Now that the half marathon is behind me (and the planning for my next one is still in front of me), I've had a little time to reflect on my training. I've also talked a little (OK, a lot) to my friends who ran the race and we all came away from the race with a) an awesome experience and b) lessons learned for the next time.
|My half marathon pals! Bridget, me, Amanda, Suzy and Janis.|
Next time, I will follow my fueling plan better and eat earlier in the race.
2. Speed kills. Starting too fast = finishing too slow. OK, yes, I beat my goal. However, my last three miles were not pretty. I was DONE and I think that, in addition to #1, starting faster than I planned to hurt me.
Next time, I will try to start a little slower so I can finish a bit faster.
3. The course matters. The 13.1 NYC course was loopy -- literally and figuratively. We ran past the start line twice, not including when we started. Seeing the same things over and over was not good for the mojo.
Next time, I will look for a course that is not so repetitive.
4. Training plans should be written in pencil, not pen. I followed a 12 week plan that I created based on what I thought my goal for the half would be, back when I was still building my base. The first four weeks of the plan were perfect but then I started to feel the need to modify things a bit as my fitness increased. My body and systems had changed; my plan needed to change as well. I still followed my plan, I just tweaked it so I could keep moving ahead rather than stagnating.
Next time, well, next time I'd do the same thing: Follow the plan but not be a slave to it.
5. Mile repeats are where it's at. You may laugh but I'd never really had much use for mile repeats before. I just never liked them. Thought they were too hard. Well, duh! That's the point of speedwork, is it not? To be hard, to prepare you to run fast during your race. I ran them during this training cycle and while they were tough they weren't too tough. They were doable and they gave me a boost of confidence after every session. And, best of all, I think they helped me run well during the half marathon.
Next time, I'll do more mile repeats and maybe even bump them up to 1.5 or 2 miles.
Those are my lessons learned. I'm sure there are others that I haven't acknowledged yet and I'm sure there are lessons that others have learned that I -- and others -- could benefit from. So if you have a good lesson learned that you'd like to share, lay it on me and comment away!
(And, remember, if you're in the HRHMChallenge, leave me a comment with your race report by Friday!)