Training *Thurs* – Columbus half edition

training tuesday

It’s time for Training Tuesday Thursday again!  I’m excited to just be titling this post, because it feels like forever I was on track for anything running related!  This should be a Training Tuesday, and it’s Thursday – you can tell I’m a little behind :)

I’m signed up for the Columbus Half marathon on Oct 15th.   The race weekend has become sort of an annual tradition for Alan and I.  It’s also an “adults only” race weekend for us, so we get to go the “big city” AND leave the kids home.   

Since I’ve been on the struggle bus this year with my running, I’ve decided to not make the mistake of setting my goal high, and overtraining and getting all bummed out by my performance.  I Googled “low mileage half marathon training plan” and was happy to find a newer plan from Hal Higedon (HM3).  The description of “seasoned runners with a history of getting injured” sounded just like what I needed, so I’m going with it.  The plan calls for only 3 days a week of running, with several days of cross training.  The cross training is 45-60 mins of cross training, so I’ll need to get serious about that and not blow those days off.  I will be challenged mentally by running so few days a week, but I’m hoping it will be my ticket to getting to the start line injury free!  Oh, and I’m hoping so few weekly miles will get me prepared enough.  Time will tell!!

Oh, and there really isn’t any speedwork involved.  There are a few tempo runs, but no intervals.  That was a determining factor in picking this plan too.  I’m not gunning for any goal time,  so that’s fine with me.  I don’t even know what my goal pace will be yet!  I just need to get back to that happy spot with my running again (where my body agrees with the plan!).

I entered all of my plan into my Google calendar, and started out with 8 weeks to race day.  It is written as a 12 week plan, but I purposely cut 4 weeks out of the plan and waited as long as I thought I could so that my body is [hopefully] recovering a bit from the hamstring issues.  I used to think I was always “half marathon ready” but lately that just isn’t the case.  (it’s ok, really it is!)  If I somehow feel super great 4 weeks from now, maybe I’ll add another day of running, but I don’t expect that to happen.  Keeping the mileage low is my goal.  That is really a huge change in mindset than what I’m used to doing!

I’m happy to report that Day 1 went well.  I ran 5 miles and didn’t look at my watch until the end.  I want to keep my runs easy and enjoyable.  5 miles was no piece of cake since I haven’t run that far in a while, but it wasn’t a huge push for me either.  I’ll recap the rest of the week on my normal Training Tuesday.

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No matter what my pace, I’ve come to peace with it.  Let’s hear it for getting healthy and enjoying running again!

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Q:  Do you use a paper planner, or an online calendar like Google?

I use Google, but also the Cozi app/website.  Cozi is a lifesaver in keeping me organized!  I *love* paper planners though, but I need to be digital.

Q:  Have you ever used a Hal Higdon training plan?

I think I used one for my first half or maybe full marathon.  It’s been a while though!

Q:  How many days a week do you like to run?

12 Comments

  1. Sounds like a good plan. I recently rear the book “Run less Run Faster” sounds similar. 3 runs a week.

    I’m presently running 3 days with an occasional 4th tossed in.

    Like you, need to do better with the consistency of my cross training. Lol.

    • I just wish cycling agreed with my hammies, because I would LOVE to ride for XT. That is not in the cards this season, so if I’m not walking I’m going to try elliptical and see how that goes.

  2. Alan Willford

    Higdon Advanced II was the plan I used for the first few marathons. Well okay, I had zero plan for the actual first but realized quickly that 7-8 weeks was not the amount of time you need to train for a first time marathon. Have used the Pfitz 18/70 plan (somewhat customized) for the past 8 years or so.

    And usually like to train 6 days a week, can do 7 but after a few weeks that really starts to wear me down and the risk of injury or burnout drastically increases.

  3. I haven’t used a Hal Higdon plan in years… I think my first half marathon back in 2011 was the last time. Some of his plans are pretty good though. A lot of higher mileage, faster runners get down on them but they are great for someone who is injury prone, just starting out, or just doesn’t have the time (or desire) to devote 5-7 days a week to running.

    For cross training… I don’t really do much because I run 6x a week. I do yoga once a week and strength train once a week. When I was injured, I did the Arc Trainer and that is a killer machine! Honestly an hour on it feels harder than an hour long easy run…
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    • Seems like Higdon is a beginner plan for a lot of people! Funny, I had no idea what the Arc Trainer was!! We have one at the gym, but I thought it was just the “weird” elliptical. Now I have a real name for it! Glad to hear you like it – I’m going to give it a try tomorrow. My feet actually get numb while using the elliptical so maybe I’ll have better results on the Arc Trainer.

  4. Drew Pearce

    I do it the old fashioned way using a paper calendar to record all my running mileage. I am currently using a plan from Runner’s World called Peak Performance that has me running 5 days a week. I tried the Hanson plan which runs 6 days a week but my legs couldn’t handle it and I ended up injured. My first two marathons were Hal Higdon plans because the Chicago Area Runner’s Association uses his plans in their marathon training. Hope your hamstrings like the new plan. The plan I am using tops out at 45 miles and has only one 20 miler. My legs like the lower mileage and I have managed to stay healthy all summer. Hope I didn’t just jinx myself.

  5. I keep a spreadsheet in OneDrive that I can call up on my phone or print off (I do both).

    All my training plans (which I’ve only started doing in the last year really, terrible I know) are modified Hal plans. Currently doing the Half Marathon Advanced in hopes of getting stronger for the fall/winter halfs.

    I do also get injured easily, but I’ve been putting in a lot more cross training work. Still need to work on my core (ok, A LOT MORE).

    Currently I’m running in some capacity 5-6 days a week. Rest day is always Friday at the moment.

    Keep at it! Your easy runs make me jealous!

    • You being able to run with no hamstring pain makes me jealous!! 😉 Friday is my long run day. It’s my day off work, so it gives me the flexibility to get in those longer runs.
      We used to post our training plans on the fridge and then cross off the days when we did them – which I loved! – but now we have a stainless fridge which won’t hold magnets. Bummer. Crossing off the days was a huge motivator and a time to reflect on progress too!

  6. That training plan looks really interesting! I’m really wanting to try the Hanson’s Half Marathon training plan but that calls for a very high mileage. I’m trying to increase my mileage at the moment and my body seems to be very unhappy, lol.

    I still have a little bit of time to decide which half-marathon training plan I’ll follow for my first half. Lets see.

    I use a paper planner and I love it. I’m so used to it that It would be hard for me to switch to a digital planner.

    I would like to run 6 times a week. I’m attempting to do that this week. However, my body is happy with only 4 days of running. It’s a real struggle right there.
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    • I can’t confirm, but I pretty much attribute my downfall (hamstring wise) to the Hansons training plan last summer!! OK, maybe it was just bad timing, but I didn’t do well on it. My other friends that tried also bailed on the plan – but a lot of people do have great successes on it.
      I think my body might be happier with NO days a week of running, but my brain really needs more!

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