Let’s Talk About Running: Training Plans

When I started training for my half marathon, I did a lot of research on how to build a training plan. I did a lot of reading. Look, I’m an engineer — I like knowing how to construct things that will work for me. I read lots of the usual resources, from Runner’s World Training Plans to Galloway, Higdon, and McMillan*. I read magazines and articles, I went through individual blogs looking for advice. again, if I had spent nearly as much time running as I did reading, well, dude, I’d be smoking the world with my feet right now.

Obviously I am not an expert here. My half marathon was 2:10:56, which puts me firmly in an “average” camp, the “yes in fact I actually did solidly run the entire 13.1 miles (at a ~10:00/mi pace), but there’s no way you can call me legitimately fast here” grouping. But that’s what this blog is for – that’s what this advice is for, people who want to run and run better but don’t have an entire life to devote to it.

When I was training for my half marathon, I was working a full time job (40 hour weeks, in increments of 11-12 hour days) and attending a full-time graduate school course load (20-30 hours a week, including up to 6 hours of lab on my days off and anywhere from 15-25 hours during the week calculating, creating, researching, and writing 30-page lab reports) — seriously, I dare anyone to tell me I should have, could have, spent more time on training. I dare you.

That being said — I’m a living breathing example of the fact that you always have time to do it. Look at that schedule, and look at the things in your life. Are you really too busy? Think about it.

anyway! This is a blog about healthefficiency — healthy efficiency, workout efficiency, training efficiency. So let’s talk about training plans! If I tell you what I learned, as an intermediate amateur runner in real life, not in magical running world, hopefully training can be more efficient for you down the line!

This is a plan for casual people looking to get a little more serious, looking to get better efficiently. This is for people who want to look at things beyond a 5K. This is for people who might be looking at this for the first time, or the second time — if you’re already running 35 miles/week, dude, you don’t need my help.

Using this sort of plan, I managed to drop my time on an 8-mile relay leg >9 minutes. That’s dropping over a mile a minute in my pace. This stuff works!

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