Half Marathon Trainers

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Higdon Half Question (Read 558 times)

    Okay, so I'm going to toss this out after writing the post yesterday and not posting it because it's probably a silly question. I'm going to start actual half training later this month. My race is Sep13 so I'd start training around the third week of this month. My log is a bit off because I had a hacking cough twice this year that mean 2 week layoffs from running. I'm finding 15 miles per week pretty comfortable in general. I was looking at the Higdon plans.

     

    The novice is 4 runs per week and goes up to, I think, 20 miles per week. I'm wondering if that's enough mileage to really be ready to run a half. The next plan up has speedwork which I don't currently do, but more mileage. (One suggestion someone gave me was to combine the plans and use the mileage but not the speedwork.)

     

     Anyone have experience with either? I know lots of people use them and I shouldn't second-guess what I haven't given a chance, but I'm going to ask anyway.

    "Don't feel like running today...suck it up and run ...you're an athlete." (John Stanton, founder & owner of The Running Room)

     

    "The person who starts the race is not the same person who finishes the race."

      Newbie Disclaimer - I've never been coached and have only been running for a year.

       

      Judging from your log and the fact that you are "finding 15 miles per week pretty comfortable", it doesn't make much sense to me for you to adopt the Novice plan which will have you below 15 miles/week until week 6.

      It seems to me that the Intermediate plan starts closer to your current training level.  As you mention, leaving the speed work out basically gives you the novice plan with more mileage.

      Looking back at my first half in October of last year, I was doing between 20 and 25 miles per week.

      In my opinion, you should give the Intermediate plan a shot.  If after the first few weeks, the mileage is proving to be too much, then re-evaluate.  If you are able to make it through the plan, without overworking yourself, the extra mileage will make a big difference.

      I'm sure that the Intermediate plan long runs look pretty daunting at this point, but they are really only about 3 weeks ahead of the Novice plan (for instance an 8 mile run in week 5 instead of week 8).  Also, I think getting up to 12 miles before the race instead of 10 will help with your confidence.  The 12.6 mile training run I did for my first half was huge for me.

      Look forward to hearing how it goes, and please remember that this is just the opinion of a rookie.

        I just did my first half on Sunday.  I started training in January but due to injury was only able to get back to running 8 weeks before my half.  I couldn't downgrade the race to the 10 k because it was full.  I didn't have anything to lose so I jumped in at week 5 of Hal Novice HM plan.  I completed most of the runs (or did a cross training workout as it was easier on my knee) but did adapt the plan and increased the long runs so that I ran 19.5 k before the race.  I had no difficulty running it and finished in 2:18:28.  Would do it again in a heart beat.

         

        Next target race may be a Canada Day 15 k run in Moncton so I'm thinking about using Hal's 15 k plan and jumping in at week 6...maybe the intermediate plan this time!!!  This is a rest/recovery week so I'm using it to figure out what it is I want to do!!

        2010 Goals! 1. Sub 27 min in a 5k. (PR - 26:36) 2. Sub 58 min in a 10k. (PR - 1:01:16) New PR July 3, 2010 58:42 3. Sub 2 hrs in a HM (PR 2:18:28 - ING Ottawa Half ) 4. Run 1,500 km for the year 5. 145 lbs by the end of 2010

          No silly questions Meg!

           

          Just in case there are others reading this who have not seen the plans the links are here:

           

          The novice plan tops out at 23 miles a week with a long run of 10 miles

          The intermediate tops out at about 28 miles a week with a long run of 12 miles.

           

          Like awaldvogel I'm still a rookie at this and have never been coached.

           

          I followed Higdon's novice program for my first HM and I got to the end without walking in 2:13

          Since then I have used the approach that was suggested to you. I have upped the mileage beyond that of the intermediate program and left out the speed work.

          Every time I tried speed work I got hurt. Most likely my fault in terms of how & what I was trying to do.

          So I just ramped up the mileage, kept it all easy, and went from running four days a week to five days a week.

          In about 15 months my HM time improved by 20 mins.

           

          In your case I would not drop your mileage to get on a training program. I would not worry about sticking too exactly to one. As you increase your mileage take it easy and you'll be fine.

           

          It would be good to get comments from Sean as he's seen some great improvements in his time with some focused training and also from some of the more experienced guys if they are still lurking? MrPH? Larry?

           

          MTA: Corrected links

           

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

            Matt, I am no authority on proper training or coaching by any means.  I just watch what a lot of people suggest and try to follow my gut.  In my case, I set an aggressive set of goals for the year........5 HMs, 1000 miles this year, and some other races here and there.  The fundamental thing is getting the solid base up.  My 1000 mile per year goal means 20 mpw roughly and I have been probably doing closer to 25 per week.  I think the higher base miles per week has been my greatest improvement.  The next improvement is throwing in hill workouts and also solid tempo runs.......just one of those runs each week really made a difference in my speed, I think.


            I have another friend who used to run CC in college.  She said I should get a coach and really have a dedicated workout or two per week that is just speed work.  She is convinced I could take my 1:50 HM time and go as low as 1:35 to 1:40.   I would also have to build the base up a bit too......maybe 35 to 40 mpw.  I think that would definitely help, but........1:35 or 1:40, WOW!!!  That would be incredible.


            My advice.....

            1. Solid and consistent set of base miles for an extended period.....not just a build up over several weeks to the race.
            2. Add a hill workout once per week........not just a wussy little hill......but a route that may have two or three really good and difficult hills.  Charge them hard and you will build strength and I think speed will come from that.  It did for me.
            3. Add a pretty hard tempo run once per week.  The only way your body gets faster is when you push it to the limit.  I am always amazed when I do a 3 or 4 mile tempo and see my pace......yeah it is difficult, but WOW is it pretty cool I can run that fast (and my "fast" is still kinda slow).

