Monday, October 12, 2015

Let the Training Begin

This past weekend (my birthday weekend by the way), I was supposed to run a trail race, the Pine Run 20k. Being sick for so long got me really off on my training though and I didn't even feel like I was up for a 10k, so I skipped it. Actually, I missed a 10k the week before as well, the first time I registered for a race and didn't run it. Oh well, it was for a good cause at least. I mean the race entry fee was, but I guess not running because of recovering from sickness is a good "cause" as well.

I had been following a half marathon training plan (because 20k is only 1k short of a half) from a recent issue of Runner's World magazine to get ready for that race. I liked that one okay, but some of it seemed a little random, like only one hill workout? Only two track workouts? Seemed like those were just thrown in so no one could say they weren't there. Over the weekend I realized that the trail half marathon I want to do is fast approaching. So fast that I had to quickly pick a 12 week training plan to start today! I've never paid for a training plan and I don't recommend it unless your a serious athlete and/or training to BQ or something similar. If you do pay for a plan, pay for a coach to customize one just for you. Otherwise there's no need to pay for a plan when there's so many good ones out there for free.

A lot of half marathon training plans are 15 weeks or so, so finding a 12 week on that I liked was more of a challenge. It's also hard to decide what level I'm at. I've only ran one half marathon and I typically (when I'm not training for a specific race) run about 20 miles a week, but I'm not a beginner and most beginner plans don't fit what I'm looking for. I'm definitely not advanced either. I feel comfortable saying I'm intermediate, but a lot of those plans weren't right either. If I had more time than 12 weeks, I would have gone with the "Finish It" plan from Train Like a Mother, which is what I used for my first half. If I hadn't been so off my running game lately, I would have gone with their "Own It" plan and just jumped right in at the right time for having 12 weeks to go.

Plan from

After spending a good amount of time scouring the internet for the right plan, I've decided to go with Hal Higdon's intermediate plan. It's a good level for me and it fits my current schedule pretty well. The shorter runs are on Tuesdays and Thursdays, which is when I like to run with a MRTT group that typically does 3-5 miles. The long run is on Sunday, and a rest day on Friday, which is what I like to do already. There are 3-5 mile runs most Saturdays, with some at race pace, but I'm going to bike those days instead, like I've done while on other plans. This plan has track and tempo workouts on Wednesdays which will be something different for me and I'm glad for that, I know I need some speed work.

As for actually starting the plan this week, I'm really glad to because having a plan to follow really helps me stick with it and get things done instead of staying in bed or taking my runs too easy. That means I'm going to have to get back in the habit of waking up early; morning running is so much easier and I'm much less likely to skip a run if I go ahead and get it out of the way first thing. I'm hoping  there's a group I can find that does track workouts on Wednesdays, I know I can go to the local high school early in the mornings but I'm not a big fan of being out there in the dark by myself. If not I may end up switching Thursdays with Wednesdays since I know there's a group at the track on Thursday mornings. Since the race I'm training for is a trail run, which I love but am super slow at, I'm hoping to run trails at least once a week, preferably for my long run. Sundays are the easiest for me to get out on the trails anyway.

So that's that, let the training begin!

What's the next race your training for? Do you have a favorite plan?

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