It's time for another Take It and Run Thursday, this time about training plans. Training plans rock my socks. The very first one I followed (besides the divine wisdom of Coach Quick)was Hal Higdon's beginner's marathon training plan. Following the plan gave me a lot of confidence. I mean, it's Hal Higon; dude knows what he's doing, and if Hal says I should run an easy 3 today, then by Yoda, that's what I'm going to do. Hal's and my goal for my first marathon was simple: to finish. And, sure enough, it worked.
My goals now are more ambitious, and in turn, so are my training programs. I am following Uncle Hal's intermediate program for a trisko. It includes speedwork and weight training, two things that I did not do in the beginning program.
After the trisko, I will start training for the Quad Cities Marathon. I'll use the plan laid out in Dave Kuehls' Four Months to a Four Hour Marathon. Between you and me, Internet, I think that four hours might be too ambitious of a goal for me right now. My first marathon was 4:57, and while I am positive I can do much better, shaving 57 minutes off of my PR is likely a bit much right now. However, I know that I will finish stronger in marathon #2 by adding some track workouts and tempo runs as Kuehls suggests.
I love training runs because they give me confidence that I am doing the right thing to prepare for my races. Even more importantly, they make me feel like a serious athlete (which evidence keeps suggesting I am). I am not just out there running a couple of miles around my house that are pretty; instead, it's a 3 mile recovery run. Or I'm running a tempo run to build speed, or a long run to build endurance.
And when I cross the finish line, I'll be able to say, "I love it when a plan comes together."