In the not to distant future I will be doing my first back to back half marathons to complete two states toward my 50 By 50 Challenge of completing a half marathon in all 50 states before I turn 50. When I say back to back, I am referring to doing a half marathon on Saturday followed by a second half marathon on Sunday.
In May I will be doing the OneAmerica 500 Mini-Marathon on Saturday, May 2nd followed by the Cincinnati Flying Pig Half Marathon on Sunday, May 3rd. My goal as a part of the challenge is to complete each half marathon with a sub two hour finish time.
For background information, I have done the Walt Disney World Goofy Challenge and a Half twice now. For those that do not know, this is doing a half marathon on Saturday followed by a full marathon on Sunday. However, in training for these two races, I trained just to finish both events standing up, not running for a competitive time.
In researching the Internet for training plans and possibilities for such a feat, I was met with limited results. None of which were very helpful. Because of this, I attempted to come up with my own training plan. In doing so, I reached out to one of the top running coaches in the country for advice.
I reached out to Bart Yasso. I had the honor of meeting Bart at the Space Coast Half Marathon back in November. He told me that day (which I am sure he tells to everyone), to reach out to him if I ever had any running questions or issues to which I needed advice.
So, acting upon that offer, I sent Bart a tweet on Twitter asking for advice. I was shocked that within an hour I received a reply. The Twitter conversation is below. In short, Bart suggested that I keep my normal training plan as it has always been and just add a couple of back to back training events about a month to six weeks out to simulate the race weekend.
When I was beginning to put this training plan together, I was envisioning many a weekend of back to back training runs, and was beginning to get burnt out just thinking about it, and thinking about the past training I did for the Goofy Challenge events. When he said to just do a few back to back training runs, my eyes were opened, and I felt energized!
So, without further adieu, here is how I put my training plan together. This plan started January 1st. This makes this training plan about 18 weeks in total. Now just for some background, so you do not have to look back at all my Training B-Logs, I do about four training runs a week. On Mondays, I normally do a 5 mile run, Wednesdays I do a 4 mile run, specialty run (speed work, tempo, hills rotation) on Thursday or Friday, followed by my long run on Saturdays. This will all remain the same through the training plan.
As for my weekend long runs, this will be the schedule. Since we are now in week 9, I will retro the schedule below to indicate what I have done to this point.
|12||10 Miles||10 Miles|
|14||11 Miles||11 Miles|
|15||8 Miles – HMPW||Off|
|16||12 Miles||12 Miles|
|18||Half Marathon #1||Half Marathon #2|
Based on Bart’s recommendations, I will do back to back weekend runs in weeks 12, 14, & 16 of 10-12 miles. Also, in week 15, I reference HMPW. This represented “Half Marathon Pace Wanted”. Then intent here is that you know when you want to finish your half marathon(s) and what pace you need to run. This will be a trial run at that pace for eight miles.
So that is my plan. You will obviously have to adjust it to your skill & training levels. My baseline for long weekend runs is eight miles. Once you set your baseline, you can more readily build your own schedule.