Oh, so excited, I sorta started training for my half marathon last week (first longish run since my injury), and this week started with a training plan in earnest.
It's taken me a while to settle on a training plan, and in the end I'm back to using my tried-and-true Runner's World SmartCoach (the free version), but with some new adjustments.
Over the winter I read Matt Fitzgerald's Run: The Mind-Body Method of Running By Feel, which was tremendously inspiring, and got me thinking about what elements work best for me in my training. I then delved into Run Less, Run Faster (since I do love my cross-training) but then also, on the complete opposite end of the training spectrum, the Hansons Half-Marathon Method (because it makes more sense to me and because I've really loved how I've felt when doing higher mileage). And I even started off last week with the idea of doing the Hansons plan.
But I have small kids, one of whom now has sporting events on the weekends. And no treadmill. And a husband who is also training for a half. Oh, and work. And even some travel. And I could just tell that there would be a lot of switching around of workouts to accommodate all that, and probably some skipped ones, and that would all just create stress. And that would not be in keeping with one of the Fitzgerald principles I most agreed with: Run happy.
So on a whim I looked up what the RW SmartCoach would prescribe for me, and I liked what I saw. When I use these plans I pretty much just worry about nailing the high-quality runs (one long run a week, and one tempo or speedwork run), and then fill in the other days as works for me and my schedule that week. From the Hansons plan I am taking the idea of higher mileage and running slow on easy days, but I'm also keeping a cross-training day because I love them and it's a nice break from the running, physically and mentally. I'm feeling very excited about making this summer's training truly my own.
Another thing I'm excited by is that since I started running again, I've taken the opportunity to rework my form, based on this article from Running Times. It was, as promised, a rough transition, but I have been keeping at it and finding it easier and easier to maintain. So last week was my first long run trying to maintain those changes, and today was my first tempo run, and I'm really happy that both went well. I'm not as fast as I used to be, not yet, but I trust with time I will be faster (and less injured).
Oh happy day!