Can you believe it’s August already? Back in April, after I’d run through (pun definitely intended) a couple training plans for different races, I figured it would be a long time before I’d be ready to do a long run or even think about training for another race. And then we know how the story goes from there: coupon codes provided the incentive to sign up for The Louisiana Marathon half and the Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans half. At the time I registered for each race, it felt as though years separated me and the day I’d even be thinking about opening Excel to create a training plan, but guess what? We’re here.
For my first half, I used Hal Higdon’s beginner schedule and modified it to be a couple weeks longer so that I’d be able to build base mileage without getting injured. Too bad that didn’t work, and the last several weeks of what were supposed to be training were instead spent hobbling around, barely able to even walk due to severe IT band pain.
This time, I’m trying to think of what I can do differently to prevent injury, as well as to build some speed so that I have an honest shot at a PR. Here are some things I have on the brain for my next training plan/training cycle.
- Once again, I’m going to modify a Higdon plan, probably the intermediate plan, but am open to recommendations for someone who’s probably considered a beginning intermediate runner. Because I’m so injury-prone and have a history of stress fractures and bursitis, which speedwork tends to aggravate, I need to tone it down a bit. I’m not interested in a ton of track workouts and I know the dangers of overdoing it, at least for me.
- I want to get back into strength training, including more of a focus on my core. I’ll never forget how sore my abs and back were after that first half. I’ve also discovered that hip exercises (for abductors and adductors—thanks, physical therapy for teaching me them!) help immensely when my IT bands are sore or tight, so I need to remember to keep that up.
- Cross-training, particularly continuing spinning. It’s been incredible in helping me get back to old levels of fitness. I think my weeks will be structured where I’m running more one week than the next, and using more cross-training sessions to supplement some shorter runs.
- Stretching and being extremely careful about injuries. Stretching has always helped me recover and stay loose following hard workouts. My experience with several years of physical therapy and treatment for bursitis in my hips has also taught me that a great deal of stretching, ice, and naproxen are the key to feeling better.
What are your plans for fall half marathon or marathon training? Can you recommend any books or trusted training plans I might want to check out?