Now that I've lost significant weight and have gotten myself into reasonably good shape, I begin the next phase. The 2011 running season is behind me and my sights are now set on the Cleveland Half Marathon.
As one of the 8 members of "The Cleveland Experience" team selected by Ohio Sport and Fitness Magazine, I got to meet with John Rolf an acclaimed exercise physiologist. John put me through a series of fitness tests to see what kind of condition I was in and came up with a custom training plan for my quest to run in the Rite Aid Half Marathon in Cleveland this coming May. The fitness evaluation contained four tests, each with one having a maximum score of 250. The tests measured strength, flexibility, endurance and aerobic capacity. I scored miserably, but I like to look at it in a 'glass half full' scenario, or in my case 1/4 full.
John laid out a five day per week program that includes 1 long day followed by an easy recovery day and 3 other days of running 3-5 miles. The weekly long run started off at 5 miles and increased very gradually over 18 weeks till I built my distance up to the 13 mile half marathon distance. Walking has been eliminated from the program I had been following. After about 8 weeks of base building, the program started to work in some speed work sessions, including Tempo Runs, Fartlek and 1,000 meter intervals. Three weeks before the marathon, we start to taper off the weekly distance and the length of the weekly long runs.