Spring Training Plan

So Spring Training started this past week. I will be writing up each individual week as I go through it, but this is just a quick post to outline what the “big picture” of the plan is.

Unlike last year, when I spent the whole of the time I should have been base-training injured, this year I have got myself a workout schedule that gets me to the start of half/full marathon training in July/August, with, hopefully, some decent fitness.

As per usual I have taken a plan from Hal Higdon’s site. This time it is the Advanced Spring Training set of workouts. 12 weeks of base-training. The reason I chose this was because it includes a lot of speed work. It is  something I have never really done in great quantities before, and having done a bit of it recently when training for the Duathlon (2x2M) I found it quite fun (yes I know I am strange), and it also gave me some impressive results in a short period of time. Whilst I may not be classed as an Advanced Runner if you look at a purely time-based point of view, I do take my running very seriously and I am willing and able to push myself to do all the workouts that are asked of me in training plans. So in that sense I feel I am Advanced and so decided to take on the challenge of doing this plan. The Advance plan also calls for some strength and stretching workouts, which now we have the room for a multi-gym in the house means they are easier to do. I am still stretching my back and legs a lot to try and prevent last years injury coming back so I have that part covered.

As I have mentioned before, this year I want to spend less time in the evenings out running so I can spend more time at home with the family, the Advanced Plan for Spring Training, allows me that as I can do virtually all the weekday workouts during a slightly extended lunch hour from work. Only once a week will I be out in the evenings and that is only because the cleaner is in at the house during the day.

So with the training plan sorted, I needed to decide how hard/fast I need to train. It is all very well having the workouts planned, but when it says you need to do a Tempo run, what pace should that be? I wrote a long post last year about trying to decide on pace, and I am not going to do that here, as at the end of the day last year my body was different and I could only do what i could do, due to the lack of training time. This year though I can set a goal and try and see if I can get to it. So having played about on the McMillan Running Calculator I have come up with a pretty ambitious plan. I have picked out the marathon time as being 3hr30min, which is a full 16min faster than I have ever run. The reason I did this is because looking at the times for the various workouts, recovery, long, easy and tempo, the only one I would actually struggle with at the moment is the tempo runs. It’s not that I couldn’t do them, just that it would be a challenge to be able to sustain the <7:30min/mile pace they require. The remainder of the runs aren’t that much faster, if any, than I was going last year. Not to mention the fact that I managed my 3hr46 marathon the day after a half!

We will see how it goes, and there is some method to my madness, if I can get anywhere near 3hr30 in Cayman then I should be able to get under it quite easily if I run somewhere colder, which would prove that I can actually run pretty fast!

As per last year I will  be logging and sharing my workouts using my Garmin GPS watch, but also using RunKeeper on my phone. I used them both at different times last year, but this year they will be used at the same time. This gives me a backup in case one (mainly the Garmin) were to fail, as it did recently!

According to the plan I don’t really get many days off until the end of the 12 weeks, which is sometime in July, so I am looking forward to that already!