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Lake Placid Half Marathon Training Update

I have always had an interest in health and fitness and for over 30 years have been running the roads of western Massachusetts.

Sign up early for the 2021 race to be held on September 12, and see you in Lake Placid.

Finish area of the Lake Placid Marathon/Half Marathon.

Finish area of the Lake Placid Marathon/Half Marathon.

The Lake Placid Marathon/Half Marathon takes place every year on the second Sunday in June. The 2012 race marked my fourth trip to this beautiful upstate New York community that plays host to this wonderful event.

While out for a run this weekend it occurred to me that chronicling my training leading up to the race would make for a great topic to write about. I've run a few half marathons in my day and I’m always searching for training plans and tips that might be helpful. Hopefully writing about the ups and downs of my training over the next three months proves beneficial to others who may be embarking on their own training regime for a half or full marathon. I will try to update this weekly to sort of recap my weeks training and to report on how things are progressing.

A little background on where I’m at with my training at this moment. Given the relatively mild winter we’ve had here in the Northeast I did mange to run consistently between 15 and 20 miles per week throughout the winter. I know this isn’t great, but for me it’s a pretty good starting point and to be honest I’ve never been a high mileage runner. A normal ramp up for me for a half marathon would usually involve having a fairly good base of about 20 miles per week and then spending about two months slowly increasing my mileage to an average of 30 miles per week. During this time I will gradually build my long runs up to around 13 – 14 miles. As I am now over 50 and getting to the point where my running and recovery is slowing down I have decided to give myself an extra month this year so I am starting now in early March.

In my three previous trips to Lake Placid my finishing times have been amazingly consistent. They have gone as follows: 1:50:57, 1:51:05, and 1:50:48. Three years and my times are separated by a mere 17 seconds. I probably couldn’t repeat this if I tried. I would like to break 1:50 and think that if the conditions are favorable and my training goes well this is feasible. I have run a best of 1:38 a few years ago but that was on a flat course and Lake Placid is anything but flat. Certainly at my age my best times are behind me but that should never be a reason to not participate.


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3/11/12 Update:

My first week covered 23 miles with a long run of a little over 7 miles at an 8:31 pace. It was a perfect weather day so I took advantage of it and went a little longer than I had planned. For the week I got five runs in which included a 3-mile tempo run, my long run of 7.3 miles, and three mid week runs which ranged between 4 and 5 miles. Not being a high mileage runner I try and limit myself to four or five runs per week with one bike session just to throw in a little cross training. I normally do my bike workout midweek.

As Lake Placid is a fairly challenging course I plan on incorporating a few more hill workouts this year as I’ve had some trouble with the hills that come during the last three miles of the Lake Placid Half Marathon course. Last year my long run peaked at 14 miles and I’m not sure I need to go any longer than this although we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it in the weeks ahead.

I will update this article weekly to report in on how the previous week went and to share anything that I think might be helpful. Likewise, I welcome feedback from the running community on any tips and advice that you think might be helpful.

3/18/12 Update:

It was a good week of training. Managed to get in five runs with a Sunday morning long run of 8 miles. The weather continues to be amazing for this time of year in New England and the forecast for the coming week is for temperatures to be in the 70's. Did a 15 mile bike workout on the stationary cycle on Tuesday to add in some cross training and take a break from the road. I am currently further along in my training than I have been the last three years in preparing for the Lake Placid Half Marathon which is mostly due to the nice weather. The plan is to try and get the long run up to close to 10 miles by the end of March although I know I have to be wary of doing too much too soon. We'll see how I feel in the coming week and plan next weeks long run based on how the week goes.

3/25/12 Update:

It was an okay week, not great. The numbers were five runs for a total of 26.3 miles with a long run of 9.1 miles on Sunday morning. Also did a stationary bike workout on Tuesday morning for about 45 minutes. Monday to Friday was a bit tough as the temperatures were in the 70's and 80's this week. I do not like running in the heat and humidity and although the weather was actually beautiful it was too warm too quick for me. Toss in a couple of lousy nights sleep and it was a long week. The weather did cool off on the weekend and by Sunday morning it was overcast and in the high 40's which is ideal running weather for me. I started the long run very slowly and after a few miles started to feel pretty good. For the coming week I will probably scale back the training from Monday to Friday from four runs to three runs in an attempt to ensure that come next Sunday I am fresh to attempt to get my long run up to 10 miles. I will also start to break in a new pair of running shoes. The shoes I am running in now probably have about 300 miles on them and although they feel great I always try and slowly break in a new pair as I slowly phase out an old pair.

Eleven weeks until Lake Placid. Still have a lot of work to do but we're on track and making progress for the moment. I'll report back next week as March comes to an end and we head into April.

