Here we are. Four months post-Dopey Challenge/my first marathon. And I still haven't pulled together a spring or summer training plan. Whoops!
In looking at my and Matthew's race schedule, our last spring half marathon is Pittsburgh in just 25 days! Then we won't have any races longer than a 10k until at least August. I probably should have started thinking about a more definite training plan to carry me through post-Dopey and into the spring racing season. Again, whoops!
However, we do have some interesting races coming up this summer and fall that I'd like to run just a bit faster and finish just a bit stronger. Up until now, every training plan I've put in place has had the same goal: to finish upright and smiling. The focus has been on the accumulation of miles, no matter the pace. I think I'm ready to turn my running up a notch and focus on getting faster and stronger so I'm in the market for a new training plan to keep me motivated through the hot months of summer.
I've been exploring both Hal Higdon's intermediate and Jeff Galloway's time goal plans for the half marathon. Both include at least three days of running each week with a few sessions of cross training thrown in. Both also include some speed work and increasing long runs on the weekends. I may end up using some of the methods outlined in these plans to help customize my overall spring/summer training plan.
Since one of my goals is to get faster, I've been exploring a training program designed to do just that. I first read about the FIRST (Furman Institute of Running and Scientific Training) training program on a post by the fabulous Christine of We Run Disney- you can read the post here. She used the book, "Run Less, Run Faster" based on the FIRST method to achieve a sub-2 hour half marathon. I've explored some of the training plan online and it basically looks like this- three days of running including speed sessions on the track, tempo runs, and a long run- and then two or three cross training sessions a week.
I like this program for several reasons- it has specific paces for each run of the week so I have a goal for each session. I feel like this will encourage me to challenge myself in a way I normally do not. This program also relies on speed work- something I have yet to really explore in any formal way. And I really like how the cross training days are built in- this means no excuses for me to not be working out a few more times a week. I think this training plan will take my running- and my general fitness- to the next level.
My copy of "Run Less, Run Faster" should be here by the end of the week (Thank you, Amazon) and I'm eager to start reading and customizing a plan to get faster and fitter this summer.
QOTD: Do you use a training plan? If so, which one and why?