My 2016 NYC Half Marathon Training Plan

NYC Half Marathon training plan

Sunday morning, I spent a few hours developing my half marathon training schedule in preparation for the NYC Half on March 20th.  Instead of working with a formal coach, I decided to invest the time and research to create my own training plan, leveraging the knowledge I’ve gained over the years.  I found the experience to be very enlightening and also served as a good confidence builder, as it allowed me to reflect on how much I’ve grown as a runner.  I spent time comparing my half marathon and marathon plans from the past few years along with training recaps from the recent months when I felt my strongest.  Who knows whether I’ll be thankful for this choice in a few weeks, but for now, I’m happy that I took the time and effort to personally create the plan. Even though I am not working with a formal run group or coach, I know that there is plenty of support thanks to the social media community.

What you’ll notice over the next three months, is that I am only going to run three days per week. Since my body has reacted positively to the mix of running, yoga and strength training I’ve incorporated into my routine thanks to ClassPass, I want to continue this even during half marathon training.

Over the next eleven weeks, my calendar includes the following workouts each week:

  • 3 runs (1 speed/hills, 1 long, 1 mid-distance with hills)
  • 2 strength training workouts
  • 1-2 yoga/Pilates/barre classes

If you do the quick math, this equals 6-7 workouts each week.  The number of workouts a person can manage and tolerate is very personal. I perform best as an employee, friend, wife, daughter and blogger when I have the positive endorphins and energy that workouts provide. However, even though this shows 6-7 workouts each week, my goal is to still have one day each week that is a complete rest day. Therefore, there will likely be one day per week, most likely a run day, where I finish the day with an evening yoga class. My body and mind both respond very well to yoga and therefore I don’t want to limit the number of classes I can take per week. However, I will limit the number of power yoga classes and ensure that I include restorative classes in my practice as well.

My weekly speed/hill runs will primarily take place at Mile High Run Club. The seven classes I’ve taken at Mile High have convinced me that the treadmill can be a powerful training tool and not a dreadmill, when used properly. The upbeat music, neon lights, inspiring and motivating run coaches like Jes Woods as well as the diverse and challenging workouts have helped me realize the potential I have as a runner when I can push through the mental barriers. If you haven’t had the opportunity to visit one of Mile High’s two locations in New York City, you can bring their workout to your own treadmill using this exclusive workout which was created for Shape Magazine.

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My mid-distance runs and long runs will primarily take place in Prospect Park as it is only a mile from our apartment and the 3.68 mile loop includes plenty of rolling hills as well as gorgeous scenery and perfect dog watching. If any of my running friends want to head out to Prospect Park for a run and brunch, let me know. It can provide a nice change of scenery if you’re tired of Central Park loops or running down the West Side Highway.

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Your turn: What are your thoughts or input? Like I said, I created the plan myself but am always open to suggestions or input! 

*As I mentioned, I am not a personal trainer nor a certified run coach. Therefore, I am providing this information to you based on my experience and suggest that you consult and expert before starting any new training plan. 

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2015 Savannah Rock’n’Roll Half Marathon Recap – The Short Version

Going into Saturday’s half marathon, my goals were simple: leave everything on the course in hopes of breaking the elusive sub-2 hour half marathon and help my mom and aunt finish their first and second half marathons.

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I spent the week leading up to the Rock’n’Roll Savannah Half Marathon tapering like a seasoned pro. I slept an average of eight hours each night, I hydrated, I ate well, I practiced some gentle yoga, I put together a great pump-up playlist, and I prepared my mind for a great race.

If you want the abbreviated, short version of how the race went down, here is what you need to know as well as a few pictures:

  • The temperatures during the race hovered around 80 degrees with 99% humidity.
  • Due to conditions, I abandon my PR goal at mile 5.7 when my pace went from a solid 9:01 avg to 9:40 due to conditions.
  • My dad and brother were incredible cheerleaders, along with what felt like most of Savannah, and supported us five times along the course! 
  • My mom, aunt and I all finished the half marathon together while Bo pushed forward and ran the 13.1 miles.
  • The race organization and experience was wonderful and Rock’n’Roll continues to impress me though only half the course was in what I’d consider “gorgeous, downtown Savannah.”
  • Due to conditions, the marathon course was closed if you had not reached a certain point by 9:35 AM.
  • This was a smart decision as there were two deaths and hundreds of medical issues for both the half and full marathon. (News articles can be found here and here
  • The word that best describes this year’s running journey is FRIENDS. The majority of this year’s races have become more about spending time with friends (Yes, I consider my mom and aunt to be friends, just ask anyone who knows me well!) and helping others complete a race than toeing the starting line and pushing for a number on the clock. I do not regret this decision and am thankful for the experiences I’ve had. There is always another day for that number on the clock but how often can you run with friends in multiple countries, states and races?

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Now, if you want to read the longer version, come back later. Between work and life, this recap has taken longer to type than expected!

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A PR-Worthy Half Marathon Playlist

half marathon playlist

While I have no music ability whatsoever and am 100% tone deaf, I do believe in the power of music. Music can transform a dark hour-long spin class into a dance party or a dreaded treadmill run into the most invigorating part of your day.

Over the past year, I’ve become far less dependent on music as many of my training runs or workouts have been with Bo or other friends. The miles fly by as we catch up on life and talk about upcoming plans.

Fast forward to race day, when I have two hours of running ahead of me, and nothing to take my mind off the miles or the deep breathing that is about to begin. In certain races, this is fine. Focusing on the gorgeous scenery and just having Kristine’s company was more than enough to get me through the hills of Nike San Francisco Half Marathon. But, in order to push through the “pain cave” or mentally hard moments of Saturday’s PR attempt, I know that I need a perfect playlist. I need some hard-core rap that makes me feel tough, I need some Whitney Houston and boy band music that will make me want to dance and I’ll need some fast, upbeat songs to help me push my tempo and pace towards the end.

So, with that being said, here is my playlist for Saturday’s half marathon. At three hours in length, it is far longer than I’ll need, but perfectly long for the pre-dawn to the race start and a pre-race pump up while I go through my dynamic stretches and warm-up. It is a mix of everything from Adele’s soon to be overplayed hit to NSYNC. Come Saturday at 7 AM this playlist will be placed on random and the work will begin.

While I can’t predict the outcome of the race, I know that I have an awesome half marathon playlist that has made me break out in dance moves more than once tonight and will bring a smile to my face during the hardest miles on Saturday. It’s been ages since I was this excited to run alone!

If you want to open this playlist in your Spotify account, just click here. Otherwise, just use the scroll bar on the right side of the playlist to see each of the 46 songs.

Tell me, what song did I forget?

 

 

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