The novice half marathoner runs a 10-mile long run one week before his/her half, while the intermediate does 12 miles and the advanced runs a 2:00 run. Since I'm a believer in the "why fix it if it is not broke method" of training, but knowing that I want to PR, I keep having conflicting thoughts. I have never run more than 15 miles at one time, which I am confident I could do in under 2 hours (advanced training plan)...but do I have the mental ability to run 2 hours on my own for training? Racing is so different because there are always people for me to "target" while I'm running...to keep my eye on and focus on passing, before picking my next "victim." However, while training it is typically just me and the streets. I can focus on street signs, but it is just not the same. Training is hard to do, both physically and mentally.
I have decided that for my half in March, I am going to run 11 miles for my long run the week before. It does not take me much time to recover from a run of that length, so I am confident I'll be fine for the race. I'll taper the rest of the week and be ready to PR on that Saturday.
However, although I am not registered for it yet, I am hoping to run the Illinois Marathon - Half Marathon race on April 30. This will give me a little over a month after my March half to recover and be ready to race again. I am going to attempt to do some longer runs for that half - including a 2-hour run, like Hal suggests for advanced half marathoners.
I know I can run under 1:40. During my race, and so far during my training, I have been focusing on using mantras while running. Some people only have one that they repeat over and over again. I'm not like that, though. I use 3 different mantras:
Mantra #1: I can do this.
Mantra #2: I am a machine.
Mantra #3: You've got this.
I don't know why I refer to myself as a "you" in mantra #3, but somehow it is like the inner-coach talking to me while running. I'm a big fan of mantras and often repeat them...along with the lyrics to my music, while running.
Do you use mantras? What is your favorite?