Half Marathon Plan + Reader Question

>> Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Lauren asks:

"So many of my friends and so many bloggers I follow seem to do races almost every weekend. I have done a few 5ks in the past, but I don't have any plans to do anything soon. I don't enjoy racing much, though I have been happy with my finish times. I don't have the money either, as I am in graduate school at the moment. Do any runners run, but not race or race infrequently?" 

Interesting question. I haven't talked much about my race plans for spring. That's probably because I don't have terribly many. I used to love lacing up to the start, getting in a good effort, and enjoying that feeling of success after crossing the finish. For whatever reason, I just haven't been enthusiastic about racing this year. 

There's really no reason I can think of. It's been a bit less convenient and more stressful adding Ada to the mix. Trying to get childcare and getting in consistent training. Money has been an issue for us, too. When we added up what we used to spend on racing, we were floored to say the least.

In my opinion, I don't think there's any requirement to run races as a runner. It may feel like you're missing out, and in some ways you are and you aren't. Racing gives you an opportunity to connect with other people who are passionate about the sport, to put yourself to the test and see hard work pay off, and to have something to work toward with your training.


I don't think there's anything wrong or lame or silly about running for fun. Even if that "for fun" includes some serious speedwork and long distances. There's no reason you can't run for your own goals and aspirations without having to prove it somehow to the running gods on a specific day or course. And if you want to connect with other runners, you can do that with a running club or friends.

My own racing frequency has gone down from running maybe 20 races a year to just a handful. I'm still running or beating my old times and still holding onto a consistent running schedule. I feel great and I have little plan to change or do more in the near future.

I also have a hell of a lot more free time on the weekends and just a little more money in my pocket, which I'll take at this stage in my life. That all being said, I'm running a half marathon the first weekend of May.

Here's my training plan.

At the time when I wrote this post originally, I was all set to run Saturday's 5 and Sunday's 12. Then i got super sick. So, I'm already seeing that I'll need to bend/adapt. It's possible to still be OK and miss key runs, but it's not ideal.

My goal is to run under 1:45. I don't know how well I will be able to stick to those pace runs because that type of training is new to me + as I mentioned, things just come up. And I have opted to include a nice chunk of cross-training because I am loving the pool and the opportunity to take yoga classes through our gym.


It also gives me some flex if I do miss a long run or other important workout, I can skip the cross-training and replace it with whatever I missed. If you have kids or other large responsibilities at work or school, you likely understand how stuff comes up. Ada and I both have nasty colds this weekend (must have caught it from Stephen last weekend!), so I may have to push my long run back, etc.

If I have unlimited time to work out, I'd probably do a bit more running and fit in the cross training by doubling-up. I used to spend hours working out, but time is at a premium. I am really happy Stephen and I been able to find a relatively good balance.

Thanks to Lauren for her great question. I'd love to know your thoughts, too.

Do you love running, but hate racing? Or is your budget tight and not allow room? Or any other similar circumstance?

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