Hopefully if you are reading this, you've completed your Saturday Long Run and are looking forward to a day off tomorrow.
The long run usually is the one run that gets runners to a point of realizing that not only can they complete the Half Marathon Planned in the future but also run it for a predicted time. You probably noticed that your last two miles, in which I had you step up the pace a bit, gave you a sense of whether you are an endurance runner or a speed runner. If you felt like you could've gone faster, keep that thought, as later long runs in the coming week are going to test it. If you felt like you couldn't set it up, that was your body telling you that you may not be built for endurance. Don't let that bother you, all runners have good and bad long runs. This program will get you over the bad ones.
So now to next week's program. I'm not going to give you day-by-day instructions like I did this past week. Hopefully you can just go back over the past blog entries for any refresher information that you need. But here's the mileage plan for the coming days:
Sunday, Friday - off
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday - 4 miles easy (under 70% HRM)
Wednesday - 5 miles Speed (90-100% HRM) This you will do by warming up one mile under 70% MHR, then alternate between ¼ mile 90-100% of your MHR and ¼ mile walking or slight jog 7 times, and then a half mile cool down.
Saturday - 9 miles (under 70% first 7 miles, 70-80% last two miles)
You may be already noticing some changes in you first week. For any of you that have been over-training, some extra energy. You might actually feel by the end of the week that you wonder if you are going fast enough because you only do a Tempo/Speed once a week. Believe me, this is enough to get you where you need to be. As I written about in the past, Half Marathoners only need 5%, at the most 10%, of their total running distance with speed exceeding an Easy run speed. Runners do have a problem with this concept as a lot of them believe "More is Better". But again, my advice is that you show up to the starting line uninjured and ready to give it your best effort.