half-marathon training: Week of Oct 29th

Half-marathon training. I’ve been running for about 40 years now.  Long-term wear and tear led me to an altered gait. Which in turn led to lots of pain when running.  Our PFP running coach, Jake Boyer, managed to correct my gait. My personal trainer and gym co-owner, Tom Duer, gave me exercises to strengthen my weak hip flexors.  Suddenly, running seemed possible again.  It was time to try training for a race!  I had run the Philly Marathon twice before and decided to give the half -marathon a go.

I want to share this PFP running training experience with you all. And I have asked Jake to create a half-marathon training program for me based on my goals (1:45 half, 8:39 min miles) and my estimated fitness level.  After using some fancy formula which I don’t understand, he created a schedule for me. For that schedule and the first few weeks of my training experience, click here.

Week of Oct 29th

* Check the Vdot chart for new paces (we’ll assume a bump up to 43 until this weeks time adjustment)

Monday: 4-mile recovery run (slower than E)

Tuesday: Off running

Wednesday: Specific workout # 4 of 5

  • 10 minute warm up
  • 3 mile progression (Mile 1 @M, mile 2 @M-10 seconds, mile 3 @T) – 2:00 rest
  • 600m @ I pace – 2:00 rest, 400m @ R pace – 400 jog as rest, 200m @ R pace
  • 10 minute cool-down

Thursday: Off running – XT if possible

Friday: Light 20-30 minute XT followed by 4 strides (race prep – at least get these in, preferably wearing the shoes you plan on racing in)

Saturday: Race or time trial + 10 minutes warm up and 10 minutes cool down

Sunday: 9-10.5 mile long run – very slow

VDOT: 43  Paces and abbreviations (in parentheses)  
Easy mileage (E) Marathon pace (M) Threshold (T) Interval (I) Mile RP (R)
9:00-9:21/mile 8:16/mile 7:42/mile 1:46/400m 51/200m, 1:39/400m

Improving and Progressing

So now that my training has progressed, Jake has pumped up my training paces to match my goal of a 1:45 half marathon.  I’ve gradually been able to tolerate running more quickly and so my VDOT (which really means V02 Max – the amount of oxygen that you burn during a minute of running) has increased.  I’m getting stronger thanks to the Jake Monster!  Jake recalculated my new training paces in the above table.   I was excited to try out my new goals.

Wednesday’s half marathon progression run was strong, and I was able to come in under pace for the intervals.  My big challenge came Saturday when I ran a local 5K as a time trial to assess my fitness. I checked with Jake before the run.  I needed to hit 7:22 mile pace for the 3-mile race and most importantly try to be consistent with each mile split.

It was a cold, wet morning. But I was excited and nervous to run.  It had been a while since I had raced!  It was a very small race, and I started out a bit too fast:  7:04 opening mile and I was leading the small group.  I dropped down to a 7:30 mile for mile 2 to try and even out the pace and felt fine.  Mile 3 ended interestingly because I got directed off course!  The biker who was directing our turns had dropped back to guide the other runners and told me: “Just keep going straight.”  I did, right to a set of railroad tracks.

Uh Oh…

I stopped, confused.  The biker finally caught up to me:  I should have turned a block earlier.  By the time he caught me to redirect me, I had to run almost a quarter mile to get back onto the course and lost a lot of time, ending up 4th.  Not sure of my real last mile pace, but overall I was around my goal.  The biggest lesson was keeping myself under control early.  Being a short distance runner, my inclination is to go hard when I feel good.  For a half marathon, it can mean running out of steam early.

Next week will be more half marathon paced runs.  Let’s see what the old legs can do!

Interested in Running or Have Running Concerns?

If you would like to have a PFP running assessment to check your gait or just want to do strength training with a run coach/personal trainer, contact Jake Boyer at  jake@pittsburghfitnessproject.com.  It doesn’t matter your level of running either! Sure Jake can help you with half-marathon training. But he can also help you if you just want to learn to like running! Jake can provide a customized training schedule to help you meet your goals!


My Running and Recovery Story

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