Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday Favorites:Running Books!

I am so excited!

September 1st is the "official" start of half-marathon training season!

However, I have to say that (quite unexpectedly) I'm going to miss the Easy Summer Runs.

When Summer first began, and I realized that I was going to have to give up all time goals and just run easy, it was a hard idea to adjust to.  Since I started running, I have always been on a plan... At first I used Galloway's plan and then quickly switched to the FIRST "Run Less, Run Faster" plan.   I loved this training plan so much that I have both the paperback and the Kindle edition!   This plan fit me very well.  I am a "numbers" person, and every. single. run. had a time goal.  Plus, there were only 3 runs per week, which was very helpful at a time when I seemed to be battling one injury after another.  However, there was never an easy run.  Never a time when I could run without constantly checking my Garmin.  And never a run slow enough that I could actually talk while running.
So when the summer heat hit and I realized that my main objective was just to survive (ha!), all time goals had to be thrown out the window.  And I got used to running easy.  Got used to running without pain.  Got used to running without any mental turmoil.

In the meantime, I read another book that I fell in love with - "You, Only Faster" by Greg McMillan.  This is probably the best book I have ever read for explaining how to customize training plans to fit the "mere mortal" runner.  I have learned WHY I need each of the four different training runs (endurance, stamina, speed and sprint) and how best to incorporate them in a way that fits my running style (I'm an "Endurance Monster")  Plus, McMillan has an excellent training pace calculator on his site which, while pretty much lining up with the FIRST goal paces, gives a target range instead of a fixed number.  This allows for those days when you just aren't feeling it as well as the days when you are killing it!

  McMillan's book does include a training plan, but since I am more familiar with and comfortable with the FIRST plan, I am sticking with that.  However, I've added an extra day of running (instead of Xtraining) and am working on customizing the entire plan to fit the way I run.  This is easier since I am already familiar with what worked and didn't work for me before.

I don't think I would have appreciated McMillan's book last year.  It draws too heavily on a runner's previous experiences (and I had none!)  In that same vein, I think this book will be even more valuable to me in the future.  In fact, since I first read the book in the spring until my rereading this week, I've learned so much more about myself as a runner and this slightly altered my original plan for this fall's training.

In the meantime, I've started including a few goal-paced miles in my running.  And today, I am sore!  Well, no one said it was going to be easy!!

Just curious: What training plan do you use? 
 Any favorite running books?