July 3, 2012

Training Tuesday: Training Plans

Most people that I know who run distance rances don't have one plan that they follow completely  There are three key plans that most seem to follow.

1. Jeff Galloway: Most of you know that Jeff is the runDisney training consultant.  In case you don't know much about Jeff, he's kind of a big deal.  He was on the 1972 Olympic team and broke the American 10 mile record.  His training programs are centered on 3 runs each week - one long run and two 30-minute weeknight runs.  He publishes a tailored plan for each Disney race.

2. Next is Hal Higdon: I wasn't terribly familiar with this program until recently.  Hal is a longtime contributor to Runner's World.  Hal's plan includes five runs per week, one strength and stretch day and one rest day.  His plans mix tempo, speed and long runs.  He has quite a few different training plans, starting at 5k all the way up to marathon.  And there are varying degrees of experience within each distance.  His site is a great resource!

3. Run Less, Run Faster from Runner's World: This book focuses on a 3:2 method, which is three runs per week and two aerobic, non-weight bearing cross training workouts.  This is the plan I'm following for the Wine & Dine Half in November.  I like the added cross-training.  I'm definitely a gym rat, but I usually get bored with one workout, so this should keep me interested.  The three runs are speed work, tempo work and a long run (similar to Hal Higdon).  At first it seemed quite complicated, but I'm getting used to the terminology and I've made notes in the page margins to help me figure out my various paces. 

There are quite a few  12- to 16-week basic (read: beginner) half marathon training plans.  I used one of these for my first race. 

At the end of the day, each runner should pick a training plan that matches their goals, abilities and available time.  I know that I struggle to find time to fit in workouts longer than an hour after work.  I find that scheduling my training runs and workouts for the week against my work schedule helps. 

What training plan do you use?


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