Today's topic for the Runner's Lounge Take it and Run Thursday is "training plans." I'm not sure if I want to write a whole post about training plans, because I don't know that I have any great tips to offer.
I have followed a training plan twice, both times in the three months before the Whidbey Island Half Marathon. In 2007 I did Hal Higdon's intermediate half marathon plan (amended only to increase the length of the weekday runs to be comparable to the 5-6 mile runs I was already doing), and in 2008 I did his advanced plan. That one I tweaked a lot, not only to increase the weekday lengths but to accommodate my four day a week running schedule (his plan calls for five days). But I still did the tempo runs, long runs, and so forth as called for.
Coincidentally, just this morning (when I was running) I was thinking about whether I should come up with a training plan for my next half marathon, the Bath Half on March 15. That's only about two months away. But even though many plans (such as Higdon's) are on a twelve-week schedule, they also start out at a low mileage which I am way beyond. I could easily jump in four weeks along and do fine. In fact, I've sometimes postulated that two months is about the time it would take me to get trained up for a half marathon.
On the "don't need a plan" side is this. I've been running half marathons and long distances regularly (my last half was on December 7th) and I can pretty easily get myself up to distance, I am sure.
On the "do need a plan" side is this. My times in my last couple of half marathons have been increasing quite a bit. So clearly just running a lot is not enough. I have also slacked off a bit over the holiday, and really need to kick my ass back into gear. Finally, I am aware that my times in the two Whidbey runs have been my best, and almost my best, half marathons overall, even though it is a hard, hilly course. So there must have been something to the training plan scheme.
So I think that decides it, doesn't it. I need to come up with a training plan for Bath. Consider that a project to be done. (And really, creating the training plan is kind of fun. It's the implementation that's hard!)
Since it is Take It and Run Thursday, I'm going to go back a week and also post for last week's topic, which is Best Blog Post of 2008. Of course it goes without saying that all my posts were great, brilliant even. But I am particularly fond of this one. Enjoy.