Buffalo Creek Half Marathon Training Plan AND Sharing Some Exciting News!

This is my first week of training for the Buffalo Creek Half Marathon (BCHM from now on because that is just too much to type!), and I have yet to post my training plan. I’m finally getting around to that, and to be honest, it’s the not the most exciting. I tried to make my own plan – I did. I sat down at the kitchen table 3 weeks ago surrounded by planners, calendars, books, printouts, 7 different colored pens and….I just couldn’t do it. Nothing was making sense, or flowing and to be honest, I just didn’t want to do it.
I was so overwhelmed for some reason that making a plan seemed impossible. I decided to go back to the basics and stick with something that I know works. I used Hal Higdon’s beginner half marathon (Novice 1, I think) plan years ago for my first race and since that is my 2nd best half marathon time, I figured that Hal wouldn’t lead me astray this time either. I went back and forth between the Intermediate and Advanced plans and was even going to “merge” them – I loved the idea of doing long runs by time instead of distance but ultimately decided that might not be the best option. I’m on the slower side and if the plan calls for a 2 hour long run I may only get 10 or 11 (at most) miles in. I don’t feel like that’s enough. With the intermediate I’ll get a 12 miler in, and I know I’ll feel much more confident on race day with a 12 miler or 2 under my belt. So, Intermediate it is!! I’m also slightly shifting the plan around so that Saturday will be my long run day (the race is on Saturday, and I have *thing* about doing my long runs on the same day the race will be. Don’t ask.), and Sunday will be a rest day instead of Monday. This doesn’t sound like much, but I hate running on Mondays. For some reason, my body just doesn’t like it. Luckily, Mondays will be easy days so I don’t think it will be too horrible.
This should do

This should do

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ll be doing this all by heart rate so my zone are:
Recovery Runs (Monday): <155 bpm
Repeats (Every other Tuesday): 186-190 bpm
Tempo (Every other Tuesday): 170-178
Medium Pace (Wednesday): 155-160 bpm
Pace Runs (Friday): 170-174
Long Runs (Saturday): 151-164
For the last month or two, I’ve been doing a pretty good job of strength training 3x week and I’m going to do my best to stick with that, but we’ll see.
I have a little something extra going on in the background that will take priority over all of this, though.
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I’M GOING BACK TO SCHOOL!!!! I’ve applied, and been accepted to, Point Park University. I’ll be doing the classes online because I have no desire to go to night classes AND spend 9+ hours every Saturday in a classroom. The online option will give me more freedom and flexibility to continue working full time, and have a little bit of a life. I hope. This will obviously be my first priority and once classes start (August 23rd. I can’t wait!), I’ll have to see how training fits in. If I need to cut back and drop a weekday run then that’s what I’ll do.
I also have a vacation smack dab in the middle of this training cycle AND school that we’ll have to work around but I’ll worry about that when we get there 🙂
Gizmo is not thrilled with the idea. She'd rather sleep on the laptop than let me use it.

Gizmo is not thrilled with the idea. She’d rather sleep on the laptop than let me use it.

Obviously this is a huge step that warrants it’s own post, and once I have my classes scheduled and a better idea of what’s going on I’ll definitely be sharing!

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Planning for the Nittany Valley Half Marathon

Official training for the Nittany Valley Half Marathon NVHM from now own…I’m too lazy to keep typing that out. And I always struggle with spelling’Nittany’, I always think it should be ‘Nittaney’… started Monday and I kicked it off the best way I know how – with a rest day!

Since I usually run Saturdays and Sundays I always like to take Monday as a day to relax and truly rest. It recharges me for the upcoming week of workouts and I love it!

For this 10 week training cycle I decided to wing it and try setting up my own training plan.  I usually take a beginner and intermediate plan and mesh them together – the beginner plans are sometimes too easy and the intermediate plans can be a little too high mileage for this cream puff.  This time, I put on my big girl pants and came up with everything all on my own. What’s been working for me over the last 6-ish weeks of base training is a format of 2 runs during the week, and two runs on the weekend with Mondays as a true rest and the other 2 days  are supposed to be dedicated to strength (key phrase here is supposed to). This has been working out really well except that pesky strength stuff  and I hate to mess with a good thing, so I’m going to see how the first 3 or 4 weeks go and reevaluate if necessary.

Here’s what the week should theoretically look like:

Monday – Rest

Tuesday – Easy Run

Wednesday – Strength

Thursday – Speed (speed work, that is. Not the drug. Drugs are bad, kids. Crack is whack… You get the idea…)

Friday – Strength

Saturday – HILLS (Unfortunately NOT the MTV series. Just good old fashioned inclines. Not the kind that take you to Mount Washington for stunning views of the city, either… I’ll stop now.)

Sunday – Long Run

One thing I’m thinking of doing is adding in a short treadmill run each week, just to help myself get used to them. For some reason, I just can’t seem to run well on them. I feel slow and awkward and all I do is watch the timer. I rarely make it past 3 miles. However, if this coming winter is anything like last year I won’t have any choice but to use one and I should be at least a little prepared. If I can make 5 miles on that thing, I’d be happy.

I haven’t set any firm goals for the race yet…I’m thinking don’t come in dead last is a good place to start!

Do you make your own training plans? What formula or format do you use?