OK, so, as per usual, I’ve taken a blog hiatus, and I’m not going to bore you with the details. What I WILL bore you with (or…hopefully it’s not too boring!!) is that I’m back, and ready to tell you all about the adventures that will ensue as I embark on my first official half marathon training program with the Running Room!
I’ve run a good handful of half marathons over the past 3 years, all with diminishing returns of finish time and laziness of training. My first half I didn’t do a group program, but I did hire a personal coach for 3 or 4 sessions who made a custom plan for me to train with. I mostly followed it (although training alone in the Canadian winter in advance of a February half has its challenges), and was able to achieve a 2:17 when I was aiming for a 2:15…not too shabby. But this summer, my friend K asked if I would sign up for a HM clinic with her to prep for the Hypothermic Half Marathon in Calgary next February. You heard that right, folks – hypothermic!! Here in Calgary that means the weather could be anywhere from 32F (0C) all the way down to -22F (-30C) with lots of snow…you just never know. But, because I felt like I needed a bona fide butt kicking, I agreed, and here we are. The program started last night, and I’ll tell you what I know so far:
- The “theme” of our program is twofold – #1 no injuries (I just watched my other running partner, M, tear her achilles last week, so I can get on board with that), and #2 no one runs alone.
- #2 ended up being particularly important last night…as there was a police standoff/shooting/escaped suspect right in the area of our run training, at 7pm, in total darkness. Soooo…I was pretty happy to have a crew to run with!
- I have forgotten how to dress for winter running. It’s not officially winter so far, but last night’s run temp was 0C (32F) and I thought about running in just a hoodie with a t-shirt underlayer. When I got to run club after work, I decided this was not going to be good enough. So, I was stuck with my knee-length fall/winter jacket as an outer layer instead, and that was WAY too hot. I also neglected to bring gloves, which was a bad call. All in all, it ended up better to be too hot than too cold, but I’m going to need to revise my strategy and packing for next time.
- The program consists of 3 runs with the group – Tuesday tempos, Wednesday speed work/hills, and Sunday long slow days using 10s and 1s – and other optional easy runs on your own. I’m currently playing soccer 2 days a week on top of the 3 runs, so I think we’ll call that sufficient in terms of cardio. I’m planning to add 2 at-home weight training days in my lovely home gym 🙂
- They’re running several pace groups, from 1:50 up to 3:00. Since I basically ran a 2:15 already at my best, I didn’t want to go with the 2:15 group, so I settled on the 2:00 group yesterday. I fell a bit behind because I’m not at that pace right now…but I didn’t fall as far back as the 2:15 crew…maybe more like 2:05. So, I can deal with that.
Anyway, hope you’re looking forward to hearing from me a bit more often now that I’ll be back to some consistent running, and if you have any winter running advise, or just want to commiserate over the cold temps, leave me a message!