Monday, May 6, 2013

Training programs...

As many of you know, I used the Zen Labs "Race for Pink" Couch to 10k program to train for my 10k race.  I absolutely adored this app, and I felt like it really exceeded my expectations.  It was always just hard enough to challenge me, and thus when I actually finished a training day, I felt amazing. I accomplished each training  without giving up, but was still challenged.

The app used a walk/run method to get you to the point where you could run for 30 minutes straight.  Then it pushed even further by having you start running for endurance.  You were still using the walk/run method, but it was longer intervals of running.  For example, you would run 14 minutes, then walk one minute, and repeat that 4 times.  You would increase the time you ran each week, and take out a walk break here or there, and then the last week, you were running for an hour straight!  It was amazing.  I couldn't believe that I did it the first time, and now after a few weeks it's something I do at least once a week.

This app was amazing.  I am injury free, the instructions were easy to follow, I could listen to Spotify while it was running, the voice was clear and easy

My trouble from here is that I want to keep going!  The program is over, and the Zen Labs 13.1 trainer is a walk/run training program.  In the end you train to walk/run the 13.1 miles of half marathon.  That's great, but the first work-out of week one was a significant step backward.  It was a 45 minute work out and the running intervals of 3 minutes and walking intervals of 2 minutes.  There were 4 running days per week, and 2 cross training days.  Also, when I charted out the week, it didn't look like the program had the recommended structure or short runs during the week and a long run on the weekend.  There was a hint of that, but it there was a push of mileage that looked fatiguing, but not challenging... does that even make sense?

I looked through the program to see if there was a week that was similar to the training I'm doing now.  To be running the amount I'm running now or close to it, I would need to start in Week 9.  Out of 13.  That's a half marathon in 4 weeks.  That seemed tough, and also like a stretch.  The longest run you do before the half is a 10 mile run the week before.  I want to train hard for 12 weeks, and I want to be challenged, but I don't want the half marathon to be a huge jump in mileage.  Grrr!

So, I've been on the hunt to find a training program that will meet my needs.  I'm a fan of the walk/run method, but I wanted a program to continue my progress, not step back significantly.  I wanted something that would get my mileage higher sooner, and let me acclimate to the high miles and have the confidence that I'm able to finish 13 miles without winging it on the last 3 miles.  I think I found a good alternative.

I downloaded the Hal Higdon 13.1 app for android.  In this training program, you must cover the miles.  I doesn't matter if you walk/run or run the whole thing.  You just cover the miles.  This I can do.  If I want to do walk/run intervals as mileage gets high, I will.  If I don't, I'll just run.  I like that freedom.

The app seems great.  There is a calendar countdown to your race day.  I tested it out, and I can listen to my Spotify playlists while I run.  I like all of these things.  My only fear with this app is that it runs the GPS.  This is a huge drain on my battery, so I'll have to have the phone fully charged when I start my workout.  We'll see if it holds up.

Week one is run 3 miles on 3 days during the week, and the long run is 4 miles over the weekend.  Sounds about right!  I'm going to run the week 1 course for the next two weeks while I wait to officially start my 13.1 training.  I am actually jazzed about starting this app!

Now all I need is an android app that will track me while I race so that Kevin can find me on a race course.  It's really hard to gauge when you are about to finish the race, and it'll be easier to meet up and find each other at the end.  Plus, maybe he can meet me at the finish line... :)  I would love that!

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