Lately I’ve been feeling like I could use some more goals in my life, so I enlisted this guy to kick my ass into gear:
For those of you for whom the words pronate, fartlek and Body Glide mean nothing, Hal Higdon is a well-respected long distance runner and writer, and, as I’ve just discovered today, painter.
Back in 2004 when I decided to run a marathon, I used his online training program for novices. It served me well, and though I feel like I’d be crazy to put my body through 26.2 miles of torture again (albeit at 10-and-a-half minute miles), I would recommend Higdon’s training plan to anyone who’s considering running a long distance for the first time. The gradual build up of mileage over 18 weeks both helps guard against injury from overtraining, as well as discourages the laziness that a self-made program can sometimes slip in to.
Like I said, my mere mortal body may never again withstand the cruelty of running a full marathon, but I’ve always toyed with the idea of training for a smaller distance. As with other amateur runners, finishing fast is not the goal so much as getting into the right shape to complete the distance comfortably. The race itself is rather arbitrary to me – I picked a super low-key one in San Francisco – but having a date by which to complete training is key. I’m now in the second week of Hal Higdon’s eight-week 10k program, shooting for an October 12th race. Again, it’s the process and not the race itself that ultimately matters: Hal’s got me working out six times a week (including three runs, an easy day of stretch & strength, and two cross-training days). Having a date in mind keeps me going to the gym after work and running on hot Sundays when I’d otherwise just give up on moving all together.