I am currently in the middle of week 5 of marathon training, and so far, it feels easy. Maybe a bit too easy. For some reason I think I thought that in order to prepare for the daunting task of running 26.2 miles, I would have to have an extremely challenging plan. So I started out trying to create something really thought provoking. I read the book Daniels’ Running Formula and found it to be helpful. I even started creating a rough template of my own marathon plan based on his book. Then the week of marathon training arrived, and I decided I was thinking about this way too hard, and opted to use the Hal Higdon Marathon Novice 2 plan instead. This provided me with a certain level of comfort, which may be why I feel it’s ‘too easy’ right now.
Just to give a little background, I started half marathon training using the Hal Higdon half marathon novice plan. This worked well, and I continued using his various plans, going up in levels based on my experience with the race distance. I successfully gained a PR (Personal Record) in each of my first three half marathon races using the Hal Higdon method. My fourth half, I was 8 weeks pregnant, so, while still following his plan, I did not gain a PR as I ran that race a little more carefully (doctor’s orders, of course). My fifth half, I used a race specific plan created by the event company for that race. I also did a lot of group running, and learned that running slower during training was, in fact, very beneficial to gaining another PR.
This sixth and latest half marathon I ran was the first one in which I made use of a training program with a running group and a coach. He gave us a training plan and worked with us directly, discussing many different important running related things to improve our race experience. We did speed training, which is something I had not really focused on at all in the past. We also did strength training, which was something easy for me to continue to work on as it had become a big part of my exercising life in 2018. Most importantly I learned just how important and helpful it is to build relationships with others in the running community. It has made me a much more well rounded and fulfilled runner.
If you find you are feeling unsure how to start running, but want to, or, you may be a runner, but are new to an area and looking for a group, Facebook is a valuable tool to look for local running groups to join. In addition, Fleet Feet has running groups throughout the United States. That is the group I do the majority of my group runs and training with, and it’s great!
With that being said, there is another training plan with the group this fall, and it is focusing on another half marathon race that is supposed to take place two weeks before my marathon. I am going to plan to run that race as a long run, but still train with the group, with our coach providing me with a marathon specific plan (which hasn’t quite started yet). The program officially began on Monday, but I am on week five of my marathon journey.
In the midst of all of this I have a 10k, a 5k, the Market to Market Relay and other running related events, which is in addition to what I’ve already done this year with my running. So I plan to continue to use the trusty Hal Higdon plan until I actually officially start the coach specific plan. Either way, I believe these plans and the people that I’ll be training with will help me have a successful marathon, and I suspect it’ll be anything but boring! 🙂
Until next time…happy running!