Half marathon training - modified Hal Higdon?

Discussion in 'Training Information/Training Regimens' started by Bootstrap, Jun 18, 2014.

  1. Bootstrap

    Bootstrap Barefooters

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    I'm considering a modified Hal Higdon program to train for a half marathon. I don't expect to actually race until October, but I decided to switch to a more systematic program when I found I was running 50 minutes to an hour, 5-6 days a week.

    I think I'm in reasonable shape, but I've only run one race, a 5K a few years ago, and almost all of my running has been at a rather relaxed pace. I have never trained systematically, done intervals with any regularity, etc.

    Here's the program I'm starting from:

    http://www.halhigdon.com/training/51132/Half-Marathon-Intermediate-Training-Program

    Anyone here familiar with The Exercise Cure [1] [2]?

    I would like to sneak in the Iron Strength HIIT program in addition to the running, but Higon advises that
    To me, HIIT is not taking it easy ... I could do the same exercises more slowly and not try to do them as HIIT, is that the best approach?

    Also, the training program is only 12 weeks, but I won't be racing until October. How would you modify what you do to take that into account?

    [1] http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-exercise-cure-jordan-metzl/1114317573
    [2] http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-athletes-book-of-home-remedies-jordan-metzl-md/1030079661
     

  2. Bootstrap

    Bootstrap Barefooters

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    While I really want to get stronger, avoiding injury is even more important.

    Here are the variables I'm looking at and some questions about each one.

    * In the novice plans, Higdon doesn't recommend any intervals or tempo runs. For the 1/2 marathon, he recommends them in the intermediate and advanced programs. For marathons, he recommends them only in the advanced programs. I'm not an experienced racer, and haven't done much systematic training at all, but I'm finding these helpful because I've always run very relaxed and slow, and these help me to be able to run faster while still running happy and relaxed. Currently, I'm doing these runs on the days he recommends, but feeling free to do fewer intervals.

    * Some barefoot runners don't seem to like interval training, tempo runs, etc. at all, and prefer long slow runs almost exclusively. Arguments for and against?

    * Strength training has been really helpful to me, especially the Iron Strength program, or TRX, or kettlebell routines. Basically, I used to have no abs and no glutes, and now I'm learning to run primarily with these muscles. I suspect strength training may become less useful when I'm in top notch condition, but I think I want to continue until I've run my first 1/2 marathon. I suspect that I don't want to do this as HIIT, though, because if I do HIIT and tempo runs and intervals, it winds up being too much, I get exhausted after a few weeks and have to slow way down.

    * If I followed this program as is, I would run a 1/2 marathon in August. I was thinking more like October, or at least September, partly because it can be extremely hot and humid here in August. How would you modify this to make good use of the additional time?

    * How do you relate this kind of n-week training program to everyday mileage? Once I finish this and run a 1/2, what then? Or if I decide to take on another 1/2 marathon or a marathon, how do I modify the training to account for the fact that I've already built up my mileage?

    Is my newbyness showing?
     

  3. migangelo

    migangelo Chapter Presidents
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    i would start with a 5k and master that. then move up to 10k and so on. that's just me. which honestly i have done 5k's and not mastered them but it's over too fast so i just do 10k's. ;)

    be prepared to take extra rest days. listen to your body, not some "plan".
     

  4. Bootstrap

    Bootstrap Barefooters

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    I've done one 5K, had planned on running at least a 5K and a 10K on my way to the half, and I'm definitely leaving August-October for any needed "adjustments".

    I'm no longer a strict MAF guy, but I am usually running slow and easy for any runs over 40 minutes, except for the buildup phase of tempo runs. If I start hurting myself, I'll stop doing whatever hurt, or pare it down a lot. Actually, I had a chance to do so after my last run ... I needed more recovery time before trying something that hard, so I'm taking a few days off. But like you, I'm almost never injured and continuously running, when I do have to take a few days off, I try to learn my lesson.
     

  5. Bootstrap

    Bootstrap Barefooters

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    What do you mean by "master that"?
     

  6. migangelo

    migangelo Chapter Presidents
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    It means you are good at it. What that definition is is up to you. I have some time goals set for myself before i move up in distance. If you follow maff then you know time training or exercising is important. I'm not under that " just finish" camp and don't understand it. If i race i want to do the best that i can. " just finish" implies to me doesn't matter if you injure yourself just get it done. I'd rather not be injured.

    I hoped that helped. Good luck.
     

  7. Bootstrap

    Bootstrap Barefooters

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    I'm definitely with you on the "not injured" part.

    I don't have a good enough feeling for what my time goals should be. I've only run one race, a 5K, which I finished in 26:14. I've looked a the results of a race calculator to extrapolate, but I have no idea how useful this is as a predictor:

    http://www.runningforfitness.org/calc/racepaces/rp?metres=5000&hr=0&min=26&sec=14&age=55&gender=M

    So I'm a little torn. Just running without getting hurt, being in the top half of the pack, etc. sounds pretty good to me. On the other hand, I need to have some idea what I think "race pace" is for some of my training, and I could use that chart to say that my race pace for a 1/2 marathon is 9:11 / mile and not kill myself trying to be faster at this point in my training.

    In the 5K, my goal was to be in the top half of my age range, and did a lot better than that (it was not a particularly competitive race, and I turned out to be the fastest in my age range). But I'm not used to running races or running against times.
     

  8. migangelo

    migangelo Chapter Presidents
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    It's a process that you should figure out for yourself. It's what i like about running. You can keep setting new goals and do other things as well so you don't burn out being a one trick pony. A couple races under you will give you a better feel of how you should pace yourself.

    For my 10k i tried starting below maf pace and then adding 5bpm evry mile so that i would be at my max hr by the finish line. I found i can push the pace a lot sooner and longer than that. I now warm up good then run just over my maf for about half. Then i pick up the pace and pass everyone. Mostly.
     

  9. Larry

    Larry Barefooters
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    I'm in a similar boat in some respects. I haven't raced that much, but I'm relatively quick (but not competitive in my age group quick, mind you) and I know that in my early 20s I was capable of running quite a bit faster than I do now. There's always the temptation to dive into intervals and speed work and see what I can do, but never get too far down that thought track before I remind myself that my best still wouldn't be competitve at the top level, and I would be risking injury to get there. It's not worth it for me, and in any case I do most of my running with my mind switched off and I don't have the attention span or mental intensity for intervals. Maybe one day.

    My advice would be to run a relaxed half marathon to see how you handle the distance, and think about times later if it is your first one. That's my plan for my first half, which I also plan on doing some time later this year.
     

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  10. Bootstrap

    Bootstrap Barefooters

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    I'm definitely finding the Intermediate program too much, taking a few days off running (sigh) now that I'm hitting weeks 6-7. I'm going to pull back to Novice 2 http://www.halhigdon.com/training/51312/Half-Marathon-Novice-2-Training-Program or maybe even Novice 1 http://www.halhigdon.com/training/51131/Half-Marathon-Novice-1-Training-Program, continuing to do strength training as well as running.

    And hey, if I finish the formal program in August, I have plenty of time to do something else between August and October, which could include a little speed work at some point.
     

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