1/2 Marathon Adam Culp Endurance Training Race Running training

Contemplating my first 1/2 marathon

This is a reduced mileage week for me, however 13.1 of those miles make up my first 1/2 marathon race.

Having just finished my first 18 mile run, and surviving, my weekly mileage continues to climb.  But first this week my mileage takes a slight dip to only 31 miles (I can’t believe I just said “only” while talking about miles in excess of 30 in a single week.) and closes with my first half marathon run EVER!

It was a fun weekend, but I did not get as much rest as I would have liked.  After running 18 miles I rested for a couple of hours, then drove (actually my wife drove) 3 hours to Disney so my son and I could perform a judo demonstration with our club at the 2009 Disney Martial Arts Festival.  Immediately after the demonstration we then drove (again, my wife drove) back home, arriving around midnight to get to bed.  I slept very well Saturday night.  Phew! (Some pics of the demo are available through my Facebook page.)

I have been looking forward to this week for a couple of months, and feel that I am very ready for my first half marathon.  Based on previous training runs I think I should be able to handle a time less than 2 hours.  I am going to try running at a nice 8:45/mile pace, which according to my estimates/experience would produce an average 156 heart rate for the race.  I realize I just made that sound easy, but believe me when I say it will be work.  I ran this same pace on an 11 mile run on October 3rd, and the race is 2.1 more miles than that.  Plus, instead of tappering prior to this race I am trying to maintain my normal marathon training schedule, which means I will have put in 18 miles for the week prior to the race.  I know what your thinking, and I agree, that I should not run so hard during a race week.  However, the objective of this race is not to win or necessarily do well.  The objective of this race is to train for the marathon on December 6th while still providing some race atmosphere experience.  That is why I will push a little to do the race, doing the same distance that I would do even if there were no race.

One thing that does concern me a little is that my legs still don’t feel recovered from the long weekend run.  This is unusual for me, and a new experience.  From my reading it seems to be somewhat normal, but I am definitely paying attention.  Next week I have my first 19 mile run, and may start soaking my legs in an ice-bath afterwards to see how that goes.  It seems to be a popular thing to do after long runs, with the more experienced guys.  I am not really excited about trying it, since I hate cold, but will try once to see if it is worth suffering through.

Another thing on my mind is I now have 300 miles on my shoes. (Seems like only yesterday when I bought them.)  From what I understand most runners change out their shoes every 500 or so miles.  That means I should be changing my shoes prior to my first marathon in December.  Actually, if that is the case I will want to start training in some new shoes a little before then so they are kinda worn in prior to race day.  I will let you know more on this later.

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