I am training for the Phedippidations World Wide Half coming up in October. I followed a training schedule last year and did fine with my training. I even accomplished what I set out to do. But, race day was a bit of a disappointment. I did not stick to my plan totally and ran a bit slower than expected. That will be fixed this year due to more experience.
But what I did not do last year was stick totally to the training plan that I had. I did the runs, but not at the speeds that I should have been doing them. I did not see an increase in speed, just in endurance. And, honestly, that is all I was looking for. As a new runner I was not looking to really improve in the speed and strength areas. I just needed to be able to cover the distance.
This year is different though. I am using the McMillan Running Calculator to determine my paces for my different runs. I am running my speed sessions much faster than I would have ever done before. My endurance at higher speeds is increasing. At this stage in my training my long runs are not very challenging, but I am trying not to push the distance too much so that I can really focus on my speed and tempo workouts during the week. I am doing a simple dumbbell workout on my off days.
I am really focusing on my training at this point. I have started a bit late on the intense training, but I am not going into it as a slacker. I have been getting some good long runs in and I have also tried to keep my weekday runs at a higher intensity.
Just 9 weeks until the half-marathon. I may actually run it a week later. I have a bunch of friends that I am trying to talk into running the 5K that weekend. If they will do it, then I will run a (very) easy 5K on the 13th and then the half on the next Saturday. If I run with my friends we will probably be running in the 12 to 15 minute per mile range.