Thursday, 4 June 2015

Running Goals For Month 1 Of Half Marathon Training

My goal for my next half marathon is very simple. Get round the Great North Run course in under 1 hour 25 minutes. But that is over three months away, so it's a good idea to break it down, and have smaller goals for each of those months. That way, you can address smaller details, find out what needs improving, and the whole challenge doesn't become overwhelming.

Well, maybe it just becomes less overwhelming...

Running Goals For June 2015

My running goals this month are not ambitions or wishes, but they are achievable targets that are still challenging. They shouldn't be too hard, but they shouldn't be too easy either. They should work together, so that they can all be achieved, instead of any one taking preference. So, here goes...

Run A Sub 20 Minute 5K at Parkrun

I've been chasing a sub 20 minute Parkrun for a while, but I need to be hitting this target pretty soon in order to have a chance of running a sub 1.25 half marathon. My personal best at the minute is 20 minutes 30 seconds, so hopefully with a bit of work I can take off 31 seconds.

For this, a bit of weight loss and building strength in my legs should carry me over. A few more tempo, interval and fartlek runs will also help. Having a rest day the day before will also be on the agenda, so I'm feeling fresh.

Run A Sub 44 Minute 10K Race

My next 10K race is the Lisburn 10K, taking place on the Wednesday 17 June. I'm much more likely to get under 44 minutes during a race, as training runs never seem to be ran at the same pace. The crowd, competition and adrenaline always seem to push you on a bit.

My personal best for a 10K was last month at the Bann 10K, where I finished in 45 min 25 sec. Again, weight loss and leg strength will help me with this. I'll also be be increasing my long runs to help with endurance. During the last two miles at the Bann 10K I started to tire, so being able to run a few miles farther than this should mean I can run a bit faster this time.

If I don't run it in under 44 minutes at the Lisburn 10K, I might look for another race before the end of the month. Races are a great way to help increase your race pace.

Get My Weight Below 185 lbs

This will be the hardest challenge this month, due to my love of eating and drinking. I reduced my chocolate and alcohol last month (Massive Reduction In Calories With A Few Small Changes), and it seems to be moving the scales in the right direction.

Post Run Chicken
Post Run Chicken

I've also been bring a lot more fruit to work with me for snacks, and trying to eat as many vegetable as I can in the evenings. They fill you up, have very few calories, but are full of vitamins and nutrients.

Hopefully my running and other training will also help get my weight down a bit quicker too. But, as I have been told many times, "You can't out-train a bad diet".

Increase My Long Run To 10 Miles 

I want to be getting up to half marathon distance during July, so this will bring me closer to that. It's important not to increase the mileage too quickly, so I'll be adding a mile on every week.

Early Morning Run
Another early morning run. I'm still getting used to them.

The only issue with this is that I used to do my long runs on a Saturday morning. I have recently started running at Parkruns on a Saturday, so I'll need to sort this out somehow. If it starts becoming an issue, the long runs will have to be the priority.

The long runs should also help me with both my 5K, 10K and weight loss goals. As I said, they should all work together.

Complete The First 8 Days Of The Insanity 60 Day Challenge

This is the last one on my list for a reason. The Insanity workouts are tough. They will make you super-fit and push you to your limits. But... This is about me running a half marathon in under 1 hour 25 minutes, not completing the Insanity 60 Day Challenge.

If it becomes too strenuous, or starts to have a negative impact on my running, then I'll have to either reduce how much I do, or cut it from my training plan altogether.

I'm wanting the Insanity workouts to help and compliment my running, not to interfere with it. Hopefully doing the first 8 days won't be too much. If I don't complete this goal I won't be too upset, but it could really help me running. It will also give me a workout that will give my joints and feet a rest from the roads.

My Half Marathon Training Continues...

Yesterday was another 5am recovery jog, after the Half Marathon Training Starts At 5AM post. I'm starting to get used to getting up at that time, and this morning I even brought Sheldon out for a walk at that time.

Walking My 3 Legged Dog
Walking My 3 Legged Dog Sheldon... He could outrun any of us...

The quality, pace and form of the running wasn't great, but it helps the muscles recover, and also adds a few more mileage to the weekly total.

Insanity Fitness Test

My first Insanity session in quite a few months was a bit of an eye opener. It would seem I'm not as fit as I was when I first got the DVD's and did my Insanity Challenge Week 1. Of the eight fitness tests, I had only improved in two of them. The rest were quite a bit behind what they had been.

My results were:

  • Switch Kicks - 88
  • Power Jacks - 46
  • Power Knees - 62
  • Power Jumps - 25
  • Globe Jumps - 9
  • Suicide Jumps - 11
  • Push Up Jacks - 15
  • Low Plank Obliques - 22

I found this to be the hardest training session I've done in months. If I can integrate it into my training plan it should help me with my overall fitness, form, strength, weight, flexibility and core strength.

In saying that, I am very glad tomorrow is rest day...

Half Marathon James

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