Training: Hal vs. TEAM

As I was suffering from a decision to eat a Dairy Queen Blizzard before running 4 miles last night, I began thinking about the differences between the two training programs I’ve followed.

During my previous two marathons, I have trained with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training. I loved my experience training with TEAM. Their philosophy seems to be “train as little as possible so you are ready for your event, but are sure to get there injury free.” It sounds like a plan to me. This time around, I’m running for Girls on the Run Sole Mates, and training with Hal Higdon’s Novice 2 plan. So far, so good.

The big difference between these two programs is time vs. mileage. When I trained with TEAM, the only time the plan was specific about how many miles to run was on Saturday, long run day. The rest of the week was either 30 mins, 45 mins, 45 mins XT (cross train) or a track workout. With Hal, weekly runs are anywhere from 3 – 8 miles, with one day of cross training (Sunday). For some, the difference between a 30 minute run and a 3 mile run is negligible. For me, a 30 minute run will never be more than 2.75ish miles. A 45 minute run will never be more than 4ish miles. So this new plan has me running considerably more than I ever have before.

So far, I like it. It makes me feel more accomplished, and I feel noticeably better on my long runs now. Of course, the beauty of being a teacher is that I have the summer off to enjoy my training. I’m not so sure I’ll like it very much when I’m supposed to do an 8 mile run on a Wednesday night in September. We’ll see…


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