Friday, April 8, 2011


Yesterday I did my speedwork: 9x400
3 at 9:13
3 at 9:05
3 at 8:41
5 miles total.

I had horrible heartburn yesterday..sometimes my GERD flares up for no reason.  I did not eat or drink anything different then what I usually take.  I slept maybe 2 hours last night.  It sucks.  Good thing today is a rest day.

Ok now the 2 cents part.
My Half Marathon is May 1st.
I follow Hal Higdon's intermediate plan you can see it here.

I have 3 long runs before the race.
Sunday I have 10 miles.

Then I start week 10, the long run is 11 miles.
Week 11 the long run is 12 miles. That is one week before the race.
Week 12 is Taper: Rest, 4 miles, 3 miles, 3 miles, Rest, Rest, Half Marathon.

Here's where I need your 2 cents (please):
I have had a few people who advised me to cut the last long run from 12 to 8 miles.   I don't know what to do.  Follow the plan or cut back.  For my first half I did the beginners plan and it only had one long run in the double digits: 10 miles. I think looking back this was not enough to prepare me for the race. 
This time the mileage was higher all around and I feel better about my training.  I ran 8 miles, 9 miles and did a 10k race in the last 3 weeks for the long run day.

I value all of your experience and so I am asking you to give your 2 cents on the last long run..should it be that long? or not?  I know everyone is different but I am interested in what you have to share. 

Thank you for reading and thank you in advance to leaving a comment! :)


Jen Feeny said...

If you already have an established base and don't feel like it's necessary to cut back then don't. But if you're feeling all sorts of exhausted and could use the rest to re-energize then cut it back to 10, a nice even compromise. Either way you are more than ready to go the distance.

Big Daddy Diesel said...

I am not a runner, but I was told once "what good is a plan if you dont follow it" My vote is for the plan, its there for a reason

Kate Geisen said...

Here's what I'd do. Run your 10 mile run, then the next week run 12, then the week before do a shorter run as part of the taper. For my first HM, the longest scheduled run was 10 miles, and I didn't feel like it was long enough either. I think my longest pre-half run was maybe 11? Might've been 12. Anyway, I felt better about that.

Christine said...

I would do the 10 miler and then the week after I would do 12 instead of 11 and the week before the race 8 only. You will be fine!

Emz said...

I say STICK with the damn plan!.... my darling Canadian friend! ;)

XLMIC said...

The plan.

Teamarcia said...

I too would do 8-10 the week before the race. But then again I am ancient and need as much taper as possible.

Pam @ said...

I vote for the plan. I've followed that same one for my last two halves and took 13 and 8 minutes respectively off my times.

RockStarTri said...

I was one of those 8ers. The rationale had to do with at this point in the training, recovery may be more important that introducing more training stress. If you normally recover quickly, go longer. If not, go shorter. While a plan is a plan sometimes you need to personalize it because everyone is a little different - but sometimes you don't.

That being said, you should do whatever makes you most confident. I think at this point, the worst you will do is "very good" with a good chance at "great".

Darcy said...

I was wondering the same thing about this plan. I am using it for my first HM in June - thanks to your inspiration and others from RLAM facebook page. Also, Caroline, how long do you recover in between your speedwork x400s? I'm a newbie and not sure how long the rest inteval is to be. Thanks!

Caroline said...

Hi there Darcy! 90 seconds between each 400s and I go faster then the recommended 5k pace for these.

Darcy said...

Hey Caroline! Thanks for the info and visiting my blog - I responded to your comment there. Hope your GERD gets better soon!

Michael said...

I say if you are feeling it - go for the 12. But I'm not a very experienced racer. I am doing a half marathon on the same day and my longest run will only be 10 miles - I know I'm not going to be prepared enough, but I got a late start on my training due to injury - and couldn't build my mileage fast enough....basically only 7 weeks.

Nelly said...

I would say go with the planned 12 miler the week before. A half marathon is a much less taxing distance on your body, I think that's why the plan has you doing 12 miles the weekend before. Definitely take it easy on the 12 miles though, don't do it at a faster pace than you are used to.

If you were training for a marathon, likely the plan would have you doing like 13 miles at the absolute most the weekend before, so the ratio of long runs varies depending on what goal race you are doing I think.

RoseRunner said...

you're welcome in advance for reading my 2 cents ;)

Here's what I think: does 12 miles make you sore -- as in more than 2 days to recover? If yes, cut it back to 8 or 10. If 12 miles doesn't make you sore or exhausted, then I don't think it can harm you.

The key is to avoid doing anything that could injure you or deplete you.

Either way -- 8 or 12 -- is a solid distance, and I don't think you can go wrong.

Chris K said...

Stick to the plan. And, if I'm not mistaken Uncle Hal demands you go SLOW during those long runs. So, go 60 secs slower than race pace and you'll be fine. Heck, you can even throw in a few walking breaks.

Also, Rose Runner's advice looks pretty good too.

Kurt @ Becoming An Ironman said...

I would say stick to the plan. The only reason I would advise otherwise would be if you are extremely fatigued in which case you need more time to rest, but I doubt that is the case.

Anne said...

Ask and you shall receive :) Aren't us newbies lucky to have so many experienced runners to bounce our questions off of :)

Darlene said...

I'm certainly no expert. For my first, I did 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 8 and I felt prepared so this time (I still feel like a novice), I'm doing the same. (I think?)

Unknown said...

I think you can handle the full 12 just fine, but take it slow and your recovery is probably more important than the run!