            For what that is worth, that is my philosophy.


            I hope everyone's June is starting off well...........


            ✔ Think of setting 2013 goals.

            Stop being a fat slob.

            Run more miles than last year.

              I'll be watching this, as I am starting to bridge from 10k to a half (in Oct) I don't have a time in mind, just finishing... maybe when I get closer to the run and increase my mileage I'll start thinking about times. I'm not very fast.

                Hi guys,

                 

                I was thinking I was going to try Hal's intermediate15k plan jumping in at week 5 but after reading your suggestions for Meg I realized that will actually be a mileage reduction for me.

                 

                I have gradually increased my mileage over the last 9 weeks (except for a taper week and a recovery week) from about 28-30 k per week (~17.5 mpw) to 35-40 k /week (getting closer to 25mpw).  I want to stay around 40 k per week or more for the summer/fall for a fall HM.  Over the summer I hope to participate in a couple 10 mile or 15 k runs.

                 

                I want to run 5 x/wk and I need a plan to follow - makes me a more consist runner!  I need something that tell me I have to run this distance on this day.  I am trying to hang back on speed work as I am still a little concerned about my knee (the reason I only had 9 weeks to build mileage) although I have found speed and consistency that I didn't know I had this week.

                 

                Any suggestions for how runners run in between training plans?  Or is there a training plan for building base?  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

                 

                Sorry to hijack your post Meg!

                2010 Goals! 1. Sub 27 min in a 5k. (PR - 26:36) 2. Sub 58 min in a 10k. (PR - 1:01:16) New PR July 3, 2010 58:42 3. Sub 2 hrs in a HM (PR 2:18:28 - ING Ottawa Half ) 4. Run 1,500 km for the year 5. 145 lbs by the end of 2010

                  Thank you for all the feedback. I'm nervous about starting actual training for the half because I've never done more than 6.5 and it seems like a huuuge jump to 13.1.

                   

                  No worries, Kathy. Discussion is all good.

                  "Don't feel like running today...suck it up and run ...you're an athlete." (John Stanton, founder & owner of The Running Room)

                   

                  "The person who starts the race is not the same person who finishes the race."

                    Meg,

                     

                    i know how you feel before two monthes ago my longest run was about 13.5 K and 21.1 K seemed like so much futher.  In total in the 8 weeks of training for my HM I did 4 runs over 11 k  (13, 16.25, 18.4 & 19.5K) and it was a big stretch each week attaining the target distance.  Ideally, if I had more time I would have like to have run more long runs and I will have much more distance under my belt before the next one.  But the point I'm trying to make is it not as difficult to increase the distance as you think.

                     

                    You can do it girl!

                    2010 Goals! 1. Sub 27 min in a 5k. (PR - 26:36) 2. Sub 58 min in a 10k. (PR - 1:01:16) New PR July 3, 2010 58:42 3. Sub 2 hrs in a HM (PR 2:18:28 - ING Ottawa Half ) 4. Run 1,500 km for the year 5. 145 lbs by the end of 2010
                       

                      Meg,

                       

                      You can do it girl!

                       +1

                        Meg, somehow any run between 40 min and 1:40 feels equal in difficulty to me.  Maybe I get in a groove after 30-40 minutes, and usually limited on the length of the run by the time I have available.


                        So jumping from a 6 mile long run to 10 mile run should not be intimidating.  add a mile to your long run every other week and another mile to one or 2 of your weekday runs the other week, and in a month or 2 so you'll be ready to run the half.  


                        However I think 20 miles per week would be the bare minimum to complete a half and expect to hurt a bit after the 10 mile mark.  When I did my first, I think I averaged 25 MPW, and when I got up to 30 MPW, the race was much more enjoyable. 

                          However I think 20 miles per week would be the bare minimum to complete a half and expect to hurt a bit after the 10 mile mark.  When I did my first, I think I averaged 25 MPW, and when I got up to 30 MPW, the race was much more enjoyable. 

                           I agree!!  I ran my first HM about 10 days ago and averaged between 35 - 40 K (22-25 MPW) in the weeks preceeding the HM.  The last 5 K were difficult - I was on a 2:08 pace at 8.6 K and had 10 k done in 1:02:09 but finished in 2:18:28.  I would recommend aiming for higher mileage weeks if at all possible!  I plan to have a lot of 40 + Km weeks before I run my next one!

                           

                          Happy Feet I'll hold you to the race being more enjoyable at that point!!!

                          2010 Goals! 1. Sub 27 min in a 5k. (PR - 26:36) 2. Sub 58 min in a 10k. (PR - 1:01:16) New PR July 3, 2010 58:42 3. Sub 2 hrs in a HM (PR 2:18:28 - ING Ottawa Half ) 4. Run 1,500 km for the year 5. 145 lbs by the end of 2010

                            My experience has confirmed the opinions often expressed by many of the more experienced runners here- to get faster you need to run more miles over many months, plenty of long runs over race distance, and do about 6 to 8 weeks of speedwork before the race.

                            Being an older runner I need more recovery time than some people, but I was able to get several weeks over 40miles, and lots of longer runs over 15 miles before my PB last October.

                            It may take you some time to work up to your best performance, be patient, the more you run the better yiou get!

                            PBs since age 60:  5k- 24:36, 10k - 47:17. Half Marathon- 1:42:41.

                                                                10 miles (unofficial) 1:16:44.