Tuesday, January 28, 2014

NYC Training Plan

When I received the confirmation that I'd been accepted into the NYC Half  I knew I wanted to train..like REALLY train. To be honest, when I was preparing to run my first, and to date only, half marathon last year, I didn't follow a plan. I ran everyday, because I was streaking, but usually averaged two 3 mile runs a week and one long run every weekend. I didn't do speed work, didn't know what a Farlek was, stayed away from hills and only practiced hydrating and fueling a few times.

The only time I've followed a training plan was when I first started running after having London. I did a couch to 10K program and loved it for the first five or six weeks...and then I got bored. I didn't find it to be challenging and I started to push myself on my own.

Without proper training, I was able to PR in every race I did in 2013 but that's because I was just starting out racing. I know that I can't continue on that streak without some serious work.

I signed up with the New York Road Runners for a training plan for the half marathon. It was fairly cheap (29.99) and really easy to use. I had to answer a bunch of questions about my body type, current exercise level and routine, my weekly mileage and my average pace and they customized a plan for me. They actually customized three plans; a conservative, moderate and advanced. Each of the plans varied my weekly mileage and my race goal. I originally chose the conservative but switched to the moderate 8 days in.

The plan includes regular, easy and long runs but also focuses on tempo, intervals, fartleks (I finally know what they are,) hills, speed, inandouts, psuedo long run, races and flex days. After each run, you input your data and it analyzes it. It also adjusts your plan, and your goal time, depending on how you're training is going. I love it! They also have a forum where you can ask your coach a question anytime!

This plan is fun but tough! I never used to run more than 3 miles during the week, so I'm having to get up at 5am to fit in runs before work. I don't want to sacrifice time with my boys so this works best for us. It helps that I'm a morning person with an early bedtime (when London cooperates!) Unfortunately that means a lot of treadmill runs and lunchtime training when I have time and the weather is nice!  

It can be really intimidating to look at the upcoming weeks so I try and focus on one week at a time. I've already increased my mileage from 15ish miles a week to 25-30. I'll be up to 40 next month!

I know that I'm sacrificing a lot to properly train for this race but I've never felt better about my decision to follow a plan. I feel like a stronger and more confident runner. I'm excited to see if I can PR in NYC in March! (Under 2:09:00!)

 **I was not compensated to write this post, I just really love the nyrr training plan!**

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