We all remember how badly my Disney half training went, right? I resolved to train properly for my second half!
My training plan was mostly based on the training plan provided by the East Nasty group, with a few things moved around to work with my schedule and some added goal pace runs towards the end.
The plan called for approximately 318 miles of running, and I am happy to say that I ran 297 of them. Those that I didn’t were for good reasons, like needing extra recovery days to insure that I didn’t get injured, and not just because I was lazy. (Well, perhaps with the exception of the 15k progressive run that I cut short by 7 miles because it was hot and the gym was closed. That’s not really a good reason, but it was two weeks before the race and wouldn’t have increased my fitness on race day anyhow.)
I loved all my speed workouts. Yes, they were hard, but I felt so accomplished when I was done with them! Even when I was the last one getting done on the track. And clearly my speed work paid off, since I PRed in the 5k during this training as well, even when I wasn’t planning to.
I’m glad that I did one run that was at or longer than race distance. It showed me that I was capable of beating what was (at the time) my goal time!
Speaking of goals, when I created this training plan last fall/winter, I created it with a 2:30 goal in mind. Which is why goal pace was around 11:30 min/mi. Then after the terrible training for the Disney race, I decided I didn’t have a time goal at all; I just wanted to finish. Around the time of the Hot Chocolate 15k, I had changed that to say 2:45 was my goal time for this half. But then I bettered that in training. So I ultimately ended up with my top goal being what my training plan was designed for: 2 hours and 30 minutes.
One thing I definitely will do in future training plans is to run a lot of miles at goal pace as the race gets closer. I think this probably helped more than anything. Most of my runs, including my easy runs, were being run at goal pace in the last 3-4 weeks before the race. This made goal pace feel like my new easy pace and made it a breeze to run at on race day! It also helped to run shorter and faster races in training. I do like racing and the faster paces made my half pace seem even easier.
Honestly, I can’t think of anything I could have done differently, which makes this training a huge success! Which should be obvious, since I beat my goal time by 2-3 minutes!