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Old 01-06-2012, 09:33 PM   #1
Andy Gann
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Training for a half marathon - ideas? critique?

Ok - I'm wanting to get some opinions from people who have experience with Strength training, CF and running. I am beginning today to train for a half marathon (or two) in April 2012.

I am 37, 6-1, 235#. The last year (or more) I have spent strength training and running sprints or doing short, interval based metcons. I have been involved with CF for about 4 years, used to really drink the kool aid but lately have passed. Back in the day (4 years ago), I ran a 15k main page wod on a treadmill in 81:11 which is about 9.3 miles. At that time, I was 205# but FAR from as strong as i am now.

Usually, I train at home squatting, DLing, pressing, benching, and springing a hill but, I have purchased 30 CF classes over the next 60 days at a local affiliate, so, I'm going to start some more intense metcon work but, I don't want to lose my strength gains .....

Here's what I'm planning on doing:

2 or 3 days a week at the affiliate. This is to get my metcon, lactate endurance back up. My aerobic conditioning is really in the toilet right now. I'm good in 5 - 10 second intervals and recover ok when doing so but keeping the intenisty up for more than 4 or 5 minutes is difficult.

1 or 2 days a week of lifting; I'll mix up the 4 basic slow lifts depending on what is done at the affiliate.

1 long running day a week: I'm going to run 3 miles tomorrow morning and try to add a mile to that each week for a while.

My goal is 13.1 miles in under 2 hours which would be about a 9 minute/mile pace. So, I'm hoping that my long run in addition to my 10 - 20 minute metcons will be enough to get me there ...

What does everybody think??
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Old 01-07-2012, 03:39 AM   #2
Graeme Moore
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Re: Training for a half marathon - ideas? critique?

Sounds good to me. I completed a half-marathon (Great North Run) in September, having only trained specifically for it for two months. At 205lbs and pretty sh*tty aerobic capacity on a very taxing course, I came in at 2:11.

I think you'll be fine. I would recommend tailoring your running to the course, so if it's fairly hilly, add in some hill or trail runs and hill sprints. It's also well worth running downhill sprints, as going down is a whole different animal especially if you're fatigued...my hamstring still reminds me of that occasionally after my first half-marathon a couple years ago!

Good luck.
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Old 01-07-2012, 03:54 AM   #3
Elizabeth Ruiz
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Re: Training for a half marathon - ideas? critique?

Sounds good. I train very similar to this. I Try to do about 4 half marathons a year. You will want to add in sprints and or hill training depending on what race you are doing. Good luck!
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Old 01-07-2012, 08:15 AM   #4
Andy Gann
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Re: Training for a half marathon - ideas? critique?

Thanks for the replies guys. I am planning on running one half marathon at the beginning of April and another at the end. The first one is a more challenging, hilly course and that will be my first one. So, I'm just going to try and complete that one without stopping and then attack the second to try and come in under 2 hours.

For the next 60 days I'm going to hit xfit wods at an affiliate. After that, the month leading up to the first, I will add in one day of hill sprints each week leading up to the first half. Also, I'm planning on getting up to about 8 or 9 miles (maybe 10) by the middle of March and then tapering a little leading up to the first one.

I'm hoping that I can maintain some of my strength too. But, with all of the conditioning work it's going to be a little tricky to program. What I think I'll do is 1 week hit a few sets of heavy squats and bench and then the next week hit heavy deads and presses. Maybe I'll alternate between sets of 5 and heavier sets of 3 and see if I can take small increases in weight. Right now, I'm squatting 350 for 5 and don't want that to come down during my LSD training but realize that I am facing conflicting goals ...... meh.
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Old 01-16-2012, 05:28 PM   #5
Dusty Bratton
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Re: Training for a half marathon - ideas? critique?

This is kind of similar to what I've been doing recently. Since the first of December I have been following Crossfit Football and on weekends have been running either 1 mile, a 5k, or a 10k. For all of the 5ks I've been trying to find local 5ks to run since I seem to run harder when there is a crowd. Also have been mixing in a few 200m, 400m, and 800m intervals whenever I have a day off of work and time to train twice.

When I first started I had some pretty sad running numbers (9:00 mile, 37 minute 5k) but on my most recent runs I had a 7:50 mile and a 27:45 5k. Still not blazing fast by any means but I'm definitely improving.
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Old 01-17-2012, 08:48 AM   #6
Mike Johnson
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Re: Training for a half marathon - ideas? critique?

What is your 5k/10k time?

I would run more, at least 3 times a week. What I have noticed at races that are greater than 8 miles is the crossfitters fail hard at about 6 miles. Met-cons won't get you there unless you are naturally a good runner.
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Old 01-17-2012, 11:53 AM   #7
Rob Samuels
 
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Re: Training for a half marathon - ideas? critique?

I agree on adding more running. Especially if you don't want the run to significantly impact your training in the days following the run. Personally I would look more towards SEALFit type programming given your goals. You are probably not in condition to handle the volume at this stage but obviously scale appropriately.
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Old 01-17-2012, 12:27 PM   #8
Jared Ashley
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Re: Training for a half marathon - ideas? critique?

I'm going to disagree with the folks saying you need to run more... I think one long run a week and a couple short metcons (some of which could involve runs/sprints) will be plenty for your stated goals of running the 1st race without stopping and finishing the 2nd in under 2 hours, especially given that you've run 15k at a 9/mile pace. running the last 5k after you've put 15 behind you is cake.

In '09 I ran my first 1/2 marathon with a similar plan. Strength work + 1 short run (~3 miles) and 1 long run (5+ miles) per week. Honestly, I didn't follow through that well (the race was like 2 weeks before I graduated nursing school while working full time).

In the 3 months preceeding the race I probably actually ran a half-dozen short runs plus 2 5-mile runs, a 7-mile run, and a 9-mile run (the longest I had ever run prior to the race), and no other metcon. I started the race at a very slow easy pace and finished easily, clocking 1:52:00. It was a downhill course, so a more typical course would probably have added 10 minutes.

Just resist the urge to pass/stay ahead of people early on and you'll be fine. Even though I had never run over 9 miles, I probably passed 100+ people after the 10-mile mark, most of whom had been ahead of me from the beginning. A 1/2 doesn't really feel any different from a 5 or 10K, it just takes longer and you have to start a little slower. And don't let anyone fool you into stopping at aid stations. A few ounces of water while still running is plenty for a 1/2 unless it's hot.
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Old 01-18-2012, 01:56 PM   #9
Eric McKinley
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Re: Training for a half marathon - ideas? critique?

I'm coming from a triathlon background (running tris for the 3-4 years leading up to CrossFit which I started about 2-3 years ago) but the 1 long day and 2 short (sometimes VERY short 50 or 100M sprints) got me back to a around a 9 minute mile for some of my Ragnar run legs last year. I had worked my long day back up to 15 miles after about 5 months of following both CrossFit main site and 3X week supplemental runs (the long and shorts stated above). Good luck and enjoy the long runs....

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Old 01-20-2012, 05:14 PM   #10
Doug Dawson
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Re: Training for a half marathon - ideas? critique?

I'm an experienced runner with many 1/2 and full marathons but relatively new to CF. You need to train fast to race fast. The last 2 1/2 marathons I've done with CF 3-4X per week and 3 runs per week. I agree that 1 long run is more than enough. Push the sprint/400-800, 5k and burst workouts and with the typical CF squats and leg work you'll do fine. So much of CF core strength assists your running efficiency. One last thing not mentioned- Respect the distance. Pace plays an important role in a "successful" race.
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