Next Update on 4/1/12

4/1/12 Update:

As we head into April the training is going as planned so far. I cut back on the miles this week as I was starting to feel like I was doing a little too much to soon. I completed four runs for a total of 23 miles for the week. It was a good time to drop a mid week run as I was extremely busy at work this past week. With less miles came a very good 4 mile tempo workout on Friday and my longest run this year of 10 miles on Sunday morning. I had a little discomfort in my right knee toward the end of my long run so when I got home I immediately applied some ice to it, ate something, and then took some ibuprofen for any inflammation. I will monitor this over the next few days but I don't think it will be a problem.

Ten weeks until lake Placid. We have our accommodations set, a nice house we rented right on Mirror Lake so everyone is very much looking forward to spending a few days there.

Next update on 4/8/12 (it's Easter Sunday so might not get an update in until Monday)

Have a Happy Easter everyone!

4/8/12 Update:

It was a good week as I managed to get 27 miles in over five runs. The week included a pretty good tempo run, a mid-week spinning workout, and a Saturday long run of 9 miles. It was a good time to scale back my long run, as my weekly mileage reached it’s highest total of the year. It’s probably a good idea to scale back every three or four weeks anyway and with Sunday morning unavailable for a run, as it’s Easter, it all worked out for the best. I thought about going longer on Saturday but it was my third straight day of running and I didn’t want to overdue it. With the extra day of recovery going into next week I will look to get my long run up to 11 or 12 miles come next weekend.

Hopefully everyone has a nice Easter. Check back next week for another update as we approach eight weeks to go.

4/15/2012 Update:

How does the saying go, "nothing good lasts forever.” Well, I was bound to run into a few bumps in the road as I prepare for the Lake Placid Half marathon in June but this particular road block was totally unexpected. While getting ready to retire for the evening on Monday I started feeling a little chilled. I took a couple of Tylenol after my wife took my temperature and discovered that it was up slightly. On Tuesday morning I awoke and although I did not feel great I felt well enough to go to work so I started preparing for the day when it hit me. Within a span of a few minutes I was literally put to the floor. The next 30 minutes were not good as I was overcome with nausea, sweating, shaking, etc. I spent the next four days on the couch. Welcome to a case of the flu.

I am much better today, but still not fully recovered and I'm not sure when I'll be able to hit the road again? Hopefully sometime this week. This certainly changes things and once I'm able to run again I'll have to access how much this has set me back but I fear it is substantial. So, the plan for the week is to simply get back out there at some point. Hopefully I'll be able to report some better news next week.


4/22/12 Update:

Well we managed to get back out there late in the week but we have a lot of ground to make up. Losing nine days of training to the flu is going to set me back a bit and take a few weeks to get back into the full swing of things. I felt better with each new day and by the end of the week felt comfortable and almost normal again. For the coming week I will hope to get a full week of normal training in and will try and do a longer run come next weekend. There is still time to recover before June but I can't afford anymore setbacks. On my runs late this week I could feel the lack of energy and my respiratory system struggling. Hopefully I get stronger with each coming day.

4/29/12 Update:

We're back on the road again. I managed to get a full week of training in without any setbacks and feel normal again so it was a good week. My weight is back to where it was pre-illness which is good, but my fitness level is still not where it was although we are making progress. With only six weeks until race day I have a lot of work to do and the next few weeks will be critical as I try and get some long runs over 10 miles in. I will also try and add a few miles to my mid week runs but that can sometimes be difficult as I run during my lunch break and my available time can sometimes be limited depending on my work schedule.

5/6/12 Update:

It was a pretty good week overall. Managed 27 miles including a long run of 10 miles on Sunday morning. I still feel like I'm getting my fitness back but what's done is done and I have but five weeks until June 10th. Next weekends long run will have to be longer and I hope to continue increasing my long runs up until two weeks prior to Lake Placid. I would also like to start working some hills into my training given the rolling nature of the Lake Placid course. Have a great week and check back next week for another update.

5/13/12 Update:

We're getting closer. Last week I managed only four runs but did get an 11.3 mile run in on Saturday morning. It wasn't fast but the whole idea behind the LSD, long slow distance run, is go slow and comfortable. I certainly could have gone longer but I just didn't want to overdue it. This coming weekend we'll extend the long run another mile or so which should get me to somewhere between 12 and 13 miles. I think this past week was the first time since getting sick that I felt like I had my fitness level back to where it was. Another two weeks of long runs and then I'll start cutting back and attempt to get he taper right heading into the June 10th weekend.

5/20/12 Update:

The focus this week was making sure I got a good long run in. This morning I went out at 8 am (trying to mimic race day) and wound up getting in 12.2 miles. I can't say that today was easy. I felt tired from the start and the weather was warm, 65 degrees when I started and 74 by time I finished. I included two really good hills in anticipation of the Lake Placid course so that didn't help (hopefully it helps come June 10th). I'm really hoping for a nice crisp cool morning come June 10th but there is nothing I can do about the weather. This was my highest mileage week of the year but it's now or never with only three weeks to go. For the coming week we'll try and get over 30 miles again and aim for a long run of at least 13 miles. If you're a high mileage runner you're probably thinking that 30 miles really isn't a lot when training for a long distance race but it works for me and keeps me from getting injured. I'll report back next Sunday after hopefully getting in another long one.

