Hi Eric, just wanted to say a big thanks- just finished the 6 week getting started program and I feel like I am running a lot faster and more efficiently than I ever have before. I still need to concentrate on all the aspects of proper form but I've found that I've had instances when I feel like I am flying. Such a great sensation- almost like gliding. Though I still haven't reached that point when it is just natural I will keep at it. I've been travelling a lot and find that running is the easiest way to exercise when you're on the go. I've lost weight and my core and back feel a lot stronger.
Now that I've finished the program what would you recommend I do next? Should I progress onto another program or simply just keep on running? I use running primarily for fitness but would like to eventually have a go at a half marathon.
I'd recommend doing what I did. I finished the 6 week starter, and am now half way through the 8 week strength and endurance programme. It's really fun and effective, and quite a bit more varied than the 6 week one. I've lost 14lb and can now run a mile faster than I could 10 years ago (which still isn't fast fast, but feels fantastic). When I've finished this one, I'm going for the half marathon plan, aiming to get back into racing (10ks and halfs) early next year.
Hope this is helpful
Thanks for the suggestion, really appreciate it. How long do the planned workouts usually last? Also I found on training peaks when I did the prescribed times I still came up short when the week was finished. Did you find the same thing happening to you? Which heart rate monitor are you using? I had one for my program but it died on the last day. Also I'm wanting to work on building up my overall body fitness and strength- do you think the 8 week program would work well for this? Sorry about the tonne of questions but it sounds like you're near the same page as me.
I find the workouts pretty much stick to schedule, and most are between 30-40 minutes. There are still lots of barefoot runs (building to 20 minutes long) and a couple of interval trainings that last an hour (with warm-up and warm-down included), but it's all fairly manageable. One of the things I really like about Eric's prgrammes is the "train don't strain" emphasis - I finish them feeling energised rather than exhausted. I got the cheapest HRM I could find - made by Polar, can't remember the spec. Does all I need it to - records session times, averages and max. It also does Zones but I've never figured out how to use these - I just look at the readout. I wish I had more time to incorporate some of the general fitness stuff, but it's a struggle. I just do 2 minutes of plank a day to strengthen the core, some glute work-outs that my physio recommended, and lots of heel springs, running in place and the skipping exercises recommended on the Natural Running Centre (I put these into my warm-up). Not sure what you mean by prescribed times. I don't take much notice of Training Peaks - just use it to find out what I'm meant to be doing!
Hey thanks a bunch Paul. Yeah I'm much the same to be totally honest- I've always done things the simple way, otherwise I feel you can over complicate things. I think I'll give the 8 week one a shot and then see what happens from there. Thanks again for replying, really appreciate it.
The Garmin 305 is a really great product that is easy/flexible to customize for the specific workouts -- helping you stay in the proper zones to get the max benefit. You create the workouts on a little software tool that comes with the package and then download them to the device. You can find the 305 on Amazon for less than $140. By the way, I would second the advice about moving on to the 8 week strength and endurance plan after finishing up the 6 week plan. From there, depending upon your goals, you could use the 5k race plan, the 12 week strength and endurance plan, or the half-marathon plan. My wife and I have worked through all of those over the last two years and are comfortably racing half-marathons (after never having done anywhere close to that distance in the past) and still improving our speed pretty significantly. Because the plans specify time and heart rate -- not a certain speed-per-mile -- you can repeat the plans as you gain fitness and continue to benefit.
Thanks Mark, Sounds like the 8 we