A post about other posts ... and my first training workout

So ... welcome to the first post of my training for the Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon that'll take place Aug. 31. Yesterday was supposed to be the first day of training, but instead it actually turned into a rest day for various reasons. Anyway, let me go through some things that'll likely be different in my posting for the next few months.

First off, the end of each blog post will highlight my workouts for each day since the previous post. I hope this will help hold me accountable for my training efforts. It's also something I've never really done. I often have discussed specific workouts and never really mentioned what I did in between posts.

Generally, my workouts will consist of four running days a week -- two "easy" runs, one consisting of some kind of speed work and the long run on Saturday or Sunday. I'll then have two cross training days that'll consist of biking and/or lifting weights. Then I'll have one day in which I do absolutely nothing.

As I mentioned before, I'll have weekly posts detailing lifestyle changes. This will generally consist of foods that I'm giving up that week through the end of August, or may have already given up since June 1. Since I plan to discuss my weight and plans to lose a little bit in the next few months, discussing my diet is more important to me now than it was a year ago when marathon training.

So that leads me to today... "test" day. As part of my workout today, I did a mile test to see how fast I could run a mile at probably about 80 percent effort. The idea behind this test is do to the exact same thing at the beginning of July and August to check on my progress for a close to all-out mile. The run will take place in the same spot each time to assure that hills don't factor into my time. (Generally, my other speed workouts will take place in my slightly hilly neighborhood.)

Today's goal was to shoot for about an 8-minute mile, with the thinking that I can and should improve 30 seconds or so each month. So after about a mile warm-up to the park this took place in, I notched a 7:55 mile. Considering that I've really laid off my miles and any kind of speed in the past couple of months, I feel great about beating 8 minutes.

When I returned home, I gave myself another test by doing the plank. I got into doing this as an ab workout a few months ago, but didn't stick with it. My plan for training this summer is to do ab workouts by using my Bosu ball, the plank and my home gym. My goal is to do a plank max once a week -- seeing how long I can just hold it. Today my max was only 49 seconds -- probably half the time of what I was doing back in March. It'll be very interesting to track my progress with this.

Whew! Am I done? Almost. My plans for the rest of this week are: Tuesday - cross train; Wednesday - 4 "easy" miles; Thursday - 3 miles doing intervals; Friday - cross train or rest; Saturday - long run of 5-6 miles; Sunday - head to the Outer Banks.


Workouts since last post

June 1: Rest
June 2: Walk - 0.4; Run - 3.2 total (1 in 7:55); Plank - 1:25 total (49 max)