Cycle 2 of Abi's HM plan in the bag :) - Marathon Running ...

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Cycle 2 of Abi's HM plan in the bag :)

Teri73 profile image

I know lots of you have scheduled your training sessions in Google Calendar and that sounds like a great idea but I have gone old-school and opted print a copy of Abi's plan with my expected start dates for each cycle in the first column.

It is early days, but the plan is working well, I love the flexibility of being able to choose from the remaining sessions in the current cycle depending on how I am feeling and how much time I have.

The strength training is new for me and still quite challenging, especially the burpees, I'm not sure I will ever be able to get from plank to standing in one fluid motion! My cross training is almost exclusively yoga practice, what are you all doing for your cross training?

I was talking to a running friend yesterday, he was saying how he never follows a plan and is quite erratic in his "training", but still manages to run HMs and marathons. Thinking about it, I realised that I need to have a goal to work towards (without it I might never get off the couch) and following a plan is giving me the confidence to believe I can actually complete a HM.

Thank you Abi - your super-flexible plan is making my HM aspirations a reality! :)

How are you all getting on, do you have any tips or insights to share?

40 Replies
Jay66UK profile image
Jay66UKHalf Marathon

At the moment I’m doing walking as my cross-training. I’m still quite gym-phobic. I’m not looking forward to the strength sessions but I know I need to do them and I will be doing Abi’s exercises.

I don’t even know what a burpee is!

linda9389 profile image
linda9389Administrator in reply to Jay66UK

Haha. Makes me feel better, because I had lots of questions about burpees :D

pianoteacher profile image
pianoteacherMarathon in reply to Jay66UK

Ignorance is bliss Jay - they're the work of the devil 🤣😈🤣

MutleyShuffle profile image
MutleyShuffleHalf Marathon in reply to Jay66UK

I'm afraid I've chickened out of burpees - I did them once before at an exercise class and I hated them! I get hot and sweaty enough doing running, I want my strength exercises to be a bit less aerobic! And low-impact. I have put together my own set of strengthening exercises - haven't tried it yet but I'm quite pleased with it 😊💪

linda9389 profile image
linda9389Administrator in reply to MutleyShuffle

Haha. The most pleasing exercises of all - the one you haven't tried 😂

MutleyShuffle profile image
MutleyShuffleHalf Marathon in reply to linda9389

I have tried each individual exercise before - just not all together as a set, if you see what I mean 😉 I know there's nothing horrible in there (like burpees! 😁)

linda9389 profile image
linda9389Administrator in reply to MutleyShuffle


Teri73 profile image
Teri73 in reply to Jay66UK

I had to google burpees too, found a couple of videos on youtube that made it look really easy - they're NOT! I also found something called myrtle training, designed to strengthen your core and glutes, my physio said I have a lazy glute so have been incorporating some of those exercises into my strength training day too. I wouldn't describe myself as gym phobic but I know myself well enough to realise that the 20 min drive to and from my nearest gym will be enough to put me off going, even if I have already paid the membership fee, that is one of the reasons why running works so well for me.

Whatsapp profile image
WhatsappHalf Marathon

Weel done. The reason I book races is so I can put a plan together as that is what gives me the impetus to run. I admire your friend for being able to enter races with confidence without one.

I do emulate him though when it comes to cross training; as long as I keep up running, I don't follow too rigorous a schedule. I'm not saying my way is right though. But it suits me.

linda9389 profile image
linda9389Administrator in reply to Whatsapp

I need a plan! For progress and for confidence. I'll be running my first HM with my son, also his first HM. So far he has run 9k once, and goes out at lunchtime and runs 2-5k occasionally (admittedly very fast) - he doesn't seem at all worried! I'm 57, he is 20 - the optimism and confidence of youth :D

Teri73 profile image
Teri73 in reply to Whatsapp

Thank you Whatsapp, yes booking regular races is a great tip, it means you are always working towards something so the couch-hugging-gremlins are silenced :) I have recently signed up to some monthly distance based virtual running medals, I am hoping that knowing I need to cover 100km in a month will give me enough of a push to go out even when its raining / snowing / I just don't feel like it.

pianoteacher profile image

Good work Teri!

For my cross training I'm mix and matching the 10 min Bodyblast workouts which are on the NHS website and I'm also going to do Kettlebells. Before I started running this is the kind of thing I did 5 days a week to keep fit so I've got lots of different options. I might give Insanity a miss though as it's very, very hard and I'm not sure I'd be up to doing it between runs 😅

Personally, I find it easier to work to a video (showing my age there 😂) with an instructor rather than doing reps on my own.

