10 Weeks to a Half- Marathon
Whether you’re a treadmill trotter or a road warrior, this training plan will get you across the finish line. Designed by Kim Maxwell, a USA Track and Field coach and personal trainer in Minneapolis-St. Paul, this program won’t make you drop everything for running. You’ll log miles three days a week, cross-train three days a week, and rest the remaining day. The running workouts are focused and efficient, and because they’re limited, your legs and head will stay fresh, making it less likely you’ll become injured or burned out. If you’re a newbie, don’t hesitate to mix walk breaks into your runs (for example, run two to three minutes, then walk 30 to 60 seconds ). “What’s important is that you’re moving forward—it doesn’t matter if it’s walking or running,” says Maxwell. To all runners: Listen to your body. Add an extra rest day or take an additional cross-training day when you need it.
Do 30 minutes. Pick an activity that elevates your heart rate, such as biking, swimming,
power walking, or using the elliptical.
TT: TIME TRIAL
Warm up for one mile, running at a very easy pace. Then time yourself at a comfortably
fast pace (not all out) for two miles.
Note your time and try to beat it at your next time trial.
R&R RUN: REST & RECOVERY RUN
Run three to four miles at an easy pace. Every fourth week will be for recovery—a rejuvenating time to scale back intensity.
INT: INTERVALS, 3.5 MILES
Run one mile easy, then for the next two miles, alternate either one minute of harder effort with one minute of easy recovery jogging or two minutes of harder effort with one minute of
jogging. Cool down with half a mile at an easy pace.
T: TEMPO RUNS, 3–4 MILES
Get ready to pick up the pace (you can talk, but no more than a few words at a time) for a portion of your workout.
Do one mile at your normal pace, then add the tempo somewhere in the middle. Finish at your normal pace.
PUT YOUR BEST FOOT FORWARD
You’ve logged the miles and worked your butt off (or at least tightened it up). Now it’s time to own this thing. Virginia Brophy Achman, executive director of Twin Cities In Motion, a race series in Minneapolis, offers tips to help you start and finish strong.
READ BEFORE YOU RUN. Review
the race materials, whether it’s a participant guide e-mailed to you or details on the race’s website.
When you know in advance where you can drop your gear on race morning, which miles have
water stations, and where the hills are on the course, you’ll feel prepared and relaxed.
OUT WITH THE NEW. “Stick with
your normal routine,” says Brophy Achman. “Don’t wear anything new, and don’t eat
anything different the night before, morning of, or during your race.”
The tried-and true that worked for your training runs is your best bet to help you avoid issues like chafing, blisters, and GI distress.
PICK YOUR PACE.
Line up with people who run at your approximate speed (look for pace signs at bigger races) so you don’t get jostled by or impede speedsters. You may be able to race at a slightly faster pace than you trained at, but don’t expect to suddenly fly.
When in doubt, play it safe and head toward the back of th
CONTROL YOUR INNER RABBIT.
“Going out too fast is the biggest pitfall for any runner,” says Brophy Achman. “It leaves you
without enough gas in your tank to finish strong.”
Adrenaline will fire you up and tempt you to surge ahead. But 13.1 miles is no short trip, so consciously try to slow your roll.
RUN YOUR OWN RACE. If the race
is chip timed (you have a little electronic doodad on the back of your race number or attached to your shoelaces), you’ll get your accurate net time—how long it takes you to go from start to finish.
So even if you’re in the Porta-Potty when the starting gun goes off, your clock doesn’t begin ticking until you cross the starting line.
Don’t come to a sudden halt at a water stop—you’ll cause a pileup behind you, plus your muscles will stiffen. Instead, run to the second or third table (to avoid the crowds hitting
the very first one).
Listen to what the volunteers are yelling (like “water” versus “Gatorade”), and point at a
volunteer to let him know you’re coming in for one of his cups. Then walk as you sip.
TREK ON. After
you cross the finish, you’re spent, yes, but sitting down immediately will hurt your recovery. Stroll along slowly to let your heart rate and blood flow regulate as you refuel and revelin what you’ve just accomplished.
All Fitness ___ 10 Weeks to a Half- Marathon