Posted by: Caleb | March 9, 2011

i’ll race you!

Boomtown Run

2011 Boomtown 1/2 Marathon

I started running a little over a year ago. A blog post by Donald Miller in January of last year (which I’ll talk about in more detail in a future post) inspired me to start running; while I haven’t been the most consistent runner, I ran one race last October, the Lewis & Clark 1/2 Marathon. I ran a 2:03, which I was pretty proud of. And, to make it even better, I beat the crud out of my buddy, Andy. (To be perfectly fair to Andy, he was pretty hairy that day. Lots of wind resistance, I guess.)

This brings me to my reason for this post:

I’ve officially registered for my second half marathon race, the Boomtown Run, held in Joplin, MO, on June 11, 2011.

My goal this year is to run the full 13.1 miles in under 2 hours; this equates to just over 9 minutes per mile (9:09.618 minutes per mile, to be more exact). This would mean that I would have to shave off right around 14 seconds per mile over my average pace from October. This seems like a pretty big deal to me; 9 minutes per mile for 13.1 miles is going to be hard.

Luckily, I’ve got help. There are all kinds of awesome training schedules out there, and for this one, I’ve selected a 9-week training guide from Runner’s World.

And this looks intense. First off, I’m running four days a week. You might think that’s no big deal, but try running 7-8 miles in a day, and then turning around and running 8-10 miles the next day. It adds up, and can deal some pretty intense punishment to your body. (In comparison, I only ran 3 days a week in my training last year.)

Second, this schedule doesn’t just have me running for miles at a time; there are things like aerobic intervals and gentle pickups that promise to kick me in the pant seat.

Honestly, I’m looking forward to it. I think I’ll do well, and, hopefully, I’ll beat my goal of 2 hours this time around, so when I run my next one this fall, I can have a new goal to beat.

If you’re a runner, how do you train for races? Do you even race? Why or why not?



  1. I do tempo runs, hill repeats, intervals and a long run. The other runs I do are easy runs. If you want to get faster, these workouts are going to get you there. You dont necessarily have to do these all at once, over a 14 week training schedule (just an example) you could do hills for the first 7 weeks and your speed the last 7 weeks. I would maintain a weekly tempo run preferable around or even a little faster then what you hope to run the race at. Speed/ Intervals will be quite a bit faster then your race pace but shorter intervals with rest periods in between.


    • Thanks for the info!

      I’m planning on working hills into my Saturday (easy) runs, and I’m trying to find a track close by so I can work in my intervals. Finding a track I can use is proving to be harder than I thought it would be.

      Thanks for the comment, too!

  2. 13 miles is a heck of a way to go, I’m proud of you. I’m in no way that advanced, but I’ve recently been getting off the couch and running via the aptly named iPhone 4 app ‘couch to 5K’. It starts out mixing running & walking periods then progressing to running 3 miles. It’s gradual so you dont’ quit to your training because it’s too tough. Despite the snow and general nasty weather we’ve had lately, I’m progressing alright. Now that spring is almost here, I’m looking forward to meeting my goal. And a goal is essential!

  3. I ran about 2:06 on my 1st race and then on my second I just beat 2 hours (1:59:36 if I remember correctly). So it is definitely possible for you to make it. By the way, that race where you beat me was and is my personal shame.

    I’ve looked at the Runner’s World schedules, but I’ve never used them. It’s just too complicated for me to keep track of, and for some of them you really need to run on a track, so I never tried them. I’m sure they work great if you have the patience to keep track. But my schedule that I follow is a four-day-a-week schedule as well, with a speed work day, a race pace day, a long run, and a recovery run. It’s worked great for me when I actually keep up with it. Good luck, and I’m still considering going down there with you.

    • You’re more than welcome to come! It’d be awesome to kick your tail again.

      We should do some of our long runs together. I get bored by myself.

  4. First I cut significant time off my marathon pace this year doing Yasso repeats on the track. Probably the best thing I have done. I just read born to run and just got in my first pair of vibrams, hoping the minimalist thing will help my time this year, aiming for a 3:25 marathon

    • I’m not sure I could wear those things. There’s a guy I work with who consistently wins marathons, and he’s told me that he doesn’t think they’re worth what some people say they are. Let me know what you think. I run in a stability, so I don’t know if it’s even really an option for me. Good luck.

      Oh, and your hair looks cute.

  5. One day I hope to try a half marathon, but I have speed issues. Right now I only do 4 miles, with each mile around 7:00…and there’s no way I can keep that up for more than a few more miles! I know I need to slow the pace down, but I’m in get in a hurry to get it over. I’d never last 13 miles.

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