I know what you mean about a plan. Mine is very, very loose but having an idea of what I might do in training each week has made me feel more confident that I'll be able to complete the distance come race day x

roseabi profile image
roseabi in reply to pianoteacher

I like videos too. I've got quite a few fitness dvds of various sorts, and for years I subscribed to an online barre workout site 😊

Teri73 profile image
Teri73 in reply to pianoteacher

Thank you PT, I saw your post about the NHS workouts and found them soon after, thank you for that, I never would have found those on my own. I too like videos, I invariably work out using a yoga app that has a selection of yoga videos to choose from. I like to think that by following something like that I am more likely to exercise opposing pairs of muscles so I don't become unbalanced (physically, I became mentally unbalanced years ago :) )

linda9389 profile image

I'm using Google calendar - I've put everything in, but I'm often switching things around - it's very easy. I'm also recording all my times and distances and 'actuals' into the google spreadsheet for posterity :) and striking through the activity when it's done :) very (nerdily) satisfying :D

I'm swimming twice per cycle and doing Abi's strength routine twice per cycle (with 4 runs and a rest day). I also do pilates twice a week, but was already doing that before starting the plan.

I definitely need a plan. The progress really motivates me, the progression gives me real confidence too.

When I do my first HM aged 58, (with my 20 year old son) it will be interesting to see if my son's age is enough to carry him through, despite his lack of 'smart' training - somewhere in the deep dark recesses of my mind I occasionally play out the idea of him fading over that distance and the two of us crossing the line together! Dream on mum! :D :D :D

Teri73 profile image
Teri73 in reply to linda9389

Yes, there is something cathartic about crossing off each session as you complete it isn't there, I really don't think I would even dream of trying to complete a HM without a plan, as you say, seeing your progress is a real confidence boost.

Don't sell yourself short Linda, I suspect HMs are much more geared to favour the tortoise than the hare, your son will likely sprint away at the beginning with all the confidence of youth (compounded by male hormones) only for you to catch him up or even overtake him in the last couple of Kms :)

linda9389 profile image
linda9389Administrator in reply to Teri73

I completely agree with the first paragraph. The second I doubt, but if it happens I will try not to gloat ... too much 😀. He's fiercely competitive - if I finish first he will have some amazing excuse lined up already 😀. Nothing good enough to prevent him from having to pay for the beers tho 😂

Thanks Teri!

I agree, I think it is really helpful to have a plan of some sort, even if you're only figuring it out week by week.

There is one thing I would suggest, although I appreciate this is a bit of a pain and I apologise deeply! It would be better if you were to switch round days 3 and 4 of the plan, and make day 5 a 'Rest/CROSS/Easy' day. This is so that you have 2 easier days in between the harder workouts (i.e. between the 'Long Run', 'Pace Run' and 'Speed' workouts). This doesn't apply to the final cycle, of course.

I got a bit caught up with the 7-day plan and lost some focus with the 9-dayer, so forgot to make the edit - sorry again. If you can't make the change it doesn't matter all that much.

I mostly plan do to swimming for my cross training, and some extra strength work - but I hope to maybe do some cycling if there's ever any nice enough weather for it!

As for burpees, they will get better, but don't worry too much about having a fluid motion 😊

Teri73 profile image
Teri73 in reply to roseabi

I confess I am not following the sessions in the order they are laid out on the spreadsheet and I am naturally gravitating towards alternating between longer runs / speed runs and the easy 5ks. I'm also trying to avoid doing the hard runs on the day after the strength training as that really saps my energy and I found I was still quite achy the day after the first strength session.

I would quite like to add some cycling in to my plan too but also not that keen on cycling in the wind and rain :( Perhaps santa will find me inexpensive exercise bike in the sales?

roseabi profile image
roseabi in reply to Teri73

I thought that was the case, but had a bit of an eek!!! moment about my error 😊

I know what you mean about the strength DOMS, and fair enough to rearrange the sessions with that in mind.

And yes, cycling is zero fun on the wind and rain!!! I particularly have a problem with freezing toes in the winter! I hope Santa is listening... 😊😊😊

MutleyShuffle profile image
MutleyShuffleHalf Marathon

I am using Google calendar, and have swapped some of the days around to fit my running club nights in. I'm running every other day so every other week is different, which gives a bit of variety, and I've treated myself to a Park Run once in 4 weeks. My long runs need to be at the weekend so I can run off road in the light - looking forward to that. I only started my plan on Monday so can't give any tips yet, but I like having a plan - I keep going back to Google calendar to have a peek!

I am planning on doing cycling for my cross training, once a week. Also a yoga or pilates class once a week and strength exercises at home once a week (minus burpees! 😉)

Happy running Teri! And happy burpees! 😁

Teri73 profile image
Teri73 in reply to MutleyShuffle

Haha, I'm glad I am not the only one grinning at my spreadsheet, there is something inspiring about having a plan that feels achievable isn't there? :)

I am in awe of everyone who manages to run more than 4 times a week, I'm really not there yet, I tried and easy 5k today and found my legs are still aching from the hilly 11.5k I did on Sunday!

