet to ensure I am eating the right foods to keep me healthy.

My dad, who has run several marathons in the past including Pittsburgh’s and will run the half-marathon with me, reiterated several points about half-marathon training I wanted to share (he claims he knows it will help me since we share genetics, but I’m going to take a leap of faith and assume it will help you too):

–Never skip your weekly long run. Your long runs are essential to teach your body endurance, to make sure your joints are prepared for many miles, and to train your body to burn more than just glucose.

–Never skip your weekly interval training. Interval training — where you work very intensely for a short period of time, rest for a short time, then have a short burst of intensity again, rest, repeat — is essential to teach your body how to use oxygen more efficiently. To interval train, run sprints, hills, or suicides (all of which sound dreadful in my opinion).

If you have any thoughts on my training program, tips, or comments, please leave them below. I welcome the help. (Or, you know, if you want to do it for me, let me know. Just kidding. Kind of.)

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