Goal - Run a 1:50:00 Half Marathon

Now, this is ambitious.  I just ran a marathon in just under 1:56.  I want to knock 7 minutes off my time.  My next half marathon is May 24th, the Hibiscus Half Marathon.

The Hibiscus course and elevation chart
There are a few hills (really, only two main ones) on this course.  The hills and length is what got me on the last one. To overcome these issues, I have to plan.

What I plan on doing to improve:
  • Doing more tempo (or race pace) runs, and for at least 50 minutes.
  • Include hills in my long runs, try to simulate the course.
  • Run at least two 2 hour runs, maybe one of those even longer to build endurance.
As soon as I have written down my training plan, I will post it.

Runs - Paces
Hal (of Hal Higdon training plans) describes each run in detail.  (Yes, we are on a first name basis.... Even if it is just in my head)

Easy run:
These are the runs on Monday, Wednesday and sometimes Friday or Saturdays.  They are designed to be run at an easy, conversational pace.
Easy Run: 9:12 - 10:11 min/mile

Run uphill between 200 and 400 meters.  Jog or walk the recovery, which will be equal distance between each repeat.  
Hills are great to strength quads, and to build speed, so you can substitute any interval workouts, or even a Tempo workout.

If you want to run fast, train fast!!  
Best done on a track, but can be done on the road.  Walk or jog between each repeat.  The recovery time will depend on the length of the repeat.
400m:   1:46 - 1:52 (approx. 7:20min/mile)
800m:   3:40 - 3:52 (approx. 7:40min/mile)
1200m: 5:42 - 6:02 
1600m: 7:56 - 8:07

Tempo Runs:
A continuous run with a buildup in the middle to near 10K race pace.

A tempo run of 40 to 60 minutes will begin with 10-20 minutes easy running, build for 20-30 minutes near the middle, and then 5-10 minutes near the end.

Hal says that the tempo can be as hard or as easy as you like.  Feel free to improvise.
Tempo Run: 8:18 - 8:35 min/mile

Race pace!  I will be running at the pace I hope to complete the half marathon in.
Race Pace: 8:24 min/mile (This may be a little ambitious, but I thought I may as well aim high!)  I will adjust this later if I feel it is too impossible)

Long Runs:
These are not to be run too fast.  I won't be focused on mileage, only time.  These long runs will be run at a comfortable pace, except for the days when a 3/1 is prescribed.
A 3/1 work out is when the first three quarters of the distance is run comfortable, and then accelerating to near race pace for the last quarter. (You are meant to finish feeling refreshed, we will see about that, Hal!)
Long Run: 9:14 - 10:33 min/mile

Warm up:
Warming up is important.  Hal says to jog a mile or two before speed and pace workouts, then to sit down and stretch for 5-10 minutes, and even to throw in some easy strides before each run.  (Strides are around 100 meters gradually building and then slowing down with the middle being near race pace).
Cool down by jogging half the distance of the warm up.

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