I realized this morning that last week was the sixth week of my current training plan (catch-up: I’m using Hal Higdon Novice 1 marathon training to build mileage this summer). The plan is 18 weeks long, which means I am officially a third of the way through it. I think it would be jinxing things to make any comments about levels of health or success up to this point, but I do want to reflect on the past weeks a little bit.
I stopped doing weekly training recaps after the second week of the plan because I was finding them boring to write. I already keep a training log for myself, so it’s not like I need weekly blog write-ups to hold myself accountable or to give me something to look back on. I thought about posting a training recap today, but instead, here are some general take-aways looking back at the first six weeks of the program.
- I like having a structured outline of what days I will be running and how far. I have never followed a training plan before and this takes a lot of the guesswork out of training for me.
- I was concerned about how the plan has three consecutive run days each week–Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I’m finding that I can handle it physically, but sometimes I feel burned out by the third day. The last two weeks, due to other scheduling issues, I have switched Thursday’s run day and Friday’s rest day, which I have liked better. However, I’m going to keep sticking to the plan as much as possible.
- Following this plan has afforded me more consistency with running than I have had all this year. My reasoning for choosing this plan was that I thought it was my best chance at the moment of rebuilding mileage as safely as possible. So far, it seems to be helping me do that. As a result, I have been able to run consistently and am starting to feel like I am slowly but steadily regaining fitness. It is hard to see changes day-to-day, but as these first six weeks have compounded, I have started feeling more confident in my running.
On Thursday, I wrote that I would be running a 5k the next day and that I thought 27:XX would be difficult for me to achieve given my current level of fitness. I will be writing a race recap tomorrow, but just to spoil it a little: I ran 27:04 and regrettably had something left in the tank at the end. That is evidence to me that I am starting to improve again. My 5k PR is 24:49, which suddenly doesn’t seem so far away anymore. I’m doing this plan to build a base to hopefully train for a spring 2015 marathon this winter, but a shiny new 5k PR certainly would not hurt… 😉
All in all, I am happy with this training plan so far. The exciting newness of it has worn off, but of course I am sticking with it and I 100% plan to see it through to the end. This Saturday will be the first long run of the plan that is over ten miles, so it feels like I am just now moving into the meat of the program. Additionally, since I have never run longer than a half marathon, I am quickly approaching brand new territory. I look forward to seeing how the next weeks of the plan play out.