Half Marathon Training and Can women’s world records catch up with men’s?

8 Aug

Did I tell you that I broke my coffee pot this weekend? I know, I’m pretty upset about it too. I was in a cleaning frenzy and just…knocked it off the counter. Yep, I haven’t had coffee all week. Even Monday morning, after I didn’t sleep at all, I went coffee-less. I have no idea how I did it, but right now, this is happening:

Yum!

Yes, I broke down and bought a coffee. I’m going to have to buy a new coffee pot ASAP, because buying coffee is too expensive.

This week marks week 1 of my half-marathon training:

I’m following Hal Higdon’s Intermediate plan found here. The one and only time I’ve ever run a half marathon, I didn’t really follow a training schedule, other than running outside a bunch and making sure I did long runs once a week. I knew the magic number was 10 miles, so I ran a 10 mile long run exactly one week before the half marathon. My final time was 2:13:45, which isn’t too bad for my first half, but this time I hope to do much better with a proper training schedule.

As anyone who has trained for a race knows, training schedules rarely go as planned. I’ve already had to do some significant juggling, and it’s only Wednesday of week 1! Again, I didn’t sleep well Sunday night so I took Monday as a rest day. Instead of a three mile run, I did a nice and sweaty speed work session on the treadmill yesterday evening:

6.8 mph = about 8:50/mile which is my 5k pace. This morning I woke up and went to my Cardio Fusion class, and when I got there our instructor had us get out all kinds of equipment: a short circular resistance band, a body bar, a step, a mat, dumbbells (I got 8lb and 6 lb, but I stuck with the 8lb weights for most of the class), and a Bosu. We definitely used all of that equipment too. My arms and butt feel like jelly. So, I’ve got my speed work and one strength session in for the week. I plan on doing a three mile run after work and I should be caught up to the training schedule above. Even if life happens and I don’t get in a run this evening, I still have that Friday rest day that I can do something if I need to. So the first week of training is going well, albeit not according to plan.

Now, let me share with you this amazing article I read yesterday from The Atlantic:

The ‘Golden’ Ratio: The One Number that Describes how Men’s World Records Compare with Women’s

For the first time ever this year, there was no country that marched with only male athletes. With the introduction of female boxing to the Summer Games, there are no longer any male-only sports. Ye Shiwen, a Chinese female swimmer, shocked Olympic judges by swimming a faster 50 m split than Ryan Lochte. Of course, no female can out-perform a man without automatically being suspected of using illegal substances.

The Atlantic article above shows that perhaps we shouldn’t be so surprised, because according to World Record data since the early 1900’s (using running and swimming as the model), women may start to consistently out perform men in this century. Over time, women’s records have improved at a much greater frequency than men’s have, so it stands to reason that eventually, women will ‘catch up’ with men. If you extrapolate the data found in these articles, you will see eventually the men’s and women’s data will converge. How cool is that?

Question of the day:
What is the most interesting article you have read lately? 

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