After finishing up the Wineglass half, I knew that I didn’t want to schedule any more races before Pittsburgh. It doesn’t mean I won’t do any local small races, just that I’m not signing up ahead of time with thoughts of a particular goal. On the other hand, I know that I need something. I’m not someone that is motivated enough to just go day to day and do the right kind of things to work out.
Liz has been touting the benefits of heart rate training for a while now. I bought the 80/20 Running book by Matt Fitzgerald, but I found myself just not able to commit to finding the heart rate threshold he recommends. Because of that, I never went anywhere with the program. I’m sure the start up was not as hard as I was making it out to be, but I just couldn’t devote the mental energy or time to do it. But I did like the idea of using an HR program for training.
Enter: Another Mother Runner. I’ve listened to the podcast for some time now and it’s been a great place to learn about running but also hear about people with the same struggles I have. I knew from listening to the podcast that they had several Train Like a Mother plans that served different purposes. They have several plans depending on goals. They have some normal progressive plans that work you up to a certain distance (including an ultra marathon!), some specialty plans for a triathlon or nutrition. Then they have a group of HR plans. They have HR 101, HR 102 and then several distance plans for half marathons and marathons which depend on your current fitness and goals for your race.
Because I have a while before I need to train for my next goal race (Pittsburgh Half Marathon!) I decided to try the HR 101 plan. This plan lasts 8 weeks, and is meant to build up your aerobic base. The plan calls for 5 runs a week and most of them are done at a pace where your HR stays below 140. There are also short strength, resistance loop and BOSU ball work outs that are specified in the plan. I’m only 4 days in but so far I am really liking it. There are some definite pros and cons.
I am not that tired after runs
I have been good about doing the strength circuits so far
It gets me to run more often than I would otherwise (I was solidly 3 days a week before)
Hopefully I’m building an aerobic base to work from for my next Half Marathon
The runs are done by time, so I’m not guessing how long it will take me to run X milles
There is a Facebook group where you can ask the coaches questions and talk to other people who are in various stages of the plan
I have to come to terms with running alone sometimes (On a side note I’ve been lucky the one of my BRFs is on board for the 8 weeks and it seems like I will occasionally have other company)
It doesn’t leave much time for me to get to my gym
I am already toying with the idea of doing another HR plan for Pittsburgh, even though I’m just starting the base building. That will be a bigger commitment since it is a 20 week plan and I will have a lot of long runs that I know will be lonesome and 5 runs a week for 20 weeks may be a little much to take on. If not, I may do a distance plan through Train Like a Mother. Either way, I am enjoying this plan so far and hope that it works as advertised. I am really hoping to start my next training cycle with the strongest base possible.