Tuesday, March 4, 2008

I Have Half a Mind…

It’s time for me to start officially focusing on my next running race—a half-marathon on May 10. But as much as I feel like I’ve been doing workouts-of-my-own-choosing since my last half (January 13), I’m not starting from scratch by any means. For example: On Sunday, I ran 11.5 miles with my running buddy Julie. And last Friday and Thursday, I did runs that both ended up being at tempo pace (oops, got a little carried!).

Because I’m aiming to set a post-kids PR (I only need to drop about a minute) at this next half, I don’t want to not follow a program. Yet I’m left debating which program to do—and how closely I need to adhere to it. (Rowing season is starting in earnest so I’ll be rowing two or three days a week. No just run-run-run for me!)

Yesterday morning, after doing early morning hill repeats (see, I am getting serious again!), I realized I could ask you, gentle readers, for advice. The two programs I’m debating between—the 10-week Ryan Hall half program I followed for my January race or Hal Higdon’s Training to Excel at the Half plan. (Okay, so I’m two weeks late to start at the beginning of that 12-weeker…) I was very pleased with the results of the Ryan Hall one, but a part of me is ready for something different.

The third option I’m contemplating? A self-designed hybrid of the two that accommodates my rowing practices and my mood. Like Higdon would “let” me do hill repeats in lieu of track intervals whenever I feel like it. Given that I’m trying to become a stronger hill climber (more on this in future postings), I like that aspect. Mainly, though, I like the freedom I’d be affording myself. My only fear? If I fall short of my PR, I’ll be bummed and feel I only have myself to blame.

What do you suggest I do? I’d love to read your suggestions. Thanks!



Kate said...

I like the Hal Higdon plan. You know your body, you don't make excuses and as a parent of three kids you know how and when to juggle. Besides then you can tell us all how they compare! ;-)

As a side note, I think you wrote about the Nike Air Structure Triax 10 on the runner's world blog. I bought and returned the 11s... I wanted to love them but the mild pronation control doesn't seem to be there any more.

Anonymous said...

I say go for the hybrid! Take the best of both and add a little of your own just for a different "flavor". Enjoy your rowing now that that has started again.

Anonymous said...

I say do whatever inspires you to get out the door and do the work. The difference between the training plans is minimal, anyway. You could do either or a hybrid, but the only thing that's really going to make a difference is you stepping out the door every day focusing on doing whatever you do at a high quality.

Good luck!

FYI, I found your site through this Ryan Hall blog feed!

Nancy Mize said...

Have you considered the FIRST half-marathon training program? Using your rowing training as the cross-training, you can run 3 or 4 days and cross train 3 days. I used it for my most recent half and PR'd by 6 minutes--at age 50. You can substitute a hill training for a speed training or get creative as you see fit. ( there's a link to the FIRST program on RunnersWorld.com)
Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Nancy, I'm totally with you! I'm using FIRST for my marathon training precisely because I wanted to cross-train (bike/swim) for summer triathlons. It is tough, but I like it and it's fun being a rebel and a guinea pig at the same time.

Hey Sarah, here's the website: http://www.furman.edu/first/

Anonymous said...

I like the hybrid method. It'll give you flexibility and also be something new, maybe fresh to keep you on your toes.

Anonymous said...

Have you considered the FIRST half marathon plan? It has at least two days of cross training already factored in so the rowing would be easy to incorporate. The plan doesn't demand as many miles as some other ones, but they are run at a strong intensity, and I loved it.