Half Marathon Trainers

1

Training schedule has me doing a significant double in the next few weeks and I'm a bit concerned - thoughts? (Read 381 times)

    I'm currently following Matt Fitzgerald's Intermediate half-marathon training schedule, and you can view the next few weeks here (under the training plans/schedule section in my public log):

    http://www.runningahead.com/logs/cf910d6fd5b64ffc9611b1345654919f/plans/7be1e3361fff4e1191f26aa9030346ea

     

    A few weeks from now the schedule has me jumping from 31 miles to 36 miles in a week, and recommends doubling two 6 milers on monday (a hill repeat session and a fartlek) as well as increasing my long run distance that Saturday from 8 to 9.  I might be able to find time for it, but I'm a bit worried that I might overdo it.  Would it be better to move one of those runs to an off day so I run 6 days a week instead of 5 but avoid the double?  Or is the double a significant part of the training that I should attempt anyway?

     

    I'd appreciate your thoughts/suggestions. Smile

    I ran. I ran until my muscles burned and my veins pumped battery acid. Then I ran some more.

     

     

    Future Goals: 5:30 mile • 19:30 5k • 33:30 8k • 42:00 10k • 1:15:00 10-mile • 1:40:00 half-marathon • 1000 miles

      Hi Alex

       

      Do you have a link to the whole plan somewhere? Can you post?

       

      If I understood your other post correctly this will be your first HM? If that's the case then I would say this program is not the one you want.

      The weeks you have listed on your training plan build really quickly to include 3 quality workouts a week with only 2 truly easy runs. For your first half I think you want something that focuses your time out there on building up the miles as opposed to throwing in a bunch of speed work.

       

      All that said, you are 18 years old mate and in completely different physical shape to me. If you are handling this training and your easy runs feel easy (i.e. your ass is not dragging) then go for it. You may well knock it out of the park.

       

      If you haven't guessed by now there's no way I would do that double on Jan 23rd! Wink

      There's always another half to be run once you've got your first one under your belt!

       

      It would be interesting to see if any of the faster folks here have thoughts on this (Kevin? Andy? Peter?) .

      I'm a relatively lardy and compared to you, relatively old plodder so YMMV.

      2013 Goals
      1) Break 1:50 in a HM (PR 1:52:19)
      2) Break 4:00 in a Marathon (PR 4:20:39)

        I'll try to put the rest of the plan online since I only have the printed version at the moment.  I agree that it seems a bit odd to have me jump to 12 miles that day in a week that's already significantly more strenuous.  Not to mention that Jan. 23rd is the only double the schedule recommends.

         

        I'll see how I feel and if anyone else has feedback, but I'm thinking I'll probably split that workout into two different days.  Maybe do the hill workout on the 23rd, the fartlek on the 24th, and push the easy run to the 25th.  That would accomplish the plan's goal of adding extra mileage and intensity that week, but remove the double and only give me one day's rest instead.  Which, to be honest, I'd rather do than do 2 workouts in a day on a difficult week to begin with.  Incidentally, that week is supposed to be my highest mileage of the entire plan.  The next couple weeks drop down again and build up to around 34-35 before the HM on March 17th.  Not sure why it has me peaking almost 2 months before the race though.  I guess it has me peaking in intensity but not long-run distance?

         

        Yeah, this will be my first HM (actually my first race over 8k unless I work in a 10k sometime before it).  I seem to be handling the mileage well so far so the plan might not be overly ambitious besides that week.  I'll complete the online version so you and others can further judge and let me know what you think.

         

        Thanks for the insight!

        I ran. I ran until my muscles burned and my veins pumped battery acid. Then I ran some more.

         

         

        Future Goals: 5:30 mile • 19:30 5k • 33:30 8k • 42:00 10k • 1:15:00 10-mile • 1:40:00 half-marathon • 1000 miles

          [double post, can't figure out how to delete]

          I ran. I ran until my muscles burned and my veins pumped battery acid. Then I ran some more.

           

           

          Future Goals: 5:30 mile • 19:30 5k • 33:30 8k • 42:00 10k • 1:15:00 10-mile • 1:40:00 half-marathon • 1000 miles

            Alex, welcome to the group!

             

            I'm going to second Matt's (J, not Fitzergerald) opinion. I don't really understand that run in the schedule-I don't see the point of doubles at that level of mileage and I don't understand why the first day of doubles would be two six mile runs, given the other distances the program uses. Clearly Matt Fitzgerald knows more than I do, I just don't get it. I also don't think the risk/reward is worth it. I'd like to hear some of the higher mileage runners weigh in on this one.

             

            All that being said, I do understand and frequently practice impatience.

