the spring prairie fire marathon happened so my running group was full of pictures of happy ladies who'd just run either the full or, more commonly, half marathon. That is 13.1 miles, or 21 km. It's got me thinking. if so many people love running that distance, should I go for it?
NO! says the voice in my head... the average american needs 30 minutes of exercise, 3-5 times per week. You are beating the average. NOBODY NEEDS TO RUN FOR 2 AND A HALF HOURS. And if you run a half marathon you'll become one of those weirdos who wants to run a FULL MARATHON and you just run every day for hours and are weird and never see your family or do anything until your knees fall apart!
But then I go for a nice run like I did this morning, with stars and a pleasant breeze and music, and think shouldn't I train for something bigger like everybody else is doing? All the half marathon training plans I find say "you have to at least be able to run a 5K before you start thinking about a half marathon." well... I can run 10K!
And then here's what really gets me into it... I could make a training plan spreadsheet. Now that's fun. I love plans. I love spreadsheets. From everything I've read, if you want to run for 2.5 hours on a race day, you don't actually need to run for 2.5 hours on any of your training days. If you can run 16-18K, you can get to race day, shrug, and throw in an extra 3K, who's counting?
So after consulting a few training plans, training for a half marathon calls for 8-10 weeks each with the following ingredients:
5 days a week of running
- 3 of the days you just run for 30 minutes. I'm there.
- 1 day you run slightly longer, 45 - 70 minutes
- 1 long run per week. Start with an hour, add 1K or about 10% a week.
1 day of strength training
1 day of rest, at least do some stretching
I'm already running 4-5 days a week. I usually do a 60-80 minute weekend run. So the only changes is that one of my mid-week runs would be 60-80 minutes, and my weekened long run would get up to two hours.
the fall prairie fire half marathon is October 10th. So I'd need to think about this 8-10 weeks in advance, around mid-August. I'll check back in then.