After doing a bit of research, my suspicions were confirmed. Hang on for a huge revelation… Most of the running plans are written for younger runners. 🙂 Right, I know…
Don’t get me wrong, there are some runners who can pick them up and move forward.
This 49-year old body is a little concerned that upping the mileage of my long run by a mile every two weeks is too much (I know… wimp) . OK, the brain that’s running the body is concerned. Mostly because last year that’s where my training stopped due to injury.
Then… it didn’t occur to me that I needed to tweak anything.
Like most of my friends and family, in my head I’m 30-something and somewhat of a weekend warrior (a post for another day).
One key is to adapt a running plan. There are many out there and many good ones that better runners than I swear by. It’s all about making it work for me (or you).
Some of the advice I’ve found is to pay attention to recovery days because what I could do at 21, I may not be able to do at 49. Everyone is different. It may be fine, but after surfing some forums and blogs I’ve developed a sensitivity that there are some things to pay attention to. It may not apply to me, but maybe. (See the optimism…)
First things first… before you start any training program be sure to have a physical by a medical professional. It’s taken me a year or so (on & off) to reach even the idea of running a half marathon (that’s after running 5K’s on & off for the past 15 or so). What I’m saying is get the healthy box checked and if you’re starting from the beginning, plan on time to build your base. Not saying that some people can’t do it… but the idea of a couch to half marathon (in less than a year) is, well… painful.
Some of the things I need to pay attention to are:
That I may need more time than the plan calls for. For instance, running a max of four days may be better for me than five.
This seems like throwing in the towel to me. Enough really smart, talented, well trained people have recommended it that I’m going to try it. While I’d really like to believe that I can straight out run a half, having a better run with eased after effects sounds appealing. At first this wasn’t an option. As I learn more, the mindset is whatever gets me across the finish line in one piece able to take on the rest of the day… or the next, is a winner.
Because we tend to loose muscle after 40 and I haven’t been a gym rat, cross training is important for me. Recent studies have shown that speed originates in strength. Olympic and competitive runners focus on strength before speed. While I’m not giving up my running today for intense cross training to develop strength, it’s important so I need to come up with a plan for it. (read… it’s important so I need to find the time and motivation)
I tend to be all about the goal sometimes, but if I really want to do this I need to listen to my body and give it what it needs.
Lastly, I’m considering a trainer, joining a running club or a formal half marathon training program. Need to look into the options a little more.
There are two gurus I see continually referenced; Jeff Galloway and Hal Higdon. I’m a Jeff Galloway fan. Have used variations of his plans for couch to 5K. Just don’t know Higdon yet, have ordered his books. There is definitely more reading on my to-do-list. I’ll let you know what I find.
Don’t laugh (or please do…), said I was new to this…