The Victoria half marathon two weeks ago was a huge success for me (race report). I built my weekly training mileage up to 30 miles/week and took 4:23 off my personal best. Now I want to build on that success and the best way for me to do this is to keep up my training and run another half marathon in November. Specifically I’ll be running the Fall Classic Half Marathon in Vancouver on November 18. The start line of this race is about a 10 minute walk from my sister’s apartment so how could I not run it? Since I’m not running Seattle this year (due to my desire to not be in Seattle for the 4-day Thanksgiving weekend) this seemed like a good substitute. Plus I get to hang out with my sister and recover from the race by going to a Canucks game that night.
For the last year I’ve been using the Runner’s World Smart Coach generator as the basis for my training programs. However, a few months ago Runner’s World had a half marathon edition and it featured a half marathon program designed by Ryan Hall’s coach Terrence Mahon. (For you non-runners Ryan Hall set a new American record in the half marathon running 59:43 last January). Here is a brief plan description and the week by week chart. I figure, if it’s good enough for Ryan Hall it’s good enough for me!
In addition to a weekly long run and a few easy runs I’ll be doing both a speedwork session and a tempo run each week. The program also features “race simulation” long runs where you do the later miles at near race pace. That’s definitely taking it up a notch for me. It’s a 10 week program but since I don’t have that much time before my race I’ll be doing weeks 1-4 and 10 (the taper week). I’ve already completed week 1 (more on that in another post) and so far its going well. I’ve picked a race pace goal of 8:40 min/mile for no better reason than it’s a nice round number and just a bit quicker than the 8:49 min/mile I averaged in Victoria.
The final course map for the Fall Classic isn’t posted yet but it will be a 2 loop course (11.1 km then 10km) which will be a new experience for me. I read a few fellow runners’ race reports from last year and it sounds like it’s a moderately hilly course. Hopefully a few hilly long runs will help me prepare for that. It also sounds like they had horrendous weather last year. That’s OK, I’ve chosen to race in Vancouver in November, I’m expecting it to be cold and wet. Still, I’m looking forward to it. Right now I’m not too concerned about setting a new PB. I’m just excited to have a target race.