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How do you pick a training plan? (Read 1217 times)


I run for Fried Chicken!

    Some background first. I've been running about 2.5 months now. I tried running before about 2 years ago and I was getting up to about 6 mile runs before I stopped for an extended period. I did my first race about a month ago, the Nike Run Hit Wonder 5 mile. I finished that faster that I was expecting and was pretty happy about it. No real training plan, just running when I could. So I signed up for a half marathon on Feb 2nd, Super Bowl Sunday. It's the Huntington Beach Half. It's the first half I'll be running. Now, I have about 13 weeks to train for the half marathon. I've been reading all these training plans and I can't figure out which one to use. There are aspects about all of them that I like. My goal is to finish it around 2:10, a 10min pace. I did the 5 mile race at a pace slightly faster than that and I didn't have much time to train for that and I had ITB issues which I think I've since resolved. I like Galloway's run/walk method because I did a variation of it on my last race and it worked well for me. I like the Furman Institute (FIRST) plan because the variety of the workouts are interesting and I like the 3x a week runs which for me are more realistic. I would like to try the low HR training though I don't think I have enough time right now to build up to a pace I would like and I get really impatient for the slow runs. So now that I've rambled on enough, how do I pick or do I even need to pick one? I'm thinking about putting them all together and trying a mish mash of things. All these plans have me confused, help! Confused
      If you like the Galloway run/walk program, there's no reason to not follow it. With 13 weeks left and your current conditioning, completing a thirteen mile long run before your HM is possible (though not absolutely necessary). The key on your long runs is to "run" them s-l-o-o-o-o-o-o-w-l-y. It took me a while to figure out that I was doing them too quickly, when I really slowed them down I had no problem adding a mile every other week. Welcome, and best of luck to you whatever you decide.

      E.J.
      Greater Lowell Road Runners
      Cry havoc and let slip the dawgs of war!

      May the road rise to meet you, may the wind be always at your back, may the sun shine warm upon your SPF30, may the rains fall soft upon your sweat-wicking hat, and until you hit the finish line may The Flying Spaghetti Monster hold you in the hollow of His Noodly Appendage.

        I'm doing a FIRST plan for my marathon, but found the interval and tempo runs to be too hard and the long run perfect. So I took the interval and tempo workouts from Fitzgerald's new Brain Training program and substituted them on those two days of the week. FIRST plan is great, in my opinion, so long as you like cross-training and don't mind working hard. There are no recovery runs - all runs are challenging, so if you're one who likes an easy run once in a while, it might be kind of tough. For my first half-marathon, I basically just kept everything the same and snuck my long run on the weekend up a mile at a time... that'll do wonders without overcomplicating things.

        Go to http://certainintelligence.blogspot.com for my blog.

          It depends upon your goals/background. I think higdon has good plans for beginners and people that just want to finish. http://www.halhigdon.com/halfmarathon/novice.htm (I think you should run more than 10 miles though). I'm not as into his plans as they get more advanced-the more you run, the more I'd recommend getting "advanced road racing" by pete pfitzinger and "daniels running formula" by jack daniels. Both are very, very good. The latter seems a bit more technical. good luck! The 1/2 is a lot of fun, though can be painful if underprepared. I think it is easier than a 10k, as you're not going as hard. I may also do that race.

          Race Plans

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


          Eye Lick Two Rhune

            I think the best thing to do is read as many as possible look at them and modify them to fit what you want to do. I personally took hal higdon and modified it to fit my schedule and goals. Then used McMullen race calculater for pace. I have made most of my goals and have had to adjust my training in the process. Have read others and just choose the one that best fit my goals and could be adjusted to my shedule and goals as they changed.

            ON THE 7th DAY, GOD DID AN EASY 6 "Running is a big question mark that’s there each and every day. It asks you, ‘Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?'" - Peter Maher

              Hal Higdon's novice half marathon training program is wonderful. Yes
                do I even need to pick one?
                Meant to say in my first post that I would pick a plan and follow it. Galloway, Higdon, Pfitzinger et al have worked with thousands of runners, and the plans are time tested and proven.

                E.J.
                Greater Lowell Road Runners
                Cry havoc and let slip the dawgs of war!

                May the road rise to meet you, may the wind be always at your back, may the sun shine warm upon your SPF30, may the rains fall soft upon your sweat-wicking hat, and until you hit the finish line may The Flying Spaghetti Monster hold you in the hollow of His Noodly Appendage.


                My Little Pal

                  Selection of a plan that fits your ability, time available for training, and is interesting to you is the key. Any plan you read will work and has worked for others but you have to stick to it. Pick one carefully and don't pick one only to look forward to changing it. It would be like buying a Ford only to opt for a Chevrolet engine (although that isn't a bad idea!). Selection followed by execution is the key. don't pick one that exceeds your ability but do pick one that challenges you.
                  At the end of the day, be happy with where you are and what you've accomplished.
                  Paul T Lewis


                  *superbad*

                    I'm a year long disciple of the Runner's World Smart Coach. You would take the time of your 5 mile race and plug it in to get your training plan for your half-marathon. All I can say, is when I stuck to the program I exceeded expectations. When I strayed from it, I still did well, but not as well as the other races. But from what I hear from the RW's forum Hal's program uses a similar formula. One more note about these training plans. The easy seems real easy. But they are that way for a reason. And from my experience, and from my converted subjects, it works.
                    Scout7


                    CPT Curmudgeon

                      Here's my take on it, for what it's worth. Looking at a bunch of different plans is great. What you need to do is notice what the similarities are amongst them; those are the key components that you need to keep in mind. Once you have an idea of what those key components are, you can start to pick and choose from the different plans, and experiment to see what works best for you. One thing on the FIRST program. You only have 3 scheduled runs, true. But you have to do cross training in between. So if you do a fair amount of cycling or swimming, or something along those lines, you're set. But the plan isn't set up so that you just run 3x week. You are supposed to do other activities.


                      I run for Fried Chicken!

                        Thanks for all the great replies. I've decided to just come up with my own plan after reading all these different plans. They all have a basic structure of runs during the week and then a long run on the weekend. So I'm trying to building up my runs during the week to 6 miles and then increase my long runs on the weekend around a mile a week depending on how I feel. I've been more focused on building up the miles and not worrying about the time so much and that has really helped me to enjoy running more and I've just naturally gotten faster from the extra miles I've logged. I'm pretty confident that I'll finish the half marathon without any issues, I'll have to see how my pacing is when the date gets closer to see if my 10min pace is within reach.


                        My Little Pal

                          Any plan you've read will work, IF you stick to it. The key is finding/creating a plan that has the basics you need and fits your life and work schedule. Creating your own is fine but don't go day by day. Schedule at least a week in advance and be sure you include the basics. You need maybe 15% of your mileage to be speed work, a long run, and plenty of easy base building miles. Best of luck to you and keep posting regarding your progress.
                          At the end of the day, be happy with where you are and what you've accomplished.
                            Another book you might consider taking a look at is Bob Glover's "Competitive Runners Handbook". He goes into a lot of detail about each type of training run (intervals, tempo, pace, easy, recovery, hills, etc), why you do them, and how and at what pace. There is a chapter devoted to designing your own training plan and how to do it. There are chapters on race strategies, planning for races, recovery from races, running in hot and cold weather - the works. He has ready made plans for training for 5k, 10k, HM, and Marathon, for several different levels of runners (beginniner to local champion).