Half Marathon training mumbo jumbo

So, my buddy Jaqueline and I have been excellent runners in training this week. We got together both Monday and and tonight to do our scheduled easy runs. We then have a group speed workout tomorrow night, and then Sunday it’s long run numero dos – 7 miles.

And a funny thing happened. See, on Sunday we averaged a 12:00 pace over the 6 miles. On Monday night, we also averaged 12, and we did take one walk break. Tonight we ran easy again, and averaged 11:00, no walk breaks (had to pause for a car for a second though). But really, it was kind of cool to see the difference of the easy run on tired legs and fresher legs!

Then that got us to thinking about what pace we SHOULD be going at to reach our goals. My A goal for a half marathon is currently 2:11, which is a 10:00/mile pace. (my previous PR is 2:17, so it’s a tough goal but shouldn’t be unreachable eventually). It also got us questioning whether easy run pace and long run pace are the same?

So I turned to Runner’s World Smart Coach. I built a 10 week half marathon training program using my current PR of 2:17 and it popped out the following paces:

Long run: 11:49/mi (first 4 weeks), 11:41/mi (second 4 weeks), and 11:34/mi (last long run before race)
Easy run: 11:49/mi (first 4 weeks), 11:41/mi (second 4 weeks), and 11:34/mi (last week before last long run), 11:49/mi (week of the race)

So they’re the same! Interesting.

Also something to note: tempo paces ranged 10:10 – 10:16 pace, speedwork was funky, and it projects a finish time of 2:14, a 10:15/mi pace.

So with a little tweaking, I adjusted it to get the training times where it would project my goal time of 2:11. Here’s the deets:

Long runs and easy runs: 11:30/mi (weeks 1-4), 11:23/mi (weeks 5-8), 11:16/mi (week 9), 11:30 (week 10), Half-Marathon @9:56, Time: 2:10:20

Soooooo, it looks like I need to step up my long run game a little bit, from the 12:00 pace to an 11:30. I’ll trust Fleet Feet’s speedwork to compare to their speedwork. At least I have an idea of what I’m dealing with. And I’m not too far off, so that’s good. In fact, tonight’s easy run was too fast!

In other news, know what else Jaqueline and I did? Joined a triathlon club. It’s called Mad Cows Racing, and it came with this awesome shirt:

You’re jealous. Admit it.

Plus we get the side benefit of being able to MOO in races now. Bonus.

So yeah, it’s time to start thinking about triathlon season. I’m not sure what I’m planning on doing quite yet, I’ve got a ton of possibilities swirling around in my head. But for now, some more training buddies nearer by is always a good thing. And there may be some open water swimming in the freezing lake this weekend. Stay tuned.

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