Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Marathon Training Program

I promised all of you I would "unveil" my marathon training plan this week.  Well you can now stop holding your breath.  The time has come, today is the day, I'm revealing to the blog world my top secret Hal Higdon training plan. 

Several months ago George's cousin bought me a book called Run Less Run Faster by Bill Pierce, Scott Murr and Ray Moss.  It is based on the premise that less is more, running just three days a week. 


I'll be honest.  I put off reading the book (I'm probably half way through) because I wanted to read it CLOSER to when I was actually going to run a marathon.  Yada yada yada, it's now training time and I still haven't read the whole thing.  I am confident the "less is more" program works but I just haven't done enough research (i.e. reading the book) to make me confident in the training program FOR ME.  I should, however, take George's cousin Joe's word for it as he ran his last marathon in less than 4 hours and that was with the dreaded runner's stomach issues.  I know the program would be good and I will use it NEXT TIME.  You see I'm not one of those people who will be one and done.  I plan on running more than one marathon.  The first time will be to get my feet wet and see what it is all about.  The first time will be about finishing and that is all. 

I think it's important to choose a program that I feel confident in and know has worked for me in the past.  When I started training for my first 1/2 marathon in November of 2009 the furthest distance I had run was 5 miles and I had only done that a handful of times. 

I chose Hal Higdon's 1/2 marathon NOVICE Training Program.

I pretty much followed the program workout for workout.  I missed a few Saturday cross training workouts and also a few mid week workouts but overall I followed the training program.  I didn't know what to expect for my first marathon.  I just knew I wanted to finish.  I told myself if I finished in under 2:30 I'd be happy.  Hey I didn't want to set my goals too high.  ;)

I ran the Spirit of Pittsburgh 1/2 Marathon on November 1, 2009 and finished in 2:17:22 averaging a 10:29 pace. 



For my first 1/2 marathon I was "happy" with that but I knew I had it in me to do better. I quickly set my sights on the Pittsburgh 1/2 marathon coming up in May of 2010.  I bumped up my training to the Hal Higdon Intermediate Training Program.

This program is aimed at improving your half marathon.  Again, I stuck to the training program pretty closely.  Due to my work schedule and the kids’ activity schedule I missed a few Wednesday/Thursday runs and a lot of the Saturday runs.  I feel like a training program has to allow for some flexibility and I didn’t get “excited” over missing some training runs.  I never missed a long run even if it meat running in sub zero temperatures and/or 2 feet of snow. 

I had the dream of beating my first half marathon by 10 minutes with my ultimate goal of finishing in 2:07.  I wasn’t quite able to shave 10 minutes off my time but I did finish in 2:09:20 averaging 9:53 per mile.  I was really proud of that improvement and pretty proud of the race overall. 



Hal didn’t let me down.  I finished the race, I finished strong and felt totally prepared.  So I’m turning to Hal again to help me in my marathon training.  I selected the Hal Higdon Novice Marathon Training Program. 

Disclaimer:  You'll have to click the link to see the training programs I used.  You see I am pretty much computer illiterate.  You should be happy you're reading this at all.  I tried to include the actual program in the blog post and lost my post oh say five times.  So click the link and like it!  Rant over.

As you can see it is an 18 week training program with a two week taper.  I’m honestly a little scared of the taper but I have to trust the program.  I also doing my long runs on Sundays so the whole program is shifted one day.  It just works out better for my schedule that way. 

Remember my only goal is to finish this marathon.  However, Lord if you are listening, please let me beat Al Roker. 


 Training begins October 18th.  Eek!!! Wish me luck!!

What marathon or 1/2 marathon training program have you followed? 
Did you follow it exactly or allow for some flexibility?

8 comments:

Tracey said...

I followed the exact same training program that you are doing 4 times and it worked great for me. I never really "hit the wall" and I finished all of them- granted, not in the best time, but I finished without injury! I think it is a smart choice for your first. Wish I could train with you- I will be there in spirit. I know you can do it!

Jennifer said...

Good Luck! A couple of friends just did their first, the Akron Marathon, this past weekend. The started running last fall. Did the Chicago Rock n'Roll 1/2 in August under both around 2:15 and then he ran Akron in 4:17 and change, and she ran 4:52 and change. Don't think that is bad for two people who started around a year ago and are both in their upper 40's. GOOD LUCK!

Can't wait to read and be inspired!

Nusz9 said...

You will do great! Trust your training and have fun with it.

Nusz9 said...

You will do great! Trust your training and have fun with it.

Jennifer said...

Good Luck! A couple of friends just did their first, the Akron Marathon, this past weekend. The started running last fall. Did the Chicago Rock n'Roll 1/2 in August under both around 2:15 and then he ran Akron in 4:17 and change, and she ran 4:52 and change. Don't think that is bad for two people who started around a year ago and are both in their upper 40's. GOOD LUCK!

Can't wait to read and be inspired!

Tracey said...

I followed the exact same training program that you are doing 4 times and it worked great for me. I never really "hit the wall" and I finished all of them- granted, not in the best time, but I finished without injury! I think it is a smart choice for your first. Wish I could train with you- I will be there in spirit. I know you can do it!

Tobinella said...

Just started training last week for my 1st 1/2:) using Hal's novice plan!!! how funny is that. i'm excited and scared outta my mind. have done 12-15 5k's (lost count) but this has always been my dream. now it's a goal. Race day is Nov 27th!!! Guess i'll eat leftover turkey after the race;)) Love your blog!

Susan Diersing Tirch said...

Hal's plans are really good and will definitely see you through. Best of luck!

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