Monday, June 18, 2012

Let the Training Begin!

Today starts off my 12 week half marathon training.  I have officially signed up for the Chicago Half Marathon on September 9th.  I was choosing between that one and the Chicago Rock 'n Roll Half, which is on July 22d.  I have done both and each has its benefits and disadvantages.  I ultimately chose the Chicago Half for three main reasons:

1. The course starts on the south side of Chicago and goes north along Lake Shore Drive and loops back to the start.  The Rock 'n Roll Half goes through the city and along the lakefront where I usually do my training runs.  I don't like running through the city, so I like that the Chicago Half is along the lake the entire course.  Also having the Chicago Half in an area that I do not ever run in provides me with a change of scenery for the run.

2. September is a better time of the year to run than in July.  Obviously, September in Chicago is not as hot as it is in July.  I don't mind running when it's hot out (especially since the run starts early in the morning), but I would obviously prefer to run during a time that there a possibility of cooler weather.

3. September 9th is close to my birthday which is September 17th.  I love having completed something big right before my birthday.  It gives me such a sense of accomplishment and gets me excited for the year to come.

My favorite training schedule to follow is from Hal Higdon.  Higdon is a runner and a writer.  As a runner, he ran in eight U.S. Olympic Trials and won four World Masters Championships.  As a writer, he has written 34 books and has contributed to Runner's World magazine more than any other writer.  Higdon has 5 levels for his half marathon training schedules: novice I, novice II, intermediate, advanced, and walk.  In the past, I used the novice II training plan.  Since I have a goal time, I am going to use the intermediate training plan this year (it has speed work training incorporated into the schedule to help improve your time).

I was always told to "finish your run strong".  That being said...this is my inspiration for finishing all of my long runs.  I promise to find the energy in myself to end running this way when I run the half.

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