When I decided to use Hal Higdon’s intermediate marathon training plan I thought, “This is going to kill me.” But I knew that in order to challenge myself and attempt to accomplish the goals I set for myself that I had to make this switch.
When I entered the plan into my calendar on my Mac I thought, “This is going to kill me.”
When I actually started training and doing those back to back runs on the weekend I thought, “I am going to die running.”
Well, half way through and I’m not dead…yet. I still have these thoughts that it will happen as I now enter the high mileage of the plan. There are those two 20 mile long runs on the horizon but I can also see the end of the plan that brings me to the starting of this year’s NYC Marathon.
Partly because of the new training plan I have been faithful in sticking with the plan. One of the downsides of using a plan you are familiar with from year to year is that you know exactly where you can cheat. I don’t want to cheat on this plan. If I am to accomplish my goals I have to put in the work and that means all of it. I ran total of 130.78 miles in the month of August, the most I have ever run in an entire month. My total for September, if all goes well, will be 199 miles. I’m tempted to add an extra mile to make it an even 200.
I’ve done all the speed work, tempo runs, and hill work and I’m still alive. Sure I’ve been tired and the week before I step down week in mileage I have felt the heavy sore legs in desperate need of those easy miles. But amazingly have felt incredibly refreshed and ready for the next challenge this plan will bring and for me that will be my upcoming long runs.
So far I have tried to keep an steady pace for all of mile splits. For each of the long runs I have had where I have felt really good I have managed to run those about 40 to 50 seconds faster than my marathon goal pace. While that’s not necessarily what you want to do on a long run (they should actually be slower than marathon pace) I’m not actually concerned about it. One, because I have felt good after each of those runs and two, because I was able to maintain the pace through out the run. On the one bad long run I’ve had that was only 10 seconds slower than my marathon goal pace and considering how bad that run was I will take that in a heartbeat.
So no, this plan has not killed me and I’m still excited about my training and the marathon which is a tremendous feeling to have at this point in the schedule. My next long runs for the rest of the month will be 17, 18, 13 (step down week!), 20, and 12 miles (yay step down week!). If I can maintain the current pace I’ve been running these long runs at I will be ecstatic.
But if I do happen to die on a long run please bury me in my Asics.