Pittsburgh Half Marathon, Week 1

I promised in an earlier post to talk about my Pittsburgh Half Marathon plan.

First of all, the first day of it was great. Highly successful, and easy to implement.

It was a Rest Day though, so I guess I can’t give myself too much credit. Unless I want to pat myself on my back for listening to my body?

Still, since that would have made a lousy Plan Premier post, I decided to wait until the end of Week 1 and get into the plan a bit before breaking out the trumpets and the red carpet.

My plan this time around is a 14 week plan, taken from the Runner’s World App. I haven’t modified it right now, instead satisfied to have a target. You can see it on the “Training Calendar” above. The basics are 1 speed workout (tempo run or mile intervals) and one long run a week. The rest is easy run mileage to pad to a reasonable weekly mileage. It incorporates a couple of backoff weeks, where I run easy the whole week and drop some miles, hopefully to come at those following weeks with fresh legs.

As far as starting points, you don’t get much more basic than this plan, but I think with the long calendar (14 weeks to race) and the strong speedwork mixed with nice 20-30 mile mileage, that I’ll be in shape for a sub 2 at Pittsburgh.

That said, I got to test my resolve with this plan already; my very first week had some plans that interfered with my scheduled runs. A birthday party for a friends daughter (Happy Birthday little B!) meant that I had to pull ahead my very first speedwork a day.

Resulting Week:
Mon Rest
Tue 4mi @ 10:57 (target 10:32)
Wed Tempo Run, 3mi @ 8:47 (target 8:47)
Thu Rest
Fri 4mi@10:32 (target 10:32)
Sat Rest
Sun 8mi@10:08 (target 10:32

Pretty solid starter week, with 21 miles counting the warmup and cooldown on the tempo run day. I am minding the advice I’ve always received about training, that when it begins it never seems like enough and when it’s over it always seems like it’s too much, and I’m just going to stick, slavishly, to the plan. Really, it does ramp up pretty quickly to multiple 30+ mile weeks.

I’m taking the slow pace really seriously; I’ve heard a lot about runners running too fast, and stacking up injuries and disappointment rather than taking easy runs for what they are, which is a pleasurable pace that builds up your aerobic base, the only way possible; slowly but surely.

The last thing to comment on is more carryover from my “Snow Blind” post last week. The unseasonably warm weather this winter means that not only was that run a fluke, but that I went out running in just a single layer on Sunday. That 8 miler before the Super Bowl was just ideal conditions, and the hardest part about following this plan is not skipping my rest days in favor of “just a few miles, since it’s so nice out!”

Today was such a day. I stayed at work until sunset just to make sure I wasn’t tempted. It paid off, too. Tomorrow for my first mile repeats of the plan, the temperature is supposed to be golden, and my legs are fresh and ready to go.


One response to “Pittsburgh Half Marathon, Week 1

  1. Sub-2 or bust! You can absolutely do this.

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