Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Tuesdays on the Run: New Year, New Training Cycle

If you haven't realized by now following the sheer bombardment of New Year tweets and resolution declarations, 2017 has arrived in all its glory.  For some, the start of another year signals renewed commitments to healthier lifestyles.  For others, January marks the opportunity to leave the past in the past and begin anew.  And for the crazy ones of us out there, this first week of the new year commemorates the beginning of spring marathon training - woohoo!

It's hard to believe that in 18 weeks I'll be towing the line on Liberty Avenue with 26.2 miles ahead of me.  Back when I signed up for the Pittsburgh Marathon in August, the experience felt so far in the future.  But, as each week ticked by, the excitement for this new adventure mounted.  I knew with each workout I was building a solid base that would have me in the right place when training began.  That's not to say I didn't hatch many a Pokemon during my runs...

Now, while I enjoyed running just for the love of it these past few weeks, I do feel more comfortable with training plans.  They give exact instructions and structure to each workout speaking to my organization-loving inner teacher.  The challenge I always find, though, is determining what of the plethora of available plans fits my goals/ability-level/flexibility/propensity to avoid speed work/etc.  While I would love to have a coach, the budget with the wee one in the house just won't allow it.  I also don't have enough experience and knowledge-base to design my own plan (but may try some day).  Up to this point, I have tried both Nike and Runner's World for plans having found both to possess strengths as well as shortcomings.  Wanting something new, I scoured the webpages of my running club (Steel City Road Runners) for its guidance.  Lo and behold, I was pointed in the direction of Hal Hidgon, whose plans I had heard of but never investigated.  After doing a short comparison between his novice and intermediate plans, I found the latter to be more in line with my base and experience.  I saved the link to the Intermediate 2 page knowing I'd be revisiting it many times over the next several weeks.

And so it begins!  Over the next 18 weeks, I'll be posting my progress so you can follow along for the trials and tribulations of marathon training.  Many lessons will be learned, including a few more than once.  By writing the outcome of each workout, I'm hoping to form the habit of reflecting on my runs and get a little more out of the training than just sore legs.  With that, it's time to buckle down and get ready for the fun.

Happy running!

Thinking of signing up for the Pittsburgh Marathon?  Use discount code FOX17 to save $10 on either the half or full registration!

I'm joining PattyErika, and Marcia for this week's Tuesdays on the Run.


  1. Good luck with your marathon training- that's so exciting!!

  2. I'm totally with you in that I love having a training plan that tells me what to do! I've been working with a coach for certain races, like my marathon last fall, and it was a great experience. I hear Hal Higdon is great!

  3. You've got some great goals. I wish more races did ambassadorships to promote their race! I think it's a win win.

  4. Good luck with your training. I just realize I only have 12 weeks till my big race. I better get something started..lol

  5. I love Hal Higdon's plans. I used them for my first 4 marathons. Have a great training season!