When I ran my first half marathon in January, the Callaway Gardens Half, I was so caught up on making sure I'd actually be able to run that much, that I didn't really incorporate any cross-training or speed-work into my plan - I just wanted to finish. And I did! (Remember? 8 seconds under my goal time?) When I ran ZOOMA Women's Half, it was just a royal training disaster (see that post for more info); when I got to the race I was really just concerned about finishing at one point.
So when I was working on this plan, I wanted to incorporate some new elements, things that I knew would help my running, my stability (especially for my knees' sake) and even have the possibility of bettering my time. I took parts of the Higdon Half Novice 2 plan, and tweaked it a little bit to fit not only the busy life schedule I have this fall, but also my late work days. What's different about this plan, you ask, than my previous two? Two major things:
1) Speed-work: I've actually made sure to leave in, and incorporate speed training into this. After reading about the importance of it, but also how much it really can benefit you, I'm going to make a conscious effort to make this part of my efforts.
2) Cross-training: After half #1 (Callaway), and realizing that I had done no cross-training at all, I verbalized that I wanted to incorporate XT into my ZOOMA plan. Well, we all know that went to crap thanks to life, that obviously didn't happen. So this time, I'm serious. It's going to happen.
I want to take this training seriously, but at the same time, I've also said this is going to be a fun-sy race for me -- it's a Disney race after all and yes, I want photos with the characters! However, I am also going to be registering for the Athens Half here on October 21, so I can take that one for serious and do W&D for funs. See? I have a plan!
Have you ever created your own training plan based off a Higdon plan? What did you change? Or did you leave it as-is? Any advice for a speed-work newbie?
81 days until Wine & Dine 2012!