My half-marathon journey: I am currently training for my first half-marathon which will take place on May 21, 2011. I have never run farther than 10 miles, and I have had trouble with injuries when approaching that mileage in the past. I am taking a different approach this time. I am following a training program by Jeff Galloway, and I will be sharing my experiences along the way. Previous posts on this topic: Jeff Galloway – Week 3 Recap, Jeff Galloway – 5 Week Recap
Over the course of my training program, several of my runs indicated the number of miles “with Magic Miles.” First step, find out what that is. Second step, try it out.
Step One: What is the Magic Mile?
From Half-Marathon: You Can Do It, by Jeff Galloway:
1. Go to a track, or other accurately measured course.
2. Warm up by walking 5 minutes, then running a minute and walking a minute, then jogging an easy half mile.
3. Do 4 acceleration gliders.
4. Walk for 3-4 minutes.
5. Run fast – for you – for one mile. Use walk break suggestions in this chapter, or run the way you want.
6. On your first time trial, don’t run all-out from the start – ease into your pace after the first half.
7. Warm down by reversing the warm up.
8. Don’t use a treadmill because they are notoriously inaccurate.
9. On each successive one, try to adjust pace in order to run a faster time.
10. Use the formula below to see what time is predicted in the goal races.
Got all that?
I didn’t . I didn’t remember each step exactly, but I had the basic gist of it – warm up, go for an easy jog, run a fast mile, cool down.
Step Two: Doing It
I routinely run at a track over the winter, and I have a Garmin. This shouldn’t be a big deal, right?
Sadly, my first attempt at the Magic Mile was a big flop. I walked to warm up, jogged an easy mile, and 1/4 of the way into my first fast lap, my watch turned off. The battery was low, and it wouldn’t stay on. This, in spite of my charging it after my last run (or so I thought). Frustrating.
Given that the track was super crowded that day, I decided to count my blessings. It would have been really hard to keep up a certain pace when there were groups of walkers covering the entire width of the track. That is not a big deal when I am out for an easy jog; in fact, in makes me happy to see so many people out there moving. I think I would have gotten frustrated, though, if I had to keep stopping and waiting for an opportunity to pass while doing the Magic Mile. I decided to try again and to choose a time the track would be less busy.
Magic Mile, take two. I went back to the track late in the evening when it is much less busy. My Garmin was charged. I walked a lap, jogged a slow mile, ran a fast mile (for me), walked a half mile, then jogged another easy mile and walked to finish cooling down.
The formula mentioned above works like this:
Your Magic Mile Pace x 1.2 = Race Goal Pace
Race Goal Pace + 3 minutes per mile = Long Run Training Pace
In the coming weeks, I will be doing a few more of these Magic Miles. If I can do the half-marathon at the pace that I calculated with the Magic Mile, I will be really happy. I am actually not concerned about meeting a time goal. This is a new distance for me, and I will be so excited just to finish a half-marathon!
Time will tell if this Magic Mile prediction is accurate. It will be fun to find out how close I come to the predicted pace.
Have you found an accurate predictor of race performance?