As you all know Chad and I are running the Phoenix half in February, it will be my 11th (I think) half and my first of three in 2017. I semi think I am over committing with 3 halfs, working full time and with two kiddos but we will see. I generally have a rule where I like to have a 10-12 week training period followed by 4+ weeks off before training again. This has helped me stay injury free and meet my race goals for over 6 years now so it works for me! But in 2017 those usual guidelines will be tight!
For Phoenix I have a pretty huge goal, I want to PR by 2 minutes and that time was set 5 years ago. The race course itself will help – being that it is very flat but I also have to step up my training game. For the past few years I really just go out and run and loosely follow a plan. Which is fine but it has not got me any PRs, I run a half in anywhere from 1:50-1:54 depending on conditions and that is comfortable for me. I know I have more in me to be a little uncomfortable and just have to put in that little extra work and remind myself of that.
This training plan will do just that. It is based on the book 80/20 Running and well, the plan scares me. The basis of the book is that you should run 80% of your runs below your ventilatory threshold (the point between low and medium intensity or zones 1-2) and 20% above (zones 3-5). Whereas most runners do more 50/50 – I know I am guilty of this! One the biggest reasons we do this is because we are task orientated so want to get things done ASAP and this becomes a habit and most of us run more than 50% of our runs too fast. This leads to burnout and does not allow us to perform as well as we might if we just slowed down.
Th book goes into great deal on the research and history done behind 80/20 running as well as things like “brain fitness” and how your goal should be to minimize any other brain activity during your runs. One example they used was people trying to change their natural strides and how this uses too much brain energy and takes away from your end performance. Makes complete sense to me! Anyways, I could type forever on this book since it has a ton of information in it but if you are interested in learning more I highly recommend reading the book, it also has complete training plans for 5km to a full marathon in it.
Without adieu here is my (Chad will use this plan but slightly adapted) training plan. It does also break by 3 days of running I like to stick to but I feel this is necessary to take my running to the next levels. My goal is to follow this plan 80% and hopefully see that PR in February! View the PDF larger here since the one below is tiny – phx-half-plan.