21 January 2008

Not Sure How to Train

I've been shopping around various half-marathon training programs, and I'm not sure which one to choose. The one I'm currently planning on using (from coolrunning) looks good but has a high amount of running (peaks at 35 miles a week). Another one has only three days a week of running: one speed day, one tempo day, and one distance day and peaks at about 24 miles a week. And a third site matches up perfectly with the days I want to run and the days I don't want to run (Sunday and Tuesday), peaking at 26 miles a week. Lastly, Hal Higdon has a novice training program that looks easier but still sufficient.

My concern is that if I go with the higher mileage, I might increase the likelihood of injury by over training, especially considering I'm still over 20 lbs heavier than I should be. The second site almost seems too easy; however, it is put forth by RunnersWorld.com, a trusted source, not some guy who thought it would be funny. Hal Higdon's looks good, too, and I'm already running at about the demands of week four.

I'm pretty sure, therefore, that I won't be training with the coolrunning program. It seems a little advanced for me, as well as possibly a little too much running for my knees and hip and lower back.

I've tried taking one-minute walk breaks every mile (as recommended by Jeff Galloway, marathon stud who also has a regular column in RW). This might be the way to go for me. The walk breaks only add about 20 seconds to my mile pace, and they sure make 13 miles seem less intimidating by chopping it into 13 one-mile segments. Knowing that at each mile marker I get to walk for a minute helps psychologically. Galloway says that it also helps speed recovery and lessens the strain on the joints.

So, fellow runners (especially you fellow half marathoners - Shannon and Courtney!), let me know what you think and what plan you are using.

PS - I'm excited about the next training check in. I'm running more and eating better (vegetables, fruits, grains, and lots of protein - and no fast food [except on Sundays, when all bets are off!]). I anticipate some numbers (distance) to go up and some (weight) to go down.

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