September 16, 2010

MGM Half-Marathon Training - Final Weeks

It's coming down to the last few weeks. The training is right on schedule. At the same time I have also started training for another half-marathon I will run on November 13. The only thing I'm adding to the mix of running is short "faster than race pace" runs once or twice a week after I have finished with my days training. I will gradually lengthen these "sprints". I have finished 1 miles, and 1.15 miles sprints on my last tempo training day. After I complete this race I will also start to add in longer intervals, from 400m to 800m, and more, yes I said more, rest days. Harder training requires more rest. "The most important day in any running program is rest. Rest days give your muscles time to recover so you can run again. Your muscles build in strength as you rest." - Hal Higdon

The next few weekends require long runs of 11 and 12 miles, before a cutback week in the days before the race. I will be up in Athens, Alabama this weekend, visiting Grandkids and running a 5K with my Daughter. Sunday, for my long run, I will take advantage of the scenic and historic Richard Martin trail, a "Rails-to-Trails" project, which runs from Athens to the Tennessee state line. I have previously used this great trail which runs through the middle of a Civil War Battle site. The trail is built on an old railroad bed, eliminating steep hills and providing plenty of shade.

The last long run, the weekend (Sept 25) before the race, I plan on running with the group meeting downtown at the AlleyBAR to have a last run with the new friends I have made training for this race. This will be my last update before the event. I will post a race report after the completing the half-marathon.

September 3, 2010

MGM Half-Marathon Training - Week Eight

The weekend before beginning week 8 of the training plan started a 9-mile long run. The weather was slightly cooler, and the morning stayed cloudy for most of the run, which is great for running. I decided to meet with the group training for the half-marathon which meets at the AlleyBAR every Saturday morning at 6:00 AM. The organizers of the group were shuttling people to various points on the course so they could all end the training run where the actual half-marathon ended. If you wanted, you could also arrange to be picked up at various spots along the course. I decided to do the beginning AND the end, but I’d take a shortcut to reduce my miles. I ended up at 10.3 miles, but that distance included a few walk breaks on the hills near the end of the route. The group is growing larger every week, and the camaraderie during these training days is very motivating. We gather afterwards to rehydrate, socialize and learn from each other. It is a very diverse group.

Sunday I ended up 5 miles around my neighborhood. It was supposed to be a pace run, but still being achy and stiff from the previous days long run, I decided to run it at an easy pace, and skip the pace run. Most of my long run from the previous day was at my race pace, so I figured I had it covered anyway.

The training for the rest of this week was close to what the schedule called for, with some extra runs and miles thrown in to increase my weekly mileage.

The weekend plan will be running with friends on Saturday morning, and resting Sunday for the River Region Runners (R3) 28th Annual 5K/1 Mile Labor Day Run on Monday. Since I’m scheduled for a race pace run of 5 miles, I will keep going after the race for another couple of miles. The weather is looking like it will cooperate and give us unusually tolerable weather for this race. I’ve been told by the race director that there will be a selection of rehydration beverages other than water and sports drinks available after the race.