For weeks - really since the December Huff, I've been following a very loose training plan. The goal was to keep a respectable base and (hopefully) pick up some speed as I looked toward the Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans half marathon relay. As I'm doing an 8-mile leg, I needed to keep up my Sunday long runs but didn't have to fret too much about weekday mileage.
After the March race, it was my plan to train for a spring half marathon. I had set my sights on Cincinnati's Flying Pig, which was my first half, but found myself less than thrilled by the $80 entry free. Nevertheless, I set a loose schedule based on the May race date. I planned for three days a week running, per my "survive winter" plan, and I would keep up with the twice weekly strength sessions.
Of course, that all changed when I registered for the Martian Invasion of the Races half marathon on Tuesday. The Martian race is April 14, nearly a full month before the Flying Pig.
Some things would stay the same - the three days a week running and my scheduled runs ahead of RnR NOLA - but I would have to redo the long run schedule. Based on plans by Hal Higdon and one I found on RunnersWorld.com, I came up with something that will get me to the starting line strong.
*Note: I totally flipped a week. My Fanny Freezer 5K is Feb. 11 - not Feb. 4.
As I'm running just three days a week, it's important to have quality runs so I'll be incorporating one speed day. The Runners World three-day plan had one tempo run and one interval run each week but I don't think that's feasible for me fitness-wise nor schedule-wise. Seriously, who wants to push a jogging stroller for 8x400? Not me.
I kept the strength training and Zumba, as well. I find that resistance workouts build muscle and help reduce weak joints thus reducing the risk of injury. Zumba ... well, it's just fun. (I never thought I'd say that!) I think that explosive-type cardio, like Zumba, should help work different muscle fibers and maybe ones that help with speed. Of course, I'm more than likely just making that up and the statement has no basis in reality.
I do have Fridays open in the event that I decide to add a fourth run during the week. I know a fourth run will do a lot to improve my base, stamina and speed but I felt overwhelmed running four times a week when I was training for the Huff. I'm sort of going to see when spring arrives and what sort of schedule Miles is on.
What is your preference when training - 3 days of running or 4? Or, are you crazy and do 5?