Friday, April 16, 2010

Running...what's next?

"So," more than one person has asked me, "After your 10K, what's next? A half marathon?"

That's a good question.

The thought of running--actually running--13.1 miles, intrigues me. What a cool accomplishment that would be! At this point I have no interest in ever doing a full marathon (26.2 miles), but a half? Maybe.

I'm not ready to commit to it, though. I certainly don't need to train for a half marathon to be fit, so this decision comes down to whether or not I want the challenge--and whether or not my body responds well to the pressure.

So here's my plan (subject to change!):
  • Keep running, 3-4 times a week.
  • One run per week will be "interval training" (with some shorter, faster runs interspersed with slow jogging and/or walking.) Interval training helps with speed.
  • At least one run per week will be a long run, up to 10% longer than the previous week's long run. I'll start with 58 minutes (10% longer than the 53 minute run I did a few days before the 10K.)
  • The remaining 1-2 runs will be flexible. Likely many of them will be 30-minute runs.
  • I'll see how I'm doing with the long runs, and evaluate how I feel, physically and mentally, as the runs get longer. I can then decide whether or not I want to keep working to get into the right physical condition to run a half marathon (which would probably take me about two and a half hours--that's a long time to keep running!)
There are half marathons in my metropolitan area in January, February, and March--and one a couple of hours away in November. So I have plenty of time to decide whether or not to make this my goal, and to decide which race I want to run if I do go that direction.

I'm nervous about the heat here in the summer, and I'll probably join a nearby rec center (just $25 a month) when it gets warmer, so that I can have treadmill access on particularly gross mornings!

According to this post at Eternal Lizdom, after six months of regular exercise I'll be in the "Maintenance" phase. April 28 will be my six month-iversary of running, and I want to make sure that I keep challenging myself, so that I can be motivated enough to stay in that Maintenance phase for a long time!


Lara said...

My theory on running has always been why run unless you are being chased??

That being said, I think people who run as a hobby are a little more bad-A than people like me who sit on the couch as a hobby!

rizomomof4 said...

Beth i have NO Doubt you can do a 1/2 or even a full (by the way the Full is where i go REALLY why do people do this lol ) my body just doesn't want to go to even 14 miles at this point 13.1 i got down but i am not worried about going for more yet i am just working on makin my time better :)i OFTEN just tell myslef i LOVE the FACT that i run !! (can even run ) i was not who i am today just 2 yrs agos !!! it is AMAZIN what our bodys can do !!
so what ever you decide i am here to CHEER you on !!

Dan & Hillary said...

I guess it would be wise to try a 1/2 marathon before trying a full one;-)

There was an article in this month's "Cooking Light" magazine from a seasoned runner. She wasn't getting results from running anymore so she started attending spin classes. She said the classes have whipped her butt and challenged her again.

Eternal Lizdom said...

I am eager to get to a point where I start seeking new challenges beyond my current 5K goal. My hope/anticipation is that I'll keep running but also start trying new things- get back into biking, hiking, and so on. Maybe I'll even work on learning to be a better swimmer so I can do a tri!

I love your plan!