Thursday, March 20, 2008

My Half [Baked] Plans

Some of you have been asking which training program I ended up following for my May 10 half marathon. Well, here’s my question back at ya: Is making no decision actually making a decision? I’m not following any prescribed program, just doing what I want to do so far. Is this the same as creating my own program? (Which sounds so expert and fancy!) Or would that involve writing something down and following it week to week?

In my own defense, my indecision springs from a few factors. For starters, I still feel in good shape from my half in January. Except for maybe an 8-miler one Sunday, I’ve continued doing a long run of 10 or more miles every weekend. While I didn’t do a track workout until this morning, I wasn’t completely ignoring speed-- I’ve thrown in some intervals to my runs. And unlike my marathon training last year, I haven’t shied away from hills. I’ve done a few hill repeat workouts, and then last weekend I visited my parents in Connecticut where I ran every day. As any New Englander knows, any run out there involves hills! (Oy, I’d forgotten how many hills there are back East—and how long and/or steep some of them are! But my muscles had some memory—even after a hilly 10-miler on Saturday, my legs were pain-free.)

I’m still considering following a plan—I just got a copy of Run Less, Run Faster by Bill Pierce et al because several of you sang the praises of the FIRST training program—but who knows if or when that’ll happen. Chances are good I’ll be doing an exciting rowing race just a week before my half, which means I can’t be completely running-centric in my workouts. Maybe I should just own up and admit that I’m winging this next half. That's not the same as slacking, right?



Kate said...

Um, slacking is sitting on the couch. ;-) The only formal element we've observed for a half marathon next week is that we agreed on the Saturday long-run distances. 4 weeks into an 11 week schedule, no less. My type A side has been a little confused but I've gone with the flow... we'll see how it all turns out next Saturday.

Anonymous said...

I'll add to the chorus of those that have said good things about the FIRST plan. I think it's especially good for people whose other commitments don't allow them to put in high mileage weeks - or for anyone that wants to run well without putting in high mileage weeks.

However, it sounds like you are doing great for now even with your lack of a plan - and you're definitely not slacking from the sound of things.

Kelly(M&M) said...

Your "schedule" sounds so wonderful right now. Going by how you feel, especially when you feel strong is fantastic. I feel a little married to my program right now, but I did take a break last week for a birthday weekend surprise from my hubby. We went to CA to visit my family for 3 days. I did get to run along the beach for 13 glorious miles and biked about 7 miles, but overall my total mileage was under 30 miles-definitely a cutback week! However I am now raring to go for my last hard week before taper. Whew!! I can't wait to cheer you on May 10th. I am sure you will do awesome. It is such a beautiful mild course. Way to go on the hills!