Truthfully, I am not great at sticking to a training plan. I think I felt my way through the last three weeks of the couch to 5k training plan my first go through with it. The second time I did it, I glanced at it every few weeks to get a second opinion on where I should be. After being able to run for over thirty minutes straight, I just kept adding minutes. Sure, I sometimes had to slow way down to keep from walking, but soon those minutes added up to an hour.
Eventually, I realized that to improve my speed (and I am not talking elite runner status!) I would probably need to consult a training plan. Not only consult a training plan, but actually stick to it the entire time, not only when I felt like it. I searched and searched for one that would fit my schedule. Well, one that would fit the child watch schedule at my local Y at least! Once I found my training plan, I signed up for the run, and blabbed to enough people that I felt truly committed to the plan and the run.
Here is a link to my 10K training plan, http://www.runningplanet.com/training/10K-training-program-recreational.html. For those too enthralled to look away from this post, in short the training plan has 4 days of running. Two of those days are shorter easy runs, one is a long easy run and one is a speed or hill workout. There are 3 rest days, one rest day is an optional rest or cross training day. I took the rest day every single time (ans sometimes more than once ;))!
My next challenge is to take the cross training option. I have decent endurance, but am pretty short on strength and defined abs and arms. While running has helped my legs get toned, my upper body is not enjoying the same benefits.
One day when I was feeding my obsession with the Hood to Coast relay, I came across a runner, Jess, whose blog really inspired me to commit to increasing my strength. I would be lying if I didn't say that I am intimidated and more than a little fearful of being sore but I am excited to give it a shot. Here is the link to Jess' blog and fall fitness series, http://blondeponytail.com/2012/09/gnc-get-strong-lean-home-workout/#comments. I love that it is not time-intensive, doesn't need fancy equipment and instead of dreaming of toned abs and arms I will be working on toning them!
What cross training do you do? What is your favorite half-marathon training plan? I would love to hear from you! I am ready to quit talking about doing a half and just get it done! :)