Monday, March 19, 2012

Training secrets for the Reggae Runners Half Marathon Challenge

Court and Andrew with me in Negril, at Reggae Marathon,  December 2011
Now I've done it!  I opened my big mouth and accepted the challenge to race with 2 other runners on May 6.  Dan Cumming, Larry Savitch and I are running individual races and have a 21 year age spread separating us.  But through 'age-adjusted' timing, we'll be competing head-to-head.  So instead of taking it easy at the May 6 Goodlife Fitness Toronto Half Marathon I'm actually going to have to 'race'.  Here's my secret training plan guaranteed to propel me to the top:
  • Running Stairs.  Once a week for the next 4 weeks or so I have scheduled a session on a set of stairs near home.  I plan to run repeats (run up, walk down) starting with 10 sets and working up to about 20.  I hope to build leg strength so that I can push harder in the closing stages of the Half Marathon.
  • Speed work.  Two sessions each week up until the week before the half marathon.  My plan is to keep these to about 6 km each but include 4 sets of approximately 200 metres done at a significantly faster pace with a slower recovery in between.  It won't be the most scientific but hopefully it will give me the speed I need to run the second half faster than the first (the notorious 'Negative Split')
  • Tempo runs. Again, two sessions each week of about 6 km each running at a 'near race' pace.  This should help the breathing and oxygen intake.
  • Long Slow Distance runs.  Once a week on the weekend I plan a 'long run' to get up to my half marathon target time of 1:55.  I actually plan to exceed that time for my training runs since it is a 'little bit' optimistic.  
  • Rest days.  One day off for now but will work up to 2 each week for the month before May 6.
I'm still running in the 'natural-style' in my Puma Faas 500's as well. I still love their minimalist approach;  the fit for my fairly wide feet are excellent.  

The real key to all of this is to stay healthy and injury-free. Unfortunately I had a little setback this past weekend with a nasty flare-up of the plantar fasciitis in my right foot.  Nothing that a few days of rest won't cure so don't get your hopes up Larry and Dan even though you now know my 'secrets'.  I'll be back to training later this week.

Oh, one more thing:  I have to loose a 'little weight'.  Dam, there go those salty snacks!

Until next time...


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