FAQ: Some Frequently Asked Questions
Runners frequently question me. Here are a few questions and my answers:
Pete D'Angelis Jr. wondered about running a marathon in May, then running another in October. “When should I begin training for the October race?”
Most of my marathon training plans last 18 weeks, so starting that many weeks out is the logical approach. (Training for Chicago begins June 9.) If you match a late spring race with an early fall race, that squeezes the amount of time available, but most runners can slide from one endurance-based program into another without any major problems. I did recommend to Pete, however, that he utilize my Marathon Recovery program (5 weeks) before resuming serious training.
Kris Hansel had just finished a half marathon and announced his intent to run his first full marathon in the fall, using either my Novice 1 or Novice 2 programs. Kris asked: “Do I need to start the full program at week 1, or can I skip ahead knowing that I just completed a half marathon program?
If short on time, yes, you can skip ahead, but I usually recommend that runners go back to the beginning, even though that means cutting back on early mileage, particularly the long runs. This allows you to slide into the program well rested. You gather forces in the beginning to prepare for the tough weeks at the end. This is similar to my use of stepback weeks every third week to allow both a physical and psychological break as mileage builds toward the end of program.
Linda Karasz Dwy wanted to know what advantage was to be gained by signing up for one of my interactive programs and paying $39.95, when all my plans are available on my Web site for free. “I guess I just want to know: What will I get for the money?” she wonders.
What Linda and others signing up for my interactive programs will get is a lot more information and instruction in the daily emails I send them. Yes, a copy of my training chart attached by magnets to your refrigerator tells you what to run each day, but the daily emails tell you how to run them. And if you also purchase one of my Apps through Bluefin, you can run with me talking into your ear offering motivational comments. My programs are free, but they work best in combination with my interactive programs and also my book, Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide.
Hal Higdon is a Contributing Editor for Runner’s World.