Half Marathon Training: Week 1

I just love training for a race, don’t you? I love making out the schedule, checking off the workouts, and just having that sense of purpose — the feeling that all my miles are adding up to something. Last time I trained for a half, I kept track of my progress every week here on the blog, so I thought I’d do that again this time. I’ll be posting these every Monday. This is mostly for me, but hopefully my fellow runners will find something of interest here — if not, no worries.

Regarding the shoulder rehab I mention below, I’ve had an injury bothering me off and on since summer — something that I think started in my weights class. I was really worried lately, since it wasn’t improving and may have been getting worse, that I may wind up needing surgery. Luckily, my doctor doesn’t think that I do. It seems to be bicep tendonitis, and I’ll be working on rehabbing it at home to start with. Luckily it doesn’t interfere with my running, but I do have to modify certain moves in my other workouts. Fair enough.

So here’s how the week went:

Monday: Rest. I had no idea at this point that I was about to start training for a race. In the future, these will usually be cross-training days. On this particular Monday, I had my shoulder and back checked out at the doctor and got prescribed some rehab exercises for each.

Tuesday: Rest-ish. Shoulder & back rehab plus a 4-mile walk. My back was back to normal by the end of the day, which is what allowed me to get out the door on that walk.

Wednesday: Cross Training. I did two Betty Rocker workouts, one of which was a full-body tabata-style workout and the other focused specifically on the lower body.

Thursday: Tempo Run, 3 Miles. I wrote more about this workout the other day. In brief, my prescribed pace was 9:00-9:15, so I dialed in 9:05 on the treadmill and just stayed there. The distance for these runs doesn’t include warm-up or cool-down miles, so my total distance was a little over 4 miles for the day.

Friday: Cross Training. I did two Betty Rocker workouts plus a 4-mile walk. The BR workouts were one yoga (20 sun salutations) and one core, which was an interval workout that had both cardio and strength moves. I also did my shoulder rehab.

Saturday: Long Run, 6 Miles. The FIRST plan’s target pace for this workout, based on my race goal, is 9:45-10:00. I set up the virtual pacer on my new Garmin and went for it. It definitely felt like a bit more work than I thought it should, but nonetheless I totally nailed my pace at an average of 9:52. Splits were 10:06, 9:37, 9:58, 9:42, 9:56, 9:53. Totally happy with that.

Sunday: Rest + Shoulder Rehab. I had a couple of Betty Rocker workouts I could have done, but I had a tight, sore calf (surely from some of her previous stuff — her workouts tear UP my legs), so I rested instead. Monday (today), week two starts with cross training, so Betty and I will have our chance.

Looking ahead to the coming week, I’ll have my first real speed workout tomorrow (4x400s). I’d love to just head to the gym and dial in a pace on the treadmill, but I don’t think that’s what the authors of the training plan have in mind. I could go to a track, but…well…for some reason, I’m dreading that. We’ll see. Wish me luck!

Note on the header photo: this is my in-laws’ farm, seen from  the very long, straight road I ran on while visiting over the holidays. The runs were more fun than you’d think.

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