When I found out I was pregnant last fall one of the first things I did was sign up for a race that seemed far enough out from giving birth that I could recover from delivery and also have enough time to rebuild a base and execute on a training plan. I knew a marathon would be wishful thinking but a half marathon would be the perfect ‘comeback’ race. I’ve always wanted to do the Baltimore Half Marathon (and the full 26.2 some day) and with its October 13 date it was the perfect goal race. As I made my way back into running I studied various 13.1 training plans and debated the best one to fit my new world of being a working mom.I considered the Marathon Rookie 13.1 training plan which is what I used for my first half marathon in 2008. I also considered a Runner’s World 3-day a week training plan for intermediate runners that focused on speed. But then the RW August issue came out and the cover line touted it as the Half-Marathon special issue. In it is a 12-week 13.1 training plan for beginners. While I am not a beginner runner I am most definitely a ‘beginner’ mom and as hard as it is to admit, I am struggling with the life-work-parenting balance. So a training plan for beginners that requires only 3-4 days of running seemed the right approach.
As with any training plan I will tweak it to fit my schedule as well as my running goals. For example, this schedule allows a rest day on Saturday but I prefer to maximize both weekend days for running. I also like the flexibility of the early runs being as short as 2 miles but knowing my neighborhood routes I will nearly always go over the total mileage. Perhaps the two most ‘challenging’ parts of this plan for me are determining what my Half Marathon Pace (HMP) will be and working in cross-training on the Rest/XT days.
On one hand my goal for the Baltimore Half Marathon is simply to finish. On all other hands my goal is to beat my current 13.1 PR of 1:52:24. Considering a majority of my training runs will likely be done with a jogging stroller I will have to settle for somewhere in the middle.
Following is the RW training plan that I will be following with some slight customization to fit my world. I plan to update the grid with my ‘actuals’ throughout the upcoming weeks. Please feel free to share your own 13.1 training plans, challenges and successes!
|Plan 1 (July 16)||Rest/XT||2 miles||Rest/XT||3 miles||Rest/XT||Rest/XT||4 miles LSD||9 miles|
|Actual 1||Rest||Rest||2.77 miles||3.25 miles||Rest||4.3 miles||3.25 miles tempo||13.57 miles|
|Plan 2||Rest/XT||2 miles||Rest/XT||2 miles||Rest/XT||Rest/XT||5 miles LSD||10 miles|
|Actual 2||Rest||2.21 miles||20 mins Pilates||2.85 miles||5.06 miles||1.5 run/walk||3 miles||14.62 miles|
|Plan 3||Rest/XT||2 miles||Rest/XT||4 miles||Rest/XT||Rest/XT||5 miles LSD||11 miles|
|Actual 3||Rest/XT||Rest/XT||Rest/XT||2.5 miles (with stroller)||4.06 miles (with stroller)||5.11 miles||11.67 miles|
|Plan 4||Rest/XT||2 miles||Rest/XT||5 miles||Rest/XT||Rest/XT||6 miles LSD||13 miles|
|Actual 4||Rest||3 miles||Rest||5 miles (with stroller)||Rest||6.05 miles LSD||Rest||14.05 miles|
|Plan 5||Rest/XT||3 miles||Rest/XT||6 miles hills||Rest/XT||Rest/XT||7 miles LSD||16 miles|
|Actual 5||Rest||3 miles (with stroller)||Rest||6 miles||Rest||7.1 hilly LSD miles||4.2 tempo||20.3 miles|
|Plan 6||Rest/XT||2 miles||Rest/XT||6 miles w/ 4 miles HMP||Rest/XT||Rest/XT||6 miles LSD||14 miles|
|Actual 6||3.16 miles||6.06 miles||6 miles LSD (in Half Moon Bay)||15.22 miles|
|Plan 7||Rest/XT||4 miles||Rest/XT||6 miles hills||Rest/XT||Rest/XT||6 miles LSD||16 miles|
|Actual 7||4.18 miles||4 miles||3 mile walk||8.18 miles|
|Plan 8||Rest/XT||2 miles||Rest/XT||7 miles w/ 4 miles HMP||Rest/XT||Rest/XT||8 miles LSD||17 miles|
|Actual 8||4.35 miles tempo||2.11 miles tempo||4.6 miles (midday, hot and run/walk)||8.07 LSD||19.13 miles|
|Plan 9||Rest/XT||2 miles||Rest/XT||7 miles hills||2 miles||Rest/XT||10 miles LSD||21 miles|
|Actual 9||2.25 miles||7.05 tempo||2.7 miles||12.6 miles (in Chapel Hill)||24.6 miles|
|Plan 10||Rest/XT||3 miles||Rest/XT||7 miles w/ 5 miles HMP||2 miles||Rest/XT||10 miles LSD||22 miles|
|Actual 10||3.05 miles||2.18 miles||7.06 (midday)||12.33 miles HMP||24.62 miles|
|Plan 11||Rest/XT||2 miles||Rest/XT||7 miles w/ 4 miles HMP||2 miles||Rest/XT||9 miles LSD||20 miles|
|Actual 11 (also week 2 of marathon training)||4.10 miles||4 miles||6.15 miles||12.22 LSD||36.47 miles|
|Plan 12||Rest/XT||2 miles||Rest/XT||5 miles w/ 3 miles HMP||5 miles w/ 3 miles @ HMP||Rest/XT||Race Day||20.1 miles|
|Actual 12||4 miles||7 miles||4 miles||13.1 miles Race Day||28.1 miles|