             

            It'll be interesting to track your progress, so keep posting.

            Race Plans

            New Year's Race Los Angeles, January 3, 2015

              Just added in the rest of the schedule in case you'd like to take a look over the other weeks to see what's going on.  That double does seem really out of place.  I'm not really doing high enough mileage to make something of that intensity seem worthwhile, and the double makes that week's mileage fall out of line with the others.  I'm considering just doing one run now as that would continue the linear upward trend of weekly mileage -really appreciate the input.

              I ran. I ran until my muscles burned and my veins pumped battery acid. Then I ran some more.

               

               

              Future Goals: 5:30 mile • 19:30 5k • 33:30 8k • 42:00 10k • 1:15:00 10-mile • 1:40:00 half-marathon • 1000 miles

                Yeah, I wouldn't be concerned about the mileage bump, but I definitely would be concerned about doing two non-easy workouts in the same day. Asking for trouble, especially since this is your first half marathon cycle.

                 

                Other than that, the plan looks pretty good. Given your age, I wouldn't shy away from maybe getting in a really easy run on one of those off days eventually, if you feel like it. In other words, you don't need to be a slave to the plan, if your body says you can do a little more (or need to do a little less). So, if your feeling antsy on an off day, there probably wouldn't be any harm on stretching the legs and getting a few in.

                 

                Have fun.

                Come all you no-hopers, you jokers and rogues
                We're on the road to nowhere, let's find out where it goes


                day after day sameness

                  Hate to chuck this into the mix, as it will probably sound pretty negative -- but there's a lot in your training plan that doesn't make sense (to my eye) leading into your first half marathon. In no particular order:

                   

                  - Your longest run of the training cycle is 9 miles and it comes one calendar week before the race.  Your running body will not absorb and incorporate that 9 miler as part of the training.  Move it earlier.  Like this upcoming weekend.

                   

                  - Slow down on your long runs and make them longer.  Get rid of those 6, 7, 8 long runs that look like a build up in base miles and make them all 10 - 12 miles.  Go as slow as needed to run the 10 - 12 miles.

                   

                  - Back off your Monday to a recovery or easy day to allow for the longer runs on the weekend.

                   

                  - Cut back to one 'quality' day in the week -- speed or hills.  These runs are where your injury risk comes from with your low base miles.

                   

                  Overall, you're a young buck -- there's no doubt you can run the 13.1.  If this is a 'once and done' event for you, then you're all set.  On the other hand, if you want to start laying the foundation for building up to really conquering the half, you'd be well served by changing your focus to a steady diet of 8 - 12 mile longer runs (or longer), and a quality  session during with week, with easy runs filling in the rest of the miles.

                   

                  (Keep in mind that "easy" is a statement of effort and not pace)

                  Choosing my words carefully has never been my strength I've been known to be vague and often pointless

                    Alex

                     

                    Please don't take all of this feedback too hard Smile It's all offered with the best of intentions. Primarily because folks have all seen people train too hard or aggressively and get hurt. As most people here are in this for the long run (pun very much intended) nobody wants to see that happen.

                     

                    When it comes to suggesting alternatives, a plan like Higdon's Novice or Intermediate is potentially a less aggressive route to your first half:

                    http://www.halhigdon.com/halfmarathon/inter.htm

                    http://www.halhigdon.com/halfmarathon/novice.htm

                     

                    What ever you do, as Kevin says, have fun!

                     

                    Side note to Andy: Looked around at a few plans and many of the novice plans I saw including Higdon's above have the longest run the week before the race. I agree that seems weird.

                    2013 Goals
                    1) Break 1:50 in a HM (PR 1:52:19)
                    2) Break 4:00 in a Marathon (PR 4:20:39)


                    day after day sameness

                      Side note to Andy: Looked around at a few plans and many of the novice plans I saw including Higdon's above have the longest run the week before the race. I agree that seems weird.

                       

                      Excellent point, Matt -- thanks for noting it. That surprises me for a few reasons:  (1) I'd expect the novice to be sore from the longest run of their training cycle for a least a few days into the week before their race;  and (2) there's little positive impact from that training run as a builder of base, it takes time for the body to incorporate and build on that base.

                       

                      Snowsickle's calendar does show he has some of the Hidgon pattern with Saturday being heavy (for him) leading into Sunday.

                      Choosing my words carefully has never been my strength I've been known to be vague and often pointless

                        Hi again everyone and thanks for all your awesome advice so far!

