Hal Higdon and Run Training

http://www.halhigdon.com

As I’ve mentioned earlier, starting next week I begin training for the Comrades Ultramarathon – A 55-mile endurance event that is the Superbowl, the World Series, and the Boston Marathon all wrapped into one event. Obviously, this is not something you can just do casually – running for almost 11 hours and being almost 40 years old is not something you just decide to do over a weekend.

One thing I can say – if it wasn’t for Hal Higdon, I’d be in a world of hurt as to what to do. Hal Higdon has written numerous books, but what makes him exceptional to me is the fact he shares – for free – his training plans for everything from “Walking a 5K” all the way to – you guessed it – the Comrades Ultramarathon. He further divides his plans into “Novice”, “Intermediate”, and “Advanced”. So, if you’re just beginning – or have already a few races under your belt – there is information you can use. In addition to his plans, he has articles related to triathlons, stretching, carb-loading, strength training, knees, motivation, and more.

I like most of his plans – although he does stick to mileage goals for many of plans, he also understands the concept of “training for time” rather than just achieving “junk” miles.  In fact, in his plan for accomplishing a 5K walk, you’ll notice he uses mostly time, not distance (copied from http://www.halhigdon.com):

Walking Schedule for the 5-K

Week
Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat
Sun
8
Rest or walk
15 min walk
Rest or walk
15 min walk
Rest
1.5 m walk
30-60 min walk
7
Rest or walk
15 min walk
Rest or walk
15 min walk
Rest
1.75 m walk
35-60 min walk
6
Rest or walk
20 min walk
Rest or walk
20 min walk
Rest
2 MI walk
40-60 min walk
5
Rest or walk
20 min walk
Rest or walk
20 min walk
Rest
2.25 m walk
45-60 min walk
4
Rest or walk
25 min walk
Rest or walk
25 min walk
Rest
2.5 m walk
50-60 min walk
3
Rest or walk
25 min walk
Rest or walk
25 min walk
Rest
2.75 m walk
55-60 min walk
2
Rest or walk
30 min walk
Rest or walk
30 min walk
Rest
3 m walk
60 min walk
1
Rest or walk
30 min walk
Rest or walk
30 min walk
Rest
Rest
5-K Walk

If you’re a busy professional, planning your workouts based on distance is very difficult to plan. However, if you have a defined time for your workout, then it’s much easier to schedule. In fact, in Don Fink’s book, Be Ironfit, he espouses that very philosophy. In a later article, I’ll be discussing Don Fink’s book and the “training with time” philosophy, as I will be using his training plan for next year’s Iron-length triathlon training.

Finally, as a bonus, for those who use trainingpeaks.com, you can purchase any number of Hal Higdon’s plans and have them inserted directly into your training schedule.

So if you are considering doing your first 5K run/walk, 10k,  1/2 marathon, marathon, ultramarathon, or anything inbetween, check out Hal Higdon – he’ll get you started. And if you’ve run a few races – check it out anyway. There’s something for every level.