Not having some sort of plan was killing me, and also adversely impacting my running. I had to have a destination…without it I was horribly lost!
Now, I have a plan. The plan is to try a new half marathon training regimen. I’m going to give it a trial run, and if it works well I’ll use it for my full marathon training. It is the FIRST training plan, advocated by Runner’s World as a “Run Less, Run Faster” method. It is based upon three strategic runs per week: a track repeat (city streets for me; I don’t have a convenient track), a tempo run, and a long run. The key to making this work is that you also include two (and an optional third) cross training workout. I like the sounds of it, and the variation that cross training brings. We’ll see if I like it after an extended period of time. That’s the true test. If not, I may try PRSfit…which is something I might do in the future anyway. Have heard lots of good stuff about them and they seem like great people.
More about FIRST: http://www2.furman.edu/sites/first/Pages/FirstTrainingPrograms.aspx
I’ve signed up for my first half in 2012. It is called “Rock the Parkway” and is local half marathon in April. It is kind of a local version of the Rock and Roll series, but is also quite well-attended. It is more than 16 weeks out, so I don’t officially have to start the FIRST program yet. What I’m doing, though, is extending FIRST a bit. I’m going to repeat the first few weeks until I hit that 16 week out mark and then follow it exactly. By the time I’m actually in the program, I should have the concepts and runs down.
What am I doing for cross training? I’ll likely focus upon stationary bike work at my local gym and swimming. Swimming will be a new deal for me, but there’s a local indoor community pool nearby that should work (the hours are limited, though…and I keep missing the right time of day!). I’m also trying out some pilates to help strengthen my core. So far, so good with that.
After Rock the Parkway things are more fuzzy. I want to run the Chicago Marathon this year. As long as I get registered I’ll do it. Between Rock the Parkway and Chicago, I’m thinking I want to do one more half around the first of June. I’m considering either Hospital Hill (another local, challenging half marathon with lots of hills) or the Minneapolis Marathon (and half). Minneapolis is 8 hours away…might be a nice trip and a good experience. I’m undecided.
Finally, I want to wrap the year with the Rock and Roll half marathon in Vegas. I think I'd be able to enjoy Vegas more after 1/2 the misery :-) We'll see if my legs will agree to do a half a couple of months after my full.
So glad I have a plan of action. It helps keeps me motivated and moving forward. After all, we’re looking for progress, right?
Enjoy your progress!