                         

                        Andy, I think you might be reading the schedule a little wrong (or maybe I'm just misunderstanding).  The one I'm currently following has me getting in 5 runs in the 10-12 mile range before the race, including 2x 11 miles and 2x 12 miles.  The arrangement seems similar to Higdon's plans just drawn out to better fit a longer time frame.  My cross country coach also used to talk about hill workouts more as strength training than anything else - he said they were a good way to build up strength and get in quality workouts with little chance of injury.  Should I be treating them like the other quality workouts and maybe back off a bit?

                         

                        Anyway, I certainly appreciate the concern and everyone's feedback.  The reason I originally chose this plan is that it seemed like a logical continuation of what I'd been doing in cross country this fall, both in mileage and speedwork (which I wanted to continue).  So far, my body seems to be taking the training well and I haven't had any problems except a bit of soreness.  I take my steady runs really easy and don't push the progressions/fartleks too much.  I haven't found the increase in mileage very difficult, and the thing I really like about this schedule is that after doing so many fartleks/progressions the longer runs actually seem pretty easy.  To be honest, I don't think it will be too difficult for me to actually finish the half.  At this point I'm trying to push myself as much as possible (within reasonable limits) so that when I get to race day I will be able to run to the best of my ability.

                         

                        Anyway, I'm thinking that going forward I'm going to do a bit of a mix between this plan and Higdon's.  I'm going to tentatively follow this one for now, but I won't hesitate to substitute easy runs for the fartleks/progressions if my body doesn't feel up to them - I've already gotten rid of that ridiculous double.  In a few weeks I'll be starting to do shorter speedwork 3x a week for winter track (my required PE at school) so it will definitely be difficult to stick to any particular plan.  I might experiment doing easy doubles on those days so I can maintain weekly mileage - something like 3 miles easy in the morning, then 3 miles speedwork at school.  I'll use the other 2-3 days a week that I'd be running on my own to get in my longer runs and make sure I'm able to knock out those 10-12 milers on Saturdays.

                         

                        Keep the feedback/discussion coming!  If anyone has any ideas about how to better maintain mileage in addition to the track workouts besides doing easy doubles let me know.

                         

                        - Alex

                        I ran. I ran until my muscles burned and my veins pumped battery acid. Then I ran some more.

                         

                         

                        Future Goals: 5:30 mile • 19:30 5k • 33:30 8k • 42:00 10k • 1:15:00 10-mile • 1:40:00 half-marathon • 1000 miles


                        day after day sameness

                          Andy, I think you might be reading the schedule a little wrong (or maybe I'm just misunderstanding).  The one I'm currently following has me getting in 5 runs in the 10-12 mile range before the race, including 2x 11 miles and 2x 12 miles.  The arrangement seems similar to Higdon's plans just drawn out to better fit a longer time frame.  My cross country coach also used to talk about hill workouts more as strength training than anything else - he said they were a good way to build up strength and get in quality workouts with little chance of injury.  Should I be treating them like the other quality workouts and maybe back off a bit?

                           

                          You are absolutely correct -- I did misread your training plan when skimming your calendar. For some reason, when I saw the first race entry in Feb, I assumed that was your goal half marathon.

                           

                          Having looked at it again, I have one specific date suggestion -- drop that last long run the weekend before your race, there's no need for that beating in your legs 7 days before your race. 

                           

                          And, one general suggestion -- your pattern has you doing tempo work on Monday, the day after your heavy weekend and then easy on Tuesday. To my perspective you should consider switching those days so that Monday is easy or recovery.

                          Choosing my words carefully has never been my strength I've been known to be vague and often pointless

                            Good points.  I'm probably going to scale the long run the week before the race back to something like 9-10 miles.  I've gone ahead and switched some of the tempos and will probably end up switching more depending on how I feel after the weekends.  I probably will end up skipping a bunch of them entirely since I have shorter track workouts on mondays starting in a couple weeks.  So starting then I'm thinking of substituting my tempos for a double - an easy couple miles in the morning and a short track workout in the afternoon.

                             

                            If I end up doing that I might decide not to do the recommended interval workouts since I'm doing 2-3 through school already, and do the tempos instead.  I guess it's a question of what will help/hurt me most... in general, do you think the longer intervals are important or can I get away with doing short intervals instead?  Would it be better to have more intervals and less tempo, or keep the tempo and forgo the longer intervals?

                             

                            For clarity, I have winter track through school on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  We normally do intervals at least 2 of those days, but they tend to be something like 3-4x 1000m.  So the workouts I'm doing at school are a fair amount shorter than what this plan would have me doing.

                            I ran. I ran until my muscles burned and my veins pumped battery acid. Then I ran some more.

                             

                             

                            Future Goals: 5:30 mile • 19:30 5k • 33:30 8k • 42:00 10k • 1:15:00 10-mile • 1:40:00 half-marathon • 1000 miles