Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Taking The Next Step

It has only been a little over six weeks since the initial “jog” that saw me become hooked on running.

It has been a progressive period that has gone from “crash and burn” style 2km runs to measured, even 5km and beyond. It has also means that the initial six-week running plan I embarked upon has come to an end.

While scouring the web for my next plan, I had a couple of things in mind. I had decided to stick to 5km, I believe there is plenty of scope for improvement yet and that I am not really craving more distance, although I expect that it will come with time.

I felt that my new program had to be a progression from my initial plan but I now also had a target; The Orange Colour City Running Festival.

The festival includes a 5km run which is run on March 1. That is exactly eight weeks away, so it allowed me to also look for an eight-week plan.

I have elected to go with a plan put together by Hal Higdon. He refers to it as a plan for intermediate runners. It is a step up from what I have been doing as it has an extra day of running on most weeks.

The pattern of the plan is basically four easy runs most weeks and one speed session with the occasional variation to two speed sessions or an extra rest day. The mileage increases to distances that are well beyond anything I have run so far which should be a great challenge.

The program works up to some relatively hefty distances (seven miles) on the long run in week seven, before a taper in the final week.

By my calculations, the eight weeks will see me running around 223km. That will be a significant increase in my current average weekly distance.

There is also a 5km test run at the end of week four which should give me a gauge of where I am at with it. The full plan can be seen here - Hal Higdon's 5km Intermediate Plan.

The program should give me the perfect opportunity to work on my “conversational speed” during my easy runs. To this point I have been running at a pace much closer to moderate but am hoping to improve on that.

Weeks two through to five will be while I am away in Melbourne for work, so it will be a lot of fun tackling unchartered courses during my runs down there.

I am looking forward to embarking on this next chapter and, hopefully, it will allow me to keep improving.

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