In sixteen weeks (May 5, 2013), I'll be running the Pittsburgh Half-Marathon!! Sixteen weeks is a good time to start training for this type of race, from what I've been taught. Since I'm using a new-to-me training technique and hope to run a little faster than my previous half-marathon time, I am happy to have the extended time to really work on endurance and pace.
The training program I'm using is based on the concepts set forth by Jeff Galloway. He suggests a deliberate, interval combination of running & walking to get through a longer-mileage race. I'm choosing this method because I want to be able to run half-marathons for Living Water International frequently, and the run-walk-run method decreases the strain put on the body and decreases the risk of injury (especially overuse injury) -- this means that I can run MORE and more often!
I've been easing in to this very different method of training over the past 6 weeks. It's been hard for me, because it involves having much slower times per mile than I am used to. But I must say -- I always feel like I can keep run-walk-running for hours and hours and hours when I reach the end of my goal for the day. That's important!! In the last week or so I've found that my times are getting faster, which I hope means my aerobic endurance is increasing a bit.
Another new thing I'm including in my training are concentrated stretching days (once a week) and strength training. When I first started running I did some strength training along with my running, but I don't particularly enjoy that kind of training...so I stopped. It has become more clear to me now that strength training is important for preventing injury as well as building an entire body that is strong to run, instead of just strong running legs. I'm looking forward to seeing how strengthening my back, arms, and core will help to stabilize and empower my body as I run!
On today's agenda: stretch and do abdominal strength training.