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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

1 The Unveiling of the New & Much Improved BTHR Program.... Ta-da!


As I'm closing in on the last two weeks of the BOHR program, my mind turns to the obvious question, "What's next?"

As it's very likely I'll be running the 10K portion of the Rockville 5K/10K race in November, I'm debating on whether I should continue with my original plan, i.e., to run a revamped version of the BTHR program, or race-train using one of the programs specifically geared for 10K distances.

[Some of you might remember that I'd previously created a customized training plan called "Becoming a Two-Hour Runner" (or BTHR for short), which was based on the same basic interval training principles of the BOHR program that I'm currently doing (& have almost completed). As I'd initially mentioned at the outset of the plan's inception, the original idea was to be my own human guinea pig for this then-untested program, & then use the wisdom gained from the experience to potentially rework the plan at a later date.]

A third, more comprehensive alternative would be to combine the ideas of both programs into an altogether new program, which would prepare me for not only the 10K distance in the short term, but take me up to 12-13 miles of running. Twelve miles is really the distance I'd really like to be running anyhow on a semi-regular basis to prepare for a 10K. The conventional running wisdom is usually "do twice the distance, & you'll improve your times immeasurably." Or atleast that's the advice frequently given at sites like Runner's World, etc.

But the weird thing is that most of the programs I've seen do NOT prepare a person this way. They just barely cover the 6 miles, or only go up to 8 miles of running only a week or two before the plan ends. Plus, most of these programs are based on running by distance & not by overall running time, which is not how I want to train. Of course, I will end up incorporating the distance requirements by establishing pace markers for each run, but for me, it makes more sense to train based on times & pace, than to say, "OK, today, I'm going for a 5 mile run." If I accomplish 50 minutes worth of running in a 10 minute-mile pace, then obviously I will have covered 5 miles. ;-)

Call it what you will, but my brain seems to more easily accept the concept of running 2 hours versus running 12-13 miles. It's just mentally healthier for me to focus on that aspect. This whole mental shift -- from a distance focus to a time-centered one -- all started with the CT5K program & went from there.

It was really amazing what happened: As soon as I didn't feel the overt pressure of knowing that I had to run "X" amount of miles, it just freed me to run. This way, I wasn't so self-conscious about the process; it freed my mind to just focus on the act of running; & it also helped steer me away from my tendency to obsess about metrics (!) -- all of which helped to just get me out the door & focus on the doing & the accomplishment part. So I'm sticking with what works.


So, I think I've already answered my own question: Based on my initial beta-testing of the BTHR program & previous cumulative running experiences, I think that I'll take the third option & incorporate the best aspects of each training program, to comprehensively prepare for the 10K distance, by running shorter tempo runs, fartleks, & other types of runs with odd-sounding names. ;-)

(OK, so I'm not quite sure how I'm going to be able to work the fartleks into the schedule at this point, but I'll consider adding them later.)

Also, I think that the originally scheduled 25 weeks is far too long for a training plan; it'll be much more motivational to break up the plan into smaller segments.

I like the idea of sticking to a 10-week training program, so it looks like I'll be creating an intermediate training plan; how about the "Becoming an Hour-and-a-Half Runner" training program?! ;-) LOL!

I will still be following the 10% Rule, which states that all weekly mileage increases must be no more than 10% of the previous week's total.

So, here's the proposed, newly revamped training schedule, which is broken into 3 separate training programs:

Becoming A Better 1-Hour Runner (BBOHR)
Weeks 1-3: Run 30 min (fast), 40 min (medium), 60 min (slow). Weekly total: 130 min.
Week 4-5: Run 30 min, 45 min., 60 min. Weekly total: 135 min.
Week 6: Run 30 min, 48 min, 60 min. Weekly total: 138 min.
Week 7-8: Run 30 min, 50 min, 60 min. Weekly total: 140 min.
Week 9-10: Run 30 min, 55 min, 60 min. Weekly total: 145 min.

Becoming a 1.5 Hour Runner (BOHHR)
Week 1-3: Run 30 min, 60 min, 60 min. Weekly total: 150 min.
Week 4: Run 30 min, 60 min, 63 min. Weekly total: 153 min.
Week 5: Run 30 min, 60 min, 66 min. Weekly total: 156 min.
Week 6: Run 30 min, 60 min, 70 min. Weekly total: 160 min.
Week 7: Run 30 min, 60 min, 74 min. Weekly total: 164 min.
Week 8: Run 30 min, 60 min, 80 min. Weekly total: 170 min.
Week 9: Run 30 min, 60 min, 85 min. Weekly total: 175 min.
Week 10: Run 30 min, 60 min, 90 min. Weekly total: 180 min.

Becoming a 2-Hour Runner (BTHR)
Week 1-3: Run 30 min, 60 min, 90 min. Weekly total: 180 min.
Week 4: Run 30 min, 60 min, 95 min. Weekly total: 185 min.
Week 5: Run 30 min, 60 min, 100 min. Weekly total: 190 min.
Week 6: Run 30 min, 60 min, 105 min. Weekly total: 195 min.
Week 7: Run 30 min, 60 min, 108 min. Weekly total: 198 min.
Week 8: Run 30 min, 60 min, 110 min.Weekly total: 200 min.
Week 9: Run 30 min, 60 min, 115 min. Weekly total: 205 min.
Week 10: Run 30 min, 60 min, 120 min. Weekly total: 210 min.

Whoah, that's 3 programs & 30 weeks total. Since the race is 3 months away, that's not going to work for my current training schedule. Hmmmm, maybe I'll just put the BTHR program on hold for now, & just keep looking around for a pre-established 10K training program that I can complete in 3 months time.

Anyone have any good recommendations?

1 comment:

Andrew is getting fit said...

I like that you are doing what works for you. That's the beauty of running I reckon.

The plan looks good too!

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