Sunday, May 9, 2010

Training plan conundrum

So, I've been thinking a lot about my training plan lately and about how many races I can run the summer/fall up to and including my marathon in September.  My half marathon is in three weeks (YIKES!) and I am contemplating doing a couple other half marathons this summer before the marathon.  I'm looking at doing one July 4th in Minneapolis and then another one on August 18 either in Madison, or Sheboygan.

I love the idea of doing more half marathons.  Judging by last weekend's 20K, I really think that I will enjoy the 13.1 mile distance (yesterday's 13 mile training run not withstanding).  In my head I'm tossing around all the possibilities for races.  I know that I am going to do some shorter races this summer, a 10K in June and a couple 5Ks in July and August.  I would like to do another half marathon, but I just don't know how that would work with my training schedule.  I would have to taper prior to the race, then run the race, then recover after the race.  I don't know that my training plan has enough wiggle room in it for that many 'down' weeks.  I mean, it's not like I can run a 16 mile training run and then do a half marathon a couple days later.  Nor could I run a half marathon and then turn around and a 21 miler in a few days.

Then again, when I look at my training plan, I see that my long runs during the week of July 4th and August 21st are 13 miles.  Is that a sign?  Did I unknowingly schedule lower mileage weeks, because I was meant to run those half marathons?  Probably not.  :-)

Naturally, I wouldn't be able to run the Athens Fair 5K if I decided to do a half marathon that day.  And, I'd have to rearrange my 13 mile days to fall on the race day.  But I usually end up switching around my training plan to accommodate what days I'm working or when we have other stuff going on.  As long as I get my miles in, I'm not too preoccupied about which day I run them.

I'm also thinking about how crazy (difficult) it is going to be for me to be doing my longest training runs in August, when the weather has the potential to be rather hot and very humid.  I don't like the idea of running the same loop past my house five or six times just so that I can fill up my water bottles.  Then again, I'm not thrilled with having to pre-set a bunch of water on whatever course I decide to run.  Maybe I can just get Tim to leave the house every 45 minutes to bring me water and/or fuel.  (highly doubtful)

I guess I am looking for some advice.  Have you tried to incorporate races into your training plan?  Has it worked?  Does my plan need to be altered?  Should I just focus on the marathon and leave the half marathons for next year?  I don't know what to do.

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