Hal Higdon/first marathon (Read 1339 times)

    Hi.  After a lot of consideration, I've decided to start training for my first (and hopefully not only) marathon.  I'm looking at following Hal Higdon's plan for Novice 2.   I currently don't have a time goal, but after a really tough (HILLY) half on June 2nd I will likely have a better idea.

    My current training is 40min a night 4X a week with a long run of an hour 1X a week (currently working on increasing it).   I'm working on getting up to about an hour a night and a 1.5 hour long run.  Seeing as my 40min runs are all 'negative splits' without me planning on it I don't think that is unreasonable.  (I know because I do an out-and-back route)

    I have been running distance since November of 2008.  I have dozens of 5ks, a couple 10ks, and a 10mile race under my belt.  The only time off I've taken is for a couple months of really really reduced mileage last spring due to some health issues.   


    My question is:  the Higdon plan seems to have a significantly lesser mileage peak than I have heard many mention on here in regards to marathoning.  It peaks at just under 40mi/week.  Is this an ok plan to follow?  I would be starting it the end of June for an Oct. 21 marathon.  


    Oh, and Wannabe has already tried to convince me against the marathon til I've done a couple halfs with no success.  I have definitely learned my lesson about pushing myself to the point of injury, so if something happens I feel like I may hurt myself I WILL stop this plan.  

    'No matter how slow you go, you're still lapping everyone on the couch'


    "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


    "Running long and hard is an ideal antidepressant, since it's hard to run and feel sorry for yourself at the same time. Also, there are those hours of clearheadedness that follow a long run."  -Monte Davis

      The Hal higdon plans are wonderful, I used them for my first 2 marathons. If you are looking to finish they will get you ready for it. Btw, don't worry about running a half marathon first, I never even ran a 5k race until after my first 100miler and still have not ever ran a half marathon.

        I did my first marathon in Feb and the plan I followed also peaked at 40 miles. Now I wasn't trying to RACE this marathon. I was just wanting to do one and I ran it with my sister for FUN. We did an average of 12 minute miles, whereas all my training was done @ 10:45 or faster per mile pace.


        You can definitely DO a marathon with less then 40 miles a week. I'm not sure if you can really RACE one.  I'm going to do another one next December. I'm going to run between 30-40 mpw all summer to have a strong base...then when I start a training plan in August I will add miles, hoping to peak around 60 mpw during the plan. I want to go under 4 hours for this next one, and I feel that more then 40 mpw is necessary to get to that point.


        Sounds like you have been running for a long while so you know what you can do. I say go for it! Just remember to keep a lot of those training runs easy so you don't get injured. If you don't like the plan or you want to add more miles as you go along you can always amend it to your liking Smile


          Hi.  After a lot of consideration, I've decided to start training for my first (and hopefully not only) marathon.  I'm looking at following Hal Higdon's plan for Novice 2.   I currently don't have a time goal, but after a really tough (HILLY) half on June 2nd I will likely have a better idea.


           I'm in the taper phase of Higdon's Novice 2 now with a race in 11 days.Last year I trained to the Novice I plan and ended up injured four weeks before the race. and didn't run. I attempted to stay as close as possible to the plan. I  cut two weeks out of the plan but I still got two 20milers in. I only missed a couple of other scheduled runs due to a non-running injury (pinched nerve in neck) that I battled through most of my training.


          I personally didn't start to feel strong as a runner until my average crept over 30 miles/week.  I think I will adopt a higher mileage/higher frequency plan next time.

          2013 -Sub 2:00 for 1/2 marathon


            I ran my first marathon last week using the Novice 2 Plan. I didn't feel like I had any issues with running out of gas at the end of the race. I admittedly did not cross train on the cross training days and the marathon exposed the weakness/instability in my left hip around mile 21 which had a big impact on my finishing time. I would use this plan again but I wouldn't skimp on the cross tarining.

            2013 -Sub 2:00 for 1/2 marathon


              I ran my first marathon on Novice 1, and would recommend the Higdon plans to any first timers.  It is a plan built around "finishing" as opposed to shooting for a time, and takes a very conservative approach to lessen the chance of injury or overtraining.  It worked out well for me, and now I'm training for marathon number 2 and looking to improve my time!


              If you've done a ten miler and plenty of shorter races, you should be good, the key is to have a consistent running base.  I would definitely incorporate a half-marathon into the training plan itself, treating it as a training run (in other words, run at your normal long-run pace).  Think of it as a dress-rehersal - you have the starting corral, water stops, and all of the other race logistics that you'll see on the big day!


              Also, If you click on each individual week on the website, there is a breakdown for every run that week.  I printed that page and put it on my fridge every Monday, giving me that extra bit of motivation before heading out for each run!

                I've run two marathons using the Novice 1 program. I didn't have a time goal in either, but just wanted to finish. I did almost exactly what I "expected" (11 min/mile average) in the first, and was only slower in the 2nd because my running partner got sick a couple days before (unrelated to the training) and was struggling, and I stayed with her. I feel I could've been faster/maintained a more consistent pace with more mileage, but I was OK with that. One day when how much I care about those things outweighs my desire to have more free time for other things, I'll probably try something with higher mileage. But I didn't have any injuries or anything like that.


                For me, I was definitely glad I got a few halfs under my belt before attempting a full, but that was really mostly because I was not used to running four days a week and training for the half taught me some discipline. You're at a better starting point so I'd think you'd be OK going for the full =)

                "Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us" ~ Hebrews 12:1 PRs: 5K - 25:03 | 10K - 54:03 | Half Marathon - 2:03:11 | Marathon - 4:47:17