5/27/12 Update:

This morning I did what will be my longest run in preparation for the Lake Placid Half Marathon. I managed to get a 12.5 mile run in. I had hoped to go longer but the combination of the warm weather and a long week combined for a tiring and difficult run. I did manage to include two very steep hills so hopefully that will pay off in a few weeks. This was my fifth consecutive week of building my mileage and long runs and I would not normally do that. Normally I would build up for three to four weeks and then cut back for a week before continuing to build up again. But, I was intent on getting my last long run in two weeks prior to the race so today was it.

I'll do a normal training schedule this week and then cut back next weekends run to somewhere in the 8 to 10 mile range. The end is in sight now. Most of the work has been done. Have a nice Memorial Day everyone.

6/3/12 Update:

One week to go. The work has been done, I hope, and now it's just get in a few last runs this week and we're off to lake Placid. It was a pretty good week and this mornings 9.5 mile run was excellent. The weather has cooled down and this morning the temperature was in the mid 50's with very low humidity and dew point, my kind of conditions. My plan is to do three runs this week, most likely Tuesday, Wednesday and a short one on Friday and that will be it.

The next report will be post race. Have a great week.

6/10/12 Update:

Mission accomplished. Another successful Lake Placid Half Marathon is in the books. It was a great long weekend in the Adirondacks of upstate New York. This years result was 1:51:12 which was right in line with my three previous races here. We are already looking forward to next year. Thank you to everyone who followed along.

Weekly Training Summary

Week EndingMTWTFSSWeek Total

3/11/12

4.0

XT (spin)

5.0

4.0

3.0

 

7.3

23.3

3/18/12

4.0

XT (spin)

5.0

3.3

5.0

 

8.0

25.3

3/25/12

4.0

XT (spin)

4.0

4.2

5.0

 

9.1

26.3

4/1/12

4.0

XT (spin)

5.0

 

4.0

 

10.0

23.0

4/8/12

4.0

4.2

XT (spin)

5.0

4.8

9.0

 

27.0

4/15/12

4.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.0

4/22/12

 

 

 

2.0

3.0

4.1

 

9.1

4/29/12

4.0

4.0

XT (spin)

5.0

4.0

 

8.1

25.1

5/6/12

 

3.5

5.0

4.0

4.5

 

10.0

27.0

5/13/12

 

4.5

5.3

5.0

 

11.3

 

26.1

5/20/12

4.2

4.0

XT (spin)

6.0

5.0

 

12.2

31.4

5/27/12

 

4.0

6.0

4.0

4.2

 

12.5

30.7

6/3/12

 

4.0

5.4

4.0

4.9

 

9.5

27.5

6/10/12

 

4.0

5.0

3.0

13.1

25.1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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© 2012 Bill De Giulio

Comments

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on June 12, 2012:

6/12/12 Update. Another Lake Placid Half Marathon is in the books. It was a beautiful long weekend in the Adirondacks of upstate New York. We are already looking forward to next year. Thanks

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on June 03, 2012:

6/3/12 Update: One week to go. The long runs and hard work are done, I hope! It will be an easy training week and we are off to Lake Placid next Saturday.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on May 27, 2012:

5/27/12 Update. Two weeks to go. Today was my last longer run before Lake Placid.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on May 20, 2012:

5/20/12 Update. We're getting closer. Only 3 weeks left until the gun goes off in the tiny upstate New York village of Lake Placid. We're all very excited about spending a long weekend in one of our favorite places.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on May 15, 2012:

5/13/12 update. A little delayed this week. We're making progress.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on May 07, 2012:

5/6/12 Update. Only 5 weeks until race day at the Lake Placid Half Marathon.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on April 29, 2012:

4/29/12 Update: Back on the road again.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on April 22, 2012:

4/22/12 update. Another off week as I recovered from a case of the flu. By late in the week I was back on the road. I have a lot of work to do in just 7 weeks. Hopefully there are no more setbacks and surprises.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on April 15, 2012:

4/15/12 update. It was not a good week for running. I picked up a pretty good case of the flu which had me on the couch all week.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on April 08, 2012:

4/8/12 update is here. Have a nice Easter everyone.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on April 01, 2012:

4/1/12 update is in.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on March 25, 2012:

3/25/12 update is in.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on March 18, 2012:

3/18/12 update. It was a good week of training. Staying injury free so far.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on March 12, 2012:

Thanks Shuck72. For me the key is as you said, to "Stay Healthy". I thought it would be fun to start a Hub and update it weekly. We'll see how it goes!

shuck72 from Seattle on March 12, 2012:

Cool idea for a hub to update as your training goes along. I run about the same pace and mileage so look forward to keeping up with your training. Stay healthy!!

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