How many kms of cycling do you plan to do per session?

Could you substitute star jumps for the burpees?

MutleyShuffle profile image
MutleyShuffleHalf Marathon in reply to Teri73

Yes I love my plan! I have running days and cross training days in different colours so it's all quite pretty! Google has even given me a picture of a bike on cycle days and a rolled up mat on yoga days! I haven't thought about how many k cycling - I thought about an hour? I treated myself to an electric bike this summer - I know it sounds like cheating but there are such killer hills round here, if I keep it on low assist I still get a good workout!

No I won't be doing anything jumpy in my strength exercises - I have put together a set of good exercises but all are low-impact.

Good luck with your plan! 😊🏃💪

Teri73 profile image
Teri73 in reply to MutleyShuffle

Yes an hour sounds like a good target for cycling, especially if you have lots of hills to contend with! But the electric bike DOES sound like cheating! I'm only jealous because I still have to get up hills the hard way (getting off and pushing the bike up!) :)

roseabi profile image
roseabi in reply to Teri73

By all means substitute the burpees - I wouldn't want anyone to feel they're being tortured! Star jumps are hard work 😊 Skipping (jump rope) is a pretty amazing exercise too, although can be hard on the calves.

If you want lower impact (also @ MutleyShuffle) you can do burpees without jumping - squat down, step legs one by one to plank, then back to squat, then stand again. Or to move faster, try squat thrusts - squat down, jump back with both feet to plank, jump back to squat, stand.

Sandraj39 profile image
Sandraj39Half Marathon

I too, love a plan - even if I have to adapt it a little, it gives me a framework ad keeps me disciplined. I have not printed my plan out yet, but when I do it will be popped up on the fridge and ticked off just like yours. After a fab 13k on Sunday I have since gone down with a horrible flu-like virus which has kept me off work for the last two days, meaning I am already going to have to adapt my plan when I am able to run again...😕 As for cross training, I will be cycling.

roseabi profile image
roseabi in reply to Sandraj39

Sorry to hear that, Sandra, rest well xxx

Oldfloss profile image
OldflossAdministrator in reply to Sandraj39

Feel better soon my friend... I am at the tail end of a nasty bronchial thing... we need to be fit for this:) I last ran properly on the 11th Nov... but.. we will get there.. with tweaking :) xxxxx

Sandraj39 profile image
Sandraj39Half Marathon in reply to Oldfloss

..we definately will Oldfloss. You take care too.🙂x

Teri73 profile image
Teri73 in reply to Sandraj39

Oh poor you, there are some really nasty bugs doing the rounds at the moment, take care on go easy on yourself, no point rushing back into the plan only to end up feeling worse again.

SaskAlliecat profile image
SaskAlliecatHalf Marathon

I’m also a print out on to paper kinda gal and check off as I go. Nothing beats checking off a run or activity on paper and writing down what I did. I love having something to hold in my grubby little hands 😁

Oldfloss profile image
OldflossAdministrator in reply to SaskAlliecat

Hard copy...perfect ! Go you!

Teri73 profile image
Teri73 in reply to SaskAlliecat

Mine is in the kitchen too so I walk past it several times a day, that way there is no escaping / forgetting! :) Somehow it is more real because it is printed off :)

Oldfloss profile image

Go you... I can relate to old school..being an old ex school teacher:)

My tip.. as ever, slow and steady :) x

Teri73 profile image
Teri73 in reply to Oldfloss

Sage advice as always Oldfloss. I am not expecting to run the entire HM, I am sure there will be some spells of walking on the way round :)

I’m on the 7 day version, but keep it all digital so I can access from where I am doing whatever.

On week 1, but already had to swap some days around! 🤣 life!!

Teri73 profile image
Teri73 in reply to LoungeLizaard

Yes, I can see the advantage of going digital, especially if you travel a lot but I do like the flexibility of choosing each session just before I go out, without needing to rewrite my calendar :)

HI I have to follow a plan because I'm not very good at motivating self I use kettlesize for strength and walking/dance video's for cross. Just guing out for my 12k run today if I complete it it will be furthest I've ran so far will keep you posted 🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️

MutleyShuffle profile image
MutleyShuffleHalf Marathon in reply to homlyme

Ooh, dance videos! That's a good idea! I started doing a bit of Zumba to classes on YouTube last winter but then started C25K and forgot all about it. Perhaps I'll look it up again if the weather is too foul for cycling 🤗

Well done Homlyme, it is very rewarding to see the km counter climbing ever higher isn't it? :)

Which dance videos do you like?

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