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Old 04-15-2009, 11:50 AM   #1
Brian Stone
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Default Training for a half marathon

I am planning on competing in a 1/2 marathon in either Sept or Oct of this year.

I'm typically not a fan of running, but I am really into this mostly for the personal mental challenge and for the accomplishment. I've little experience with any significant running in the past, so I don't have much unlearning to do. i've been working on Pose a bit for a few months but will have to ratchet that up.

Goals:
- plan to spend at least 3 months race prep, and actually hope to start dialing in my diet in the next week or two and get especially strict in the 60-90 days leading up to race day.

- I do not generally want to bias myself toward endurance conditioning overall, as I don't want to lose muscle and sacrifice overall fitness for one 13 mile effort.

- I plan to eat a pretty strict Zone with Paleo as much as reasonably possible - I'm 6'3" and about 210 now so plan to go for probably 24 blocks (puts target weight at 168 which seems even on the low side - more blocks??)


I've seen all sorts of training advice, but I'm curious as to what works best for most. I was going to go with mostly CF workouts with maybe once weekly distance efforts. If I'm strict in my programming and diet, I am hoping this will lead to the preparedness I will need.

CF endurance looks like a little much, in my opinion with a substantial endurance effort daily in addition to a full WOD.


Any advice / suggestions / criticism of diet and/or plans would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-15-2009, 12:09 PM   #2
Mike ODonnell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Stone View Post
Any advice / suggestions / criticism of diet and/or plans would be greatly appreciated.
Don't do it....but that's just my biased opinion.

If you enjoy it....well just take plenty of antioxidants for all the oxidative damage/free radicals you will probably do during training. Also couldn't hurt to add some BCAAs pre workout to help preserve muscle during extended training.
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Old 04-15-2009, 05:38 PM   #3
Steven Low
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I'd do CFE and then cut out workouts here and there if recover isn't up to par.

At least it's mostly intervals so it's going to be muscle sparing.


In reality, I would never run anything over 5k.
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Old 04-16-2009, 03:19 AM   #4
Jay Cohen
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Brian;

Why do it, is a great question.

If you're answser is, because I want to and you really don't have any burning desire to "be" a runner(I was for 20 plus years), why spend months training, losing some muscle mass, beating up your body, NOT improve overall fitness, and the list is endless.

I like to run some short stuff, say 400-800 and maybe a mile, along with Tabata work, I get all the high intensity cardio(dislike that word) that I need and still maintain a pretty good level of fitness.

Just had a friend train 4 months for a marathon, she had muscle issues, flu, colds, spent 1000 bucks on trip and when I asked her why, all she said was that she always wanted to run one. Good answer. I asked her if she was going to run another one, she just smiled.

BTW, she can't do one pull up.

So if you want to bang out a 13 mile race, go for it, no need to train more then 90 days, and really three days a week is plenty. Tempo run/ Intervals or Hills/LSD on weekend, more then enough for that distance. Heck, I had a friend train for NY on 3 day a week.

Good luck.
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Old 04-16-2009, 05:12 AM   #5
Brian Stone
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Jay,

You make some good points. Reason? I guess it's part "I've always wanted to run one" and part challenge to myself. I know that running that level of distance is a significant mental challenge and I just kind of want to have experienced that, for better or worse. I suppose that may not seem like the best of reasons, but I guess why does anyone do anything?

As for the loss of muscle and drastic reduction in overall fitness, that's kind of what I was thinking was avoidable and why I posed the question. There was a CFJ article recently about Greg Amundson attempting a 100 mile run off CF WOD / Zone alone and getting like 80 miles or so (and probably doing serious damage to his body in the process). I'm not Greg Amundson in a lot of ways, and I certainly don't have access to the coaching / resources that he does re: running technique, rehab specialists, etc.

