Shut up and Run

Ok I promise I won’t bore y’all with everything toooo much. But I’m in schedule madness at the moment. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you’ll know I followed Hal Higdon’s Intermediate I for my Chicago marathon, no schedule for my Derbyshire marathon (doh!) and Hal Higdon Intermediate II which then dropped down to Intermediate I for my fourth marathon. I am now 1 week away from starting an 18 + 2 week training program for London. Why +2? Because I’ve booked a 10 day skiing holiday in January where I probably won’t be running. (Plenty of hard aerobic workouts though – I ski like I run, little skill, much determination). I feel that Hal and I have reached the end of our road together – I don’t know whether I could improve much more on this schedule. I would like a different program this time as I think I would benefit from more varied workouts – a bit of speedwork, more tempo work etc. Sooo… I have been reading Pete Pfitzinger’s Advanced Marathoning and my – this is advanced stuff. I’ve come a long way since starting running with John Bingham. While I think I’m at the bottom end of the people he’s writing for I do want to improve my marathon time (are you kidding? who doesn’t?) and I also want to try something new..

So – what are the factors?
Jen (the great and the fast ) commented that’s she’s about to finish a 12 week Pfitz programme but feels that 18 might be too long – you might lose motivation. More so than with other programs Jen? I’m really interested to know what you think.
– the fabulous MarathonMaritza? You followed Pfitz for 18 weeks no? What did you think?
– Anyone else got some thoughts to throw in?

I’m going to have to show my hand here as well. Remember that post I put up and took down recently about prioritising and fitting everything in? Well.. I wrote that because I was in the process of finalising arrangements for a job. I have been working freelance from home for some time now but have now been offered a part-time position in a marketing department. It’s a great job with great challenges AND mommy-friendly hours – 9-2:30 Mon-Thurs so it has everything I could ask for at this point. BUT while I’ve been able to run when I wanted recently since my son went to school, I am obviously going to have to do a lot more prioritising now. This is a good thing – I tend to get more organised when I have to and much more efficient. But. Running. So – here’s my thinking. The Pfitz 18 week schedule has 4 days of running, 3 of rest / cross training. Long runs on Sunday. Now – given that my Fridays are free I think I would do my long runs on Friday and then just move the whole schedule back 2 days. This would mean that I would have to fit in one midweek long run during my Mon-Thu working week. Thankfully I joined a gym a month or so ago so I think that run will most of these in the evening on a treadmill. Husband is very supportive – of marathoning and working – so, provided I schedule all my runs in – I think that is feasible.

So what do you all think? Am I nuts? The more sensible amongst you will probably say you can’t tell me whether this is all feasible. On the scale of discipline and determination I would say I am definitely human – I get tired and lose motivation – but I am also determined and keen. And I think it will help me to cope with the inevitable workplace stress etc. to have my running to come back to.

Input asked for guys and gals. In the meantime, I’ve been having a good time running footloose and schedule-free. Had a few days in London this week and check me out in Hyde Park

Yup there’s Lolly again – this time city dog took country girl for a run round Hyde Park!

And ShirleyPerly – I had to think of you when I saw this. Bear in mind that it was cold (maybe about 3 or 4 above (Celcius) and look at these gals swimming with the ducks!
Shirley‘s also tagged me so my next post will be a meme… And we will soon be onto rhinos I promise! In the meantime, keep running!


10 thoughts on “Shut up and Run

  1. Oh my, swimming in 3-4 degs C?! And skiing in snow!? I’m started to get cold just thinking about it! 🙂

    Congrats on the new job. With your family’s support and a plan to get the runs in, it sounds to me that you should go for Pfitz’ program. If it turns out to be too much to juggle with a new job, you can modify or switch to one of Higdon’s Advanced marathon training programs, which also include some hill and speedwork as well. You can easily substitute XT for 2 of the shorter recovery runs, if running 4 days a week works better for you. Either way, I agree that you’re next step to running faster marathon times would be to start including some speedwork.

  2. That schedule sounds good to me. You’re sharp to do the longruns on Friday, I think. Way to go. You can totally do it!

    Susan 🙂

  3. Congratulations on your new job! You will have no problem getting everything prioritized and organized for your training and going to the office.

    I’m looking forward to hearing about what schedule you pick.

    Where will you be skiing in January? Sounds like fun!

  4. Congrats on the new job! And great pictures. 🙂

    I think the 12 week program makes up in intensity what it lacks in length. And I think the 18 week program does start off a little easier and include a couple “cut back” weeks. I don’t think it’s really just 6 more weeks of intense training. But I personally like to do a base-building phase of my own and then go into a focused 12-week program. If you want more of a structured approach, I think you might like the 18 week one.

    I also agree with Shirley about subbing cross training for the recovery runs to moderate the intensity and prevent injuries.

    It is a touch schedule but you are a tough girl! 🙂 Good luck in your decision.

  5. Hi! Oh man, I’m totally blushing at the ‘fabulous’ notation! I’m flattered!!

    I actually followed the 12-week program, at Jen’s suggestion. I think that if you do the 12-week you do need to build a nice base b/c it jumps right in on the intensity. Jen is right, that the 18 week program just adds some build-up training, but the overall intensity is about the same in the end.

    I felt like 12 weeks was enough for the hardcore dedication I felt this program required. It definitely kicks your butt in a good way.

    Do you read Michele’s blog at “Michele’s Training”? She is linked on my site and she is currently in taper from Pfitz’s 18-week version, so you might want her input.

  6. I am LOVING the 18 week plan. I have never felt stronger.
    Dec 8th will be my third marathon.
    1st using cool runnings program(4:2? something)
    2nd using FIRST (4:04)

    I also changed the days around to make Friday my long run day. Has worked for me. Those 12 mile mid week runs get tough.

  7. I’m a 14 week kind of guy myself. I once tried a longer plan, but I was burned out. I might pencil a 16 week schedule for myself but I always say the first 2 weeks are Base Training and not “technically” part of the plan, thus arriving at said 14 weeks.

    I think what you’ll find is that one person’s plan: Higdon, Pfitz, Daniels, Hansen, Galloway has certain advantages over other for different runners. and that progressing from say Galloway to Higdon, is a logical approach to increasing speed, endurance and performance.

    I can tell you all day that I think you can do it. Do you agree that you can do it? Is your mind set, I think I run a 4 hour marathon or I am running a 4 hour London marathon.

    Congrats on the new job!

  8. Hey Petra,
    I’ll have to get that book. It must be the one running book I don’t own…hee, hee.

    Have you ever read this book (Run Less, Run Fast)?

    I’m thinking of following it for my next half. It’s been featured in Runner’s World. It sounds like what you are looking for, although I haven’t seen Pfitz.

    I’m sure you will be able to juggle your roles of wife, mother, employee, and runner just fine.

  9. Congrats on the job! I know that you will succeed in scheduling what you need to into your schedule. Don’t get discouraged when things get busy and you don’t perfectly keep the schedule.

    You are the gal with the plan!!! 🙂

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