Day 24 – 16 weeks to 13.1 miles

24 01 2010

I made it to 5.6 miles today in prep for tomorrow, which marks the beginning of 16 weeks training for the half marathon on May 16. I am using the “Smart Coach” training program from RunnersWorld.com, because a) it is free and b) I used it to build up to 9 miles last fall without injury. I actually used the 10-mile plan, because there was no 9-mile option.

The program lets you plug in your distance goal, current pace and running/training level and length of your training schedule. Here is my plan. It takes me from 13 miles a week up to 25, with three runs a week – longer runs on Sundays.

I like having a plan to follow just to make sure I’m increasing mileage at a reasonable rate and to see how miles should be spread out over each week. Last fall, I adjusted some days/distances based on weather and blood sugar levels. For this half plan, I choose “moderate” training over “hard,” because moderate builds mileage at 10% increases per week vs. 15%. I’ve read that 10% is safest to avoid injury.

As with the 9-mile plan, I will adjust it to let me practice 12- and 13-mile distances (packing more miles into longer day runs vs. spreading them out). Interestingly, the half plan never has you run more than 11 miles at a time, which won’t work for me. For a diabetic, at the two hour point while exercising you need food and insulin. I’ve talked a lot about this with my doctors, and it’s really kept me from tackling the half distance until now.

There are certainly Type 1 diabetics who deal with it — and even do full marathons or more. So I need to research a bit on the best combinations. Sprint triathlons, are less than two hours, so I just haven’t needed to worry about it. And triathlons have build-in breaks at transitions when it’s fairly easy to test blood sugar. Running doesn’t have natural stops…More to come on that as I get to week 10 or so!

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