Maybe I'm overshooting, and maybe I'll find that it's not for me sometime in the training. I guess i'm seeking the best marriage between the world of overall fitness and the ability to do the distance effort.
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Old 04-16-2009, 12:29 PM   #6
Craig Loizides
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I think the muscle loss is pretty overrated. If you stay under 20 miles a week and continue doing some lifting I doubt you'll see much muscle or strength loss unless you're an elite lifter.

I'd say start with 1-2 intervals and 1-2 tempo runs per week. Every second or third week replace 1 of the tempo runs with a longer run starting with 3-4 and working up to maybe 9-10 mlies. You could probably add this on top of whatever you're doing now. You have plenty of time so you can build up slowly. For intervals I like doing some longer intervals instead of all the tabata type stuff in CFE.

Do you have a goal time? What can you run a 5k in? What do your workouts look like now?
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Old 04-16-2009, 02:36 PM   #7
Brian Stone
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Originally Posted by Craig Loizides View Post
Do you have a goal time? What can you run a 5k in? What do your workouts look like now?
I'd like to finish in under 2 hours, which I understand is pretty reasonable for a start. I 5k is probably the longest distance I've ever run, and I've only done one of them. I believe I did it in maybe 23 mins, but it was also on a treadmill which is hard to count. I recently did a 5k row in 20:33, which I understand translates pretty well to comparable run times in most athletes.

I currently do the CrossFit WOD with usually some jumprope or semi-heavy lift as buy-in.
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Old 04-16-2009, 05:26 PM   #8
Steven Low
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I personally don't think you'll lose much if any muscle at all unless you're extremely muscular for your build and/or don't eat enough.

A couple intervals a week should stave off any significant muscle catabolism.
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:25 PM   #9
Mike Prevost
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Default Half Marathon

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Stone View Post
I'd like to finish in under 2 hours, which I understand is pretty reasonable for a start. I 5k is probably the longest distance I've ever run, and I've only done one of them. I believe I did it in maybe 23 mins, but it was also on a treadmill which is hard to count. I recently did a 5k row in 20:33, which I understand translates pretty well to comparable run times in most athletes.

I currently do the CrossFit WOD with usually some jumprope or semi-heavy lift as buy-in.
To run it in under 2 hours, you will need a bit of training. There is a big difference between a 5K and a half marathon. I would keep it simple and target 3 runs per week. Do one longer run building to 10 miles. The other two can be whatever you want. As long as the long run is progressing, you will be fine. The other two runs can be interval sessions, easy miles...whatever. You should have no problem with losing muscle mass if you are running less than 20 miles per week. Honestly, as a long time runner, I can tell you that 20 miles per week is not much at all. You can mainain muscle on that type of mileage easily. Not sure when you half marathon run is scheduled but I would target a 12 week program along the lines of what I outline below. I am only showing week 1, 6 and 10 but you can fill in the weeks in between with a reasonable progression.


Week 1
Mon: 1.5 miles easy
Wed: Intervals
Sat: 2 miles easy

Week 6
Mon: 3 miles easy
Wed: Intervals
Sat: 6 miles easy

Week 10
Mon: 3 miles easy
Wed: Intervals
Sat: 10 miles easy

Just fill in the weeks in between with a reasonable progression to those mileage goals. That will keep you under 20 miles per week, with only 6 weeks or so over 10 miles per week. Week 11 and 12 should be slightly reduced mileage for the long run. Maybe cut it back to 7 miles and then 5 miles but add a few quarter mile intervals in during those long run sessions in week 11 and 12. That simple program would more than prepare you to survive a half marathon without hurting too bad and you should not have any problem with muscle loss as long as you refuel adequately.

Mike
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Old 04-17-2009, 05:01 AM   #10
Brian Stone
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Mike, that is exactly what I was looking for.

One other thing: Is training on pavement over a treadmill at say a slight incline going to be crucial? Most of the roads near my house are pretty hilly and I have a treadmill, but at the same time the weather is getting nicer so I want to train outside. What is your advice here re: translatability?
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