{training: repurposing rundisney’s training plans}

The time has come to buckle down and keep the momentum from Traveler’s Half going into my training for runDisney’s Glass Slipper Challenge at Disney World in February, and to continue through to the Tinkerbell Half Marathon at Disneyland in May.

I need to take a different approach for both plans, and neither will be the same as the training I did for the Traveler Beer New England Half Marathon.

Training for Traveler’s was simple: I just wanted to build up the endurance for a long-distance run. No time goal, no expectations other than to cross the finish line under my own power.


Not only was I able to cross the finish line under my own power, but I did it with a SMILE on my face (and 5 out of 9 race photos my eyes were closed, but it’s all good!), I finished in 2:46:51- MUCH faster than I originally thought I would. But my legs were toast – ouch!

enchanted10k princess-half-marathon

Training for the Glass Slipper Challenge (GSC) presents a unique challenge. The GSC is comprised of two race events across two days. I am registered to run the Enchanted 10K on Saturday, and the Princess Half Marathon (PHM) on Sunday. As a result, I will need to train in a way that will teach me to run on tired legs. So far, I haven’t done any back-to-back days where I run more than my usual 3-ish miles. My last three miles at Traveler’s were really hard – my legs were toast. So I have some conditioning to do here.


Training for the Tinkerbell Half Marathon (THM) also presents a unique challenge in that I’ve recently been able to shave some time off my average pace (so much so that I recently ran a 10:35-minute mile… I’ve been a 12:00-13:00mm gal for months). I’d like to train to consistently run faster for THM. I haven’t figured out exactly what time goal I want to reach just yet – I’m currently on track to finish PHM in the 2:46-2:50 range. It could be that my goal will be to finish THM in 2:30 (which is an 11:26-minute mile), but I’m not sure at this point.

I was a little overwhelmed trying to figure out which training plan to use for this go-round. I wanted to plan to run fewer days per week so that I’d have more flexibility to move my run days around as-needed. I spent the last three months doing maintenance runs M-W-F and doing long runs on Saturdays. This time I wanted to run two days per week (with an optional third day if I want), and doing long runs on either weekend day.

Thankfully, runDisney has a whole host of training programs tailored specifically for their events. As it turns out, there is a training plan for “experienced runners” who want “to finish in the upright position” for the GSC which has maintenance runs on T/Th, long runs on Saturdays, and alternating weekends with a long walk on Saturday and long run on Sunday to build up that tired-leg endurance I’m looking for. They also have a training plan for “experienced runners” who want “time improvement” for the THM.

Well… if that’s not perfectly-tailored for me, I don’t know what is.

I took a look at these two training plans next to my personal calendar and came up with an Excel calendar template to combine the two. I knew I had other races with Millennium Running planned through the end of 2016, plus events and holidays, so I needed to be able work my training in around those. There were very few scheduling conflicts, surprisingly enough. I was able to shift some days around and still maintain a reasonable training schedule around my personal commitments. Here’s what I came up with:

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So there you have it – 6.5 months of training, all planned out. I might add some local 5K races to my schedule, and I fully expect to have to shift planned days around based on life and weather (running outdoors all winter for the first time will be interesting!), but for now this is it.

Do you follow a training plan? If so, which one(s)? If not, why not?


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