Friday, October 7, 2011

Huff'n and a puffin'

Move that body: 5.07-mile run

I'm the kind of girl who likes to go all the way.

Like all the way.

But before your mind gets permanently stuck in the gutter let me clarify that I'm talking about running here and not, ahem, you know. I'm a married lady, after all. With a baby. Those days are long gone and were very short days at that. Just kidding.


Anyway, back to the all the way and the running thing. When it comes to training for an event, I like to run as close to the distance as possible. I don't believe in a 10-mile long run to get me through a half-marathon. Just don't. Sure, the adrenaline of the race might carry you through the last 5K but a big part of success in running is confidence. I just don't feel confident that I'll run 13.1 miles if I've only tackled 10 miles a couple weeks before.

So it was with that mindset that I looked for a training plan for my next BIG race - the Huff 50K relay - on Dec. 17. I started out looking at 15K training plans as the 9.3-mile distance is comparable to to the 10.8 miles (I think?) I'll be running. Hal Higdon's novice plan is 10 weeks, which is perfect, but has the longest run at 8 miles. Another plan, this one 12 weeks, topped out at 7 miles.

No good. No good at all.

I want - no, I need - a plan that takes me to the 10-mile mark as this will be the farthest I've ran in more than a year. I considered crafting a plan myself but I feel rusty in terms of scheduling and still lack a strong base at the 5-mile distance, which I use as a marker of my fitness.

And then I remembered something: Half-marathon schedules often top out at 10 miles. Huzzah!

I went back to my buddy Hal Higdon and looked at his half plans. I opted for the Novice 1, which seemed to be an overall good plan for me at this juncture. It offers a gentle increase in distance, cut back weeks and the option of 4 days a week. (I like 4-day-a-week plans as the fourth day really helps to build a base.) It does not include tempo runs or speedwork - something I'm not quite ready for just yet.

And the longest run? 10 miles. Yep, I'll be going all the way.

What do you look for in a training plan? Do you like trust that you'll be able to add a few miles to your longest run come race day?


  1. I don't have much advice as far as training plans since I am still a newbie, but I have to agree with you. I really want to run the full distance of a race prior to the event.

    Going into the half this last time, I had only gone 11 miles. And the half was the only the 5th time I had gone over 10 miles. I was able to survive, but I think if I had gone the full 13 prior to the race my last 5k would have been less of a struggle.

    Once I get over this injury I think I will run the full race distance next time I train for a half.

    Good luck training for the Huff. I am excited for you guys. I sort of wish I wasn't afraid to do it!

  2. I used that Novice I plan when I trained for my first half marathon.. I loved that plan! You're going to do amazing! :) I know it!

  3. I totally agree with you! When I was training for my 2nd half marathon, I made my longest run 15 miles. It turned out to be a much better race than my 1st half when my training program topped out at 10miles. When I do the marathon, I like a good 22 miler in there somewhere. I don't want my legs and body to have to wonder what its like to run those last 3.1. Have fun training!!!

  4. Oh girl - I'm an "all the way" kinda chica too!! I have NEVER toed the line for any of my distance races without at least going the full race distance TWICE before race day! Going the distance is a priceless way to arrive at the starting line knowing you can do it. Glad you found a plan. The rest of your team, though, is FREAKIN' out about not finishing before sunset - like it's going to take "C" about 3 hours and me about 3.5 hours so . . . girl, train like the wind :) EEK - trail running (especially HUFF trail running) is NOT like road running - scary!!!! We'll try to bring our A game, but our A game is much like your D- game so . . .
    Good luck with your training!

  5. When I trained for my half I really wanted to do the whole thing in training, but 12 was as close as I got. However, on race day the last 1.1 wasn't bad at all! But I built up slowly and I think that made more of a difference than running the actual difference (for me at least).

  6. I've done Hal's novice plan before and I think it'd be perfect for a 10 mile race. I've done it for a half and while you can run 13 if you can run 10, the last three feel really, really hard.

    Have you done a post on how you are fitting in running with a new baby? My husband and I have been talking a lot about babies lately and one of the things that sort of worries me is how to fit in my running.

  7. That's perfect! I used Hal's plan for my first ten miler and it worked perfectly. Welcome back to official training :)

  8. I've only ran one race and based on that experience, I definitely would want to run further if not as much as any future race.

    I trained at 2 mile runs for my 5K and felt like I could have prepared/trained better, for sure.

    Next time I think I'll train at 4 miles, that way the 3.1 won't be as difficult =)

  9. Your plan sounds perfect. I like the idea of going all the way and have for all races except for my marathons. I've always topped marathon training at 22. I plan to run a 50k next year and I'll top my training out at a marathon. But that's mostly because I'm afraid if I run 30+ miles before the actual race, I won't want to do it again ;)