As many of you know, Isaac and I are currently training for a half marathon we are running this March in San Antonio. This is our second half to run and I have loved getting to actually train with him this time around. The first half marathon we ran was a few years ago for our 3rd dating anniversary. We lived in separate cities and did most of our training on our own. And by our training, I mean I did most of my training. Because of his busy schedule and lack of having an incessant training partner making him run, Isaac’s training was a bit more sporadic. Now, lucky for him, I am a stickler for schedules and rules, and if our schedule says “run today” we’ll get that run in if I can help it… even if it means dragging him out of bed at 4:30 in the morning to fit in a run before school!
Before we got married we tossed around the idea of running another half marathon for a while, but it wasn’t until life started settling down for us that we gave it some serious thought. We started searching for upcoming races and stumbled upon the Alamo 13.1. It’s a race that starts and finishes at the Alamo in San Antonio, goes by the SA Zoo, through the Riverwalk and everywhere in between. I was PUMPED when I started reading about it because San Antonio is one of my favorite cities to visit. And best of all, the race fell on the last weekend of our Spring Break so that meant we will get to stay a few days in the city, do some sight-seeing and run the race on Sunday before we leave (a car ride I’m not looking forward to!).
When we decided this was the race we wanted to run, Isaac and I sat down to plan out the next few months of training. One of the biggest points of contention between mine and Isaac’s running preferences is that I prefer a slow, steady pace while he really likes speed work and sprints. I have always disliked sprinting… Speed days were the only days I hated when running cross country in high school and once I graduated, I stayed away from them like the plague. So naturally, there was some conflict when it came to deciding on what program to follow (but don’t worry… We ended up finding something that fit both of our running styles).
We had a little over 6 months to get into shape before our half marathon and at that point in time, we were WAY out of shape. In order to slowly build up to running the distance and pace that we wanted, Isaac and I decided to do a Couch to 10K plan for 8 weeks, a speed training program for 7 weeks and then an intermediate half marathon program for the last 12 weeks.
The Couch to 10K program we followed was one created by Hal Higdon. We followed it very closely, and on our last run of the 8 weeks, we ran our 6 miles in 52:46- a BIG improvement from where we started! It was a great program to use to get back into running, build our strength and stamina and establish the discipline needed to commit to a program. I loved that he built in stretch and strengthen days and that it was very doable even for week days. We rarely had an excuse for why we couldn’t work out!
Now the speed training is an entirely different story. The day we ran those last 6 miles of our previous program I came down with strep throat and a cold. I was out of commission for a good 2 weeks. Then it was Thanksgiving, Christmas and next thing we knew we had only a week left of our speed training program (which we really never started. We just kept saying we would start). We tried to keep up our running, but motivation was low and we were so busy that we let it go. My bad attitude towards speed work probably didn’t help the case either. The plan we WERE going to follow was the UpRise Fit 8 week speed program. It looks intense, and I know we’ll probably give it another shot when we start training for our next race.
So now, here we are! We’ve been slowly working on our times and are back to where we were at the end of or 10K program (YAY!). I love the training program we’re following now because it has a good mix of strength, distance and speed training that keeps things interesting and allows for flexibility due to our schedule. We took Hal Higdon’s Half Marathon Training Guide Intermediate Program and tweaked it a bit to fit our schedules and our running preferences. I’ve attached our adapted version below!
You can access the full sized version here.
Are you training for any upcoming races? If so, tell me about it in the comments below!