The FIRST Half Marathon Training Method

Hi friends! Long time no talk! Last week was a little crazy; I went to NY to help my mom with taxes the weekend before, so I didn’t get any weekend prep done to set me up for the week. This meant that I was doing laundry, prepping meals and food shopping during the week, while also studying for my C++ final and stats midterm and submitting several homework assignments on top of my full-time job. So that’s why this little blog went dark ;) I finished C++ and only have one class to focus on until fall semester starts up though, so hopefully I’ll have some time to put together some quality posts again.

In other news, I RAN AND IT DIDN’T SUCK! I was originally going to take all of last week off and start half marathon training today, but I figured it wasn’t smart to go from 0 to 3 days of running in a week. So I laced up my NB 890s Friday morning and cautiously set off to do a few miles on the treadmill. Guys, it’s official –the break-up is over and I’m in love with running again. I felt no pain for the whole 3.5 miles and I didn’t feel exhausted by the second mile the way I did a month ago. I deliberately kept the pace slow (about 10 min pace), but I felt that I could have run faster and longer. I got off the treadmill with a definite runner’s high that had me planning my next run for the following day.

To be honest, I started this summer feeling a little burnt out on running after a painful marathon and a minor injury (butt/ hip – never got it diagnosed) that left me feeling discouraged after nearly every run. I contemplated whether I wanted to train for a race this fall or even run at all. But after taking nearly a month off to focus on cross training and allow my body to heal, I am excited to start my next training cycle and eager to start running hard again! Last week’s runs brought me to that place of well-being, happiness and satisfaction that I can’t quite achieve through spinning or anything else -why else would they call it a runner’s high?

Fall Half Marathon Training Cycle: FIRST Plan

So my training plan for the fall starts today: I’m targeting the Woodrow Wilson Half marathon in early October, and possibly the Annapolis Running Classic Half in mid-November. In case you’re curious, my training plan is below. It’s based on the Furman Institute of Running and Scientific Training (FIRST) training plan, which has just 3 days of required running a week, but ALL hard workouts – a speed session, a tempo run, and a long run close to race pace. I thought this would be a good plan for me because: (1) it seems I get injured with higher mileage plans; (2) I’m traveling a lot through October, so fewer required workouts = greater flexibility; and (3) I like the idea of having planned paces for each workout, and I like speedwork. With any luck, I’ll end the cycle with a PR or two and (most important) no injuries.
half training plan 2014
A little translation: On key workout #1 days, “6X800” means 6 repetitions of 800 meters, and “RI” is the rest interval, a mix of jogging and walking. On key workout #2, ST means “short tempo pace” and MT is “long tempo pace”. On key workout #3, PHMP is “Planned Half Marathon Pace”. All paces are based off of your current 10K times (i.e. 800s are supposed to be done at 10K pace minus 45 seconds, ST are 10K pace, MT are 10K+15 seconds, etc). Here’s the chart of paces I’ll be aiming to hit for each workout (based off my 10K PR), to give you an idea:paces

I’ll post short training updates each week and give my opinion on the FIRST method at the end of the training cycle. If it works out, I’ll use it for my marathon training in the spring :)

Do you use/ like training plans?

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8 thoughts on “The FIRST Half Marathon Training Method

  1. Rachel

    Just registered for the Woodrow Wilson Half. If your readers use the code RP2014 they can save $10.50 off the registration fee!

  2. Pingback: Week 1 Training Log (28 Jul – 3 Aug) | sneaker∙therapy

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