I was looking for a running plan to take me from gallowalking to running without walk breaks. Prior to starting this plan I hadn't run more than three minutes at a time, usually two, before taking a walk break for the entire duration of my runs. Many thanks to Nobby for offering to let me try a RW plan to see how it might work for a "beginner" in helping get me from 30 minutes of running to 1:16. When choosing a plan, I felt like I would be able to manage 30 minutes if I went slower and that is what I used as my most comfortable LR, even though it wasn't comfortable! As far as having a race time to enter into the equation, I had nothing. I had only ever run/walked. I decided to do a one mile time trial and tried to push myself and used that time to create the plan I am following.
Having said all of that, I believe my tt probably wasn't the best reflection of my capabilities, although I didn't know that. I had not run a mile without stopping before and didn't know how to pace myself. As a result, now that I am 13 or so weeks into the plan, it would seem the suggested paces from the beginning have been way too slow. Because of this, how do I know how fast to run the intervals in my first interval workout next week? It gives a pace chart, but I do not think it is accurate if it is based off everything else in the plan generated for me.
Secondly, in order to generate a plan I had to select a goal race. I do not actually have a race in mind and really no desire to race yet. It is too hot and humid! In reality, I'd like to keep building my base and ultimately purchase a half marathon plan for a race early next year. Because I do not actually intend to race, should I just skip the anaerobic and taper specific workouts and continue to build and add minutes weekly to the same runs I have been doing? What I mean is not do the intervals and PCR.
I think that is it for now. Thanks in advance for your input.
It sounds like your running fitness is improving and you are outstripping the paces in the plan. This happened to me when I first resumed running, and in my experience it is not unusual for newer runners to progress rapidly once they start following a solid running plan. In relation to your questions:
1 - I would use the paces for the intervals as a guide but would recommend running them by effort. If the plan calls for 1/4 effort, try to run them at a pace that feels moderately hard but sustainable, and track the time for each successive interval. If you are able to maintain consistent pacing for each interval, you are doing it right. If you struggle to maintain the pacing as the set of interval progresses, you may be running them too hard and should adjust your pacing accordingly for future interval workouts. Using the run by effort approach will also help you to build an internal sense of pacing which is useful for both training and racing.
2 - I would recommend that you continue through the plan and do the hills, anaerobic, coordination and taper workouts for two reasons:
- You will develop all of the other facets of conditioning that complement the base you developed during the aerobic phase which should dramatically improve your overall running fitness. Even if you don't end up running a race at the end, you will be able to go out and run a time trial once you complete the cycle and get a true measure of your running fitness to use as the starting point for your next training cycle. This will allow you to create your next RW plan and end up with paces that are better aligned to your current fitness.
- You will build your familiarity with the RW plan and workouts so that it is easier to follow the next time through. Some of the workouts in the later phases are a bit technical and learning how to run them correctly will help you going forward.
All that being said, congrats on your progress so far. It sounds like you have a high class problem where your fitness is developing rapidly. Please keep us posted on your progress.
2014 goals: run a bunch....race some.....repeat...
I wouldn't go so far as to say I'm improving rapidly! I am shocked that i have run over an hour without walking! But my pace has stayed fairly consistent since I started, I think. I just must've run my mile time trial too slow.