First Week of Zion Half Training = Done!

Hi everyone!  I am so excited that my first week of training for the Zion Half Marathon is complete!  This plan was emailed to me by Active at Altitude and is available to anyone running this race.  It will eventually have Zion course specific training aspects (like hills!) and I’m excited that I’ll be prepared for the course by the time March rolls around.  It’s not my usual kind of training plan – in fact, I’ve never seen one that used minutes instead of miles!  But it’s going pretty well so far and I like that I know exactly how long my workouts will be.  Usually when I’m training for a half my main focus is on the weekly long run, and I do what I can during the week.  This time I made sure to do all of my assigned workouts – just not on the days they told me to do them!  I think flexibility is key when you’re training and things can be switch around a bit to fit into your schedule better.  I’m proud of myself for getting through everything.  Hopefully I can keep it up for the next 11 weeks!


Monday:  First training run and I was excited to wear my Zion training shirt!  I did 20 minutes at an easy pace.


Tuesday: 30 minutes of active recovery because of my work schedule.  I chose to do Yoga With Adrienne’s Bedtime Yoga.  It felt so good to stretch!  And it was so relaxing doing it in the dark next to my Christmas tree.


Wednesday:  Christmas Eve tempo run – 10 minutes easy, 5 minutes steady, 10 minutes easy.  Looking at all the Christmas decorations along the trail got me excited about Christmas finally being here!


Thursday:  I was planning on going for the scheduled run but ended up being too sad to do it.  So I switched some days around and did 30 minutes of active recovery by going for a Christmas hike with Andrew.


Friday:  Rest day!  I felt awful after work and watched Harry Potter Weekend on ABC Family all night (please tell me you all got to watch it!).

Saturday:  45 minutes at an easy pace.  I ran along the coastal trail in crazy winds, but it was worth it when I turned around to run home and saw the prettiest sunset!  I definitely took it way easy and was over 12:00/mile (my slowest run all week), which I think should be fine in the early stages of training in the snow and wind.  I also slipped on some ice which had me running slower than usual because I was afraid of wiping out!


Sunday:  20 minutes at an easy pace.  My friend is visiting from Bethel and we’re running a 5k together on New Year’s Eve (my last race of 2014!) so she came with me.  It made the run go so fast!


In other Zion news, this week we also booked our flights and hotel!  I am beyond excited to be in Southern Utah from March 12-19!  I’ve been getting a few suggestions on places to go other than Zion National Park, but if you’ve ever been there I’d love to hear about it.  Bryce is on our list, and we’re trying to figure out if a 4 hour drive to the Grand Canyon is worth it or if we should wait to take a separate trip there.

And I’d like to end with a rant on airline “miles” – when I won 25,000 Alaska Airline miles I thought they would actually take me pretty far, but they’re not “miles” at all!  They’re basically points.  We were able to use those miles plus our sign-on miles to get our plane tickets for free, but I’m sad that I don’t have any left over to get me to Philly next year.  I need to start saving up now!

Are you training for any spring races?  Ever use a minutes based training plan?

16 thoughts on “First Week of Zion Half Training = Done!

    1. Yeah it’s really weird because for years I’ve measured my runs in distance, not time. So if I was out running and getting tired I wouldn’t give up until it was some kind of rounded out number like 3 or 3.5 or something. Now I just run a set amount of time and however far I get in that time is all I run that day. It’s really strange but I’m liking it so far! It’s been a while since I ran 4 times a week so I’m still going slow, but I’m hearing from other people who did similar plans that they got faster as the training plans went on.

      I am so excited you did 4 miles!!!! And your pace was awesome on that! Now you’re either going to have to do a real race or a virtual 10k soon! There are tons of races in DC for you to choose from. I ran the St. Patricks Day 8K in DC last March and it was a lot of fun. There were thousands of people and pretty views, and it was so flat that I got a PR! I was much faster back then haha.

  1. AWESOME week and I’m going to have to try that yoga.Congrats on getting the trip all booked!

    I just started marathon training last Monday so that’s what’s happening now!

    1. Thanks! And congrats on training for your next marathon! Are you staying overnight in Jersey? I find booking hotels to be so stressful, I’m glad that part of my trip planning is over!

    1. Thanks! I’m curious too. Right now I’m taking the word “easy” very literally and I’m going really slow. I’m curious to see if I speed up later!

  2. That “in training” shirt is awesome! I wish more races did that… I feel like it would be motivation for me 😉

    1. Yeah it is! I had to pay an extra $15 (I think) to get it during registration but I loved the idea! That’s the back of the shirt, the front says “Run America” and has a picture of one of the mountains in Zion on it. All of the Vacation Races half marathons have the same words on the front with a different picture that’s specific to their park. I love it!

  3. Nice job on getting your runs in with all that snow! I have a lot to say about Zion and southern Utah…….but for starters……Although it’s in the desert it can get really cold there from Nov to March – the weather is really unpredictable. We visited Bryce in May one year and the highs were in the 30s and there was a lot of snow (it’s at 9000 ft). Zion is a lot lower elevation (around 4000 ft I think) and usually not so bad but I had friends running a Ragnar trail race in April this year that got cancelled due to a snowstorm. Don’t want to frighten you but just expect anything! It could also be 70F and sunny! The Grand Canyon that is 4 hours away is the Northern Rim which I think is closed from Nov to May – personally I would give it a miss this time. The Southern Rim is where all the hotels and visitors center is but that’s probably at least an 8 hour drive. Bryce and Zion are must sees and can easily take up 4 full days. If you’re coming up from Vegas you will pass Valley of Fire state park – I haven’t visited but I’ve heard it’s lovely. Also Snow Canyon state park near St George is good for a half day. Feel free to shoot me any questions!

    1. Ahhh I figured it would be “cold” there when we went (it’s in quotation marks because I’m assuming it will be warmer than Anchorage – although who knows with this winter) but I didn’t know there might be snow in Bryce! I’ll scope it out as we get closer. I hope it’s not 70 and sunny honestly! 40 would be good! 🙂 And that’s good to know about the Grand Canyon. I’ll check out those other parks too. Thanks so much for all the advice!

    1. I will definitely keep letting everyone know how it’s going. It’s good so far but so weird to not run a set amount of miles each day!

  4. I’ve never used a minutes based training plan, but I don’t really use a whole lot of training plans, either. I kinda just go :). I love that they have an in training shirt, what a great motivator but also kind of advertising the race too. So neat that the race itself provided a training plan too.

    1. Haha I try to just go too, but I’m not disciplined enough honestly 🙂 I figure that I’ll try anything once to see how it goes, especially since it’s specifically for the race! The training shirt cost an extra $15 at registration but it’s long sleeved and I figured I would use it during training for sure. I love it!

  5. Awesome week – always so exciting when you get to “book things”. You are the first person “I know” running this race – can’t wait to read more 🙂

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