"If you’ve raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in thickets by the Jordan?" (Jeremiah 12:5). Our journey is intended to be more than simply "stumbling" through the days while the world "wears us out.” We are made to experience the thrill of "running with horses” and to navigate life amongst the "thickets." The RWH blog focuses on both the spiritual race of which Jeremiah speaks, and the physical act of running that I absolutely love. In short, it's where "the miles meet the Message" to provide insight, perspective & encouragement that might enable you & I to successfully run either of the races set before us. May our course be purposeful and may we be passionate in our pursuit of the abundant life He desires for us.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Early Impressions

23 calendar days checked off ... 20 training runs completed ... 141 miles between two pairs of Brooks .... Still a long way to go before I'm ready for Savannah, but not a bad start.

As some of you know, I decided to change my fall race training plan this year.  After several successful seasons with Higdon, I apparently baked my brain in the summer heat and jumped into the Hanson Brothers plan full force.  I won't go into the details of the plan, I gave a general summary on an earlier post Hanson Brothers But I did want to provide a few initial thoughts.

1) It's early, but the 6 day schedule has not been as exhaustive as I had dreaded.  I have grown accustomed to having 2 off days during the week, so I was worried about having only one.  My legs stay a bit more tired, but I haven't been tempted to skip a day to catch up on rest as of yet.  Hopefully 'habit' has set in and I'm good to go.

2) It's a marathon, not a sprint! Very true, however, adding a dedicated day of speed work into my plan has given me a new appreciation for the sprinters.  I've spent the last three Tuesdays at Wake Forest track and have worked hard to keep the prescribed pace for 400, 600 and 800's.  I actually look forward to this day. I know that speed work drives improvement and I'm anxious to take on ladder drills down the road.

3) As difficult as speed days are, the tempo days are the killers.  I've never run the medium distances at marathon pace before. Shorter runs, yes, but throwing in 6-12 mile runs at marathon pace has been a challenge.  The good news is that my easy runs are already becoming easier.  I find myself needing to hold back on pace due to the increased speed that I have gained from speed work, tempo and long day paces.

4) The warm-up and cool-downs add time on the feet (those Hansons are very sneaky!) For speed workouts, tempo and eventually strength days, I run 1.5 miles to warm-up and 1.5 miles as a cool down. So take the 12x400 day, with 400 recovery jogs.  Throw in the wu / cd mileage and you have right at 9 miles of workout.

Anyway, the weekly mileage will keep building and I'll keep my fingers crossed that my legs keep responding without totally giving out, and even more importantly, without any high mileage injuries. I still believe in trusting the plan, so I'll be back in about 6 weeks to provide a mid-cycle report.  I would love to hear if anyone else is gearing up for a fall race, and especially if you are using a Hanson Brothers plan.

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