Divas Half Marathon and Training Plan
I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but I’m officially signed up to become a diva. No, seriously. It’s true. This unladylike gal is running the Diva Half Marathon in North Myrtle Beach on April 28 (the third event on my 2013 race schedule). And I might even consider donning some pink sparkles and a boa. *Did I really just say that?*
I’m excited to experience a new and different kind of race experience at my first all-women’s half marathon. The race boasts a spinning diva medal featuring a spot for your own photo, a feather boa station and tiara station along the course (can I stop and still nail a PR???), a ladies tech shirt and roses (possibly handed out by firemen) and champagne at the finish. O.M.G. This is happening.
The Divas Half Marathon will be my sixth half marathon, and I’m really focusing my training on this goal race to try to nail a personal best (better than 1:48:05, with a stretch goal of 1:45:59). In the past, I’ve always been training for a marathon or triathlon as my target race when I’ve run half marathons, and therefore the race either seems to become a training run, or I’ve been training at slower paces to cover longer distances, not allowing me to really peak at the 13.1 distance.
This year I’m focused on training with a purpose, and giving myself adequate time between each key race to focus on that specific race distance. For the Divas Half Marathon, I’ve developed a 16-week training schedule based on the Run Less Run Faster training philosophy (I’m currently in week 3) that I believe will make me faster and stronger.
Here’s what my weekly training plan consists of:
- 3 key runs: A speed workout, a tempo run and a long run (paces determined based on my current 5K time)
- 2 days of cross training, including one swim and one bike per week
- 2 to 3 days of strength training through boot camp (3 days a week through the end of February and 2 days a week starting in March, except for the week of the race)
- Lots of stretching and foam rolling
Here’s an example of what THIS WEEK looks like:
- Monday: Speed work (6 miles): Warm-up 1 mile and do dynamic stretching and drills; 400 meters at 7:03 pace, 600 meters at 7:13 pace, 800 meters at 7:13 pace, 1,000 meters at 7:19 pace, 800 meters at 7:13 pace, 600 meters at 7:13 pace, 400 meters at 7:03 pace (all with a 400-meter slow recovery jog in between); cool down with a half-mile
- Tuesday: Boot camp
- Wednesday: Swim 30 to 45 minutes easy
- Thursday: AM: Tempo run (7 miles): 1 mile warm-up, 5 miles at 8:15 pace, 1-mile cool down; PM: Boot camp
- Friday: Boot camp (morning)
- Saturday: 9 to 10 miles at 8:49 pace
- Sunday: Cycle 45 minutes to an hour at a high cadence
In addition to working on speed and strength during the next 3 months, my cross training will help me rebuild my swimming and biking base in preparation for Ironman 70.3 training that will begin in full force in May/June for Beach to Battleship.
I’m confident about this plan, and of course I will likely tweak it as I go along based on how I’m progressing and feeling. My speed and tempo sessions vary each week, and my long runs build and then provide drop-back weeks to recover properly and help prevent injury. Nutrition will continue to be key as I experiment more with my paleo-based diet and striking the right balance for fueling and performance.
Boa or tiara anyone? If you are running the Divas Half Marathon in Myrtle Beach or have ever run one of their races, please let me know! I’d love to hear from you!
What does your weekly training plan look like? What do you think about mine?
For all the ladies out there, have you ever run an all-women’s race? Would you consider yourself a girly/glam (ladylike) runner, or are you more of a tomboy (unladylike)?