Sunday, February 5, 2012

My New Half Marathon Plan

After a long, hard run today, I made a plan for my very first half marathon.  It is not a conventional plan.  It is not one that would be advocated by Jeff Galloway or any other running coach, but I think it will work for me. 

My plan is to run hard and all out for the first 5 miles to get to the Magic Kingdom.  Once I make it into the Kingdom at twelve minutes a mile, I will feel much safer to slow down and take pictures.  Once I run down Main Street, through the castle and then through Adventureland, I can slow down and enjoy the last half of the race.  I can stop and take pictures at the castle, with the princesses and with the characters on the way back to Epcot. 

See, I have a completely irrational fear of getting swept.  I think about it all the time.  I have nightmares about it.  While I have proven to myself I can go the distance at about fourteen minutes per mile pace, I am still scared.   I can run hard and keep up a twelve minute mile pace for at least 6 miles, as I did today.  Finding out I have a low bib number, and in turn hopefully an earlier corral does put me at ease a bit, but not enough.  

I know that no running coach would approve of my plan, but I feel like it is right for me.  I know you should take it easy the first half and go all out toward the end.  If I did that, I would not enjoy the race.  I would spend the entire race looking over my shoulder for the balloon lady (sweepers).  To test my plan, I will put it into effect for my last long run this weekend.  My endurance is high enough to keep going—at least walking— the whole 13.1 miles.  My walking speed concerns me because I walk at about 17 minutes a mile.  Knowing I have a decent cushion will allow me to enjoy the race and not be so paranoid. 

Do you have a race plan?

A dream is a wish…



  1. You may surprise yourself. I think this is a good plan to give you good cushion, but you may just want to keep on running after you kick butt in that first half.

    I try to have a race plan. At the Disney Marathon last month, I was ahead of my race plan when going into Magic Kingdom and I thought to myself, What did you do? (I know I always speed up in Magic Kingdom.) I held on and killed my goal. Good luck at the Princess. Loved that race!

  2. For your first half I think there's nothing wrong with this plan. I don't like the idea that coaches wouldn't like it... Runners tend to forget every one is different. What works for some may not work for you.

    But don't fear being swept! You can and will beat the clock! The rush of the race & fellow racers will keep you moving! But do sop & enjoy yourself on such an awesome course

  3. I have the same fear of being swept. I also have a high bib number which scares me even more. My plan is not to stop for pics until I get to MK. At that point I will see what my pace is.

    By the way I got my pink Bondi Band. Thanks. :-)

  4. If you can run that fast, you have absolutely nothing to worry about. As long you can maintain a 17 minute mile and you aren't in the last corral, you'll be fine. I know, I was swept last year.

  5. Just remember that the first mile is very congested. Your first mile may be much slower than you anticipate. Mine sure was. You will be able to speed up afterwards but mile one is killer.

  6. Your plan sounds similar to mine. I know I can run hard for 5-6 miles and then take a break if needed. Good luck! Btw I love my bandi !

  7. I think your plan is great, because running is like faith, it's all very personal. I've realized since I started running that cookie cutter plans don't work for everyone. They are great for getting you out there and started, but at some point you have to make your own plan. I think you will do great! I can't wait to see pics from your Disney Race. One of these are going to have to go on my running bucket list!!

  8. That's kind of what I did last month at the Tinker Bell. I wasn't as fast as you are and still managed not to get swept, you'll do fine!

  9. My daughter,husband and I did the Goofy Challenge last month. We decided,in order to get through and still be able to walk the next day, we were not going to push but really enjoy the races. Plus, our daughter was struggling with some injuries and since this was her idea, we were not going to finish without her. We actually did a 2 minute walk and a 1 minute run. Maintained a 14 minute mile that way. Don't stress about the corrals either. We were in the last one for both races. Just get to the front of your corral. The sweepers are behind the last person to cross over the starting line. We had a great time and were able to play in the parks afterward. Enjoy the experience.

  10. My plan is to stick to my 1:1s the entire way. I'm so fearful of burning myself out with the early adrenaline and not finishing at all. As others have said, it's such an individual thing, mainly because going the distance on race day is as much mental as physical.

    With that said, the sweepers scare me. I ran Philadelphia at a 13:40 pace overall, so that isn't as much what worries me - how do they decide what is a 16 minute pace? Does their clock start after that last runner crosses the start line???