To purchase the half marathon training plan or not?

Hey all,

This is my first post here, though I've been reading through posts trying to glean answers to questions I've had for many months now. Before my question I will relate some background information. 

My dad ran cross country in college and he continued running even after his competition days were long over. Occasionally even as a 7 or 8 year old I would tail my dad on some of his long runs, not usually keeping up, but learning the thrill of covering longs distances on foot. I've run off and on through my life. I ran all the time when I was a kid, ran sporadically through my teenage years, and incorporated some running in my early 20's with more of a cross training approach to fitness. No competitions in my school years, no formal training at all. I'm 31 now.

Two years ago I started running trying out the new-fangled five finger shoes. Adjusted to a fore-foot strike, but didn't really get into the bio-mechanics of good form. I ran basically with no goals other then to "run farther" and "faster" each time I went out. After several months without clearly defined goals and the busyness of operating my own business, my running petered out.

My wife started running again in February 2014, picked up the book born to run in May/June and I skimmed through it as well, then finally started it at the beginning and read it through. I started running again with basically the same approach: run hard, run fast, and wonder why I wasn't making good gains. Beginning of August I ordered the Cool Impossible and finally understood why my all or nothing "effort" wasn't producing the results that I imagined. So, went back to the basics following the foundation plans in the book. I started phase 1 of the running program at the end of September.

I'm up to week 9 in phase 1 from the book, but have allowed myself to get distracted by various competitions, the latest being a trail half marathon on Dec. 6; rain, mud, creek crossings, brutul: it was awesome. But it also kicked my butt. But, what do you expect when you don't finish your training before jumping in?

Before my question I also want to add that since I've adopted the running philosophy of Mr. Orton, and put into practice this concept of awareness, I've rediscovered that same delight that I had as a 7 year old running after my dad as I've made gains that I never thought were possible. Great stuff!

So, my question... I plan on going back a few weeks in the first phase to get myself back on track, and wait until April to do my next trail half marathon. With another in June, then a 16 mile run in September, then another half in December. Can I continue to use the two phase training program since it adjusts to your current fitness level, or should I buy the program made specifically for the half-marathon that Eric Orton created? If the half-marathon program would be best, would it still be suitable to use it to train for the 16 miler?

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Welcome Timothy to this amazing place. Personally I would complete phase 1 and 2 of the strategic running foundation as out lined in The Cool Impossible and then look at another training programme. Successfully completing the strategic running foundation will set you up giving you the tools and awareness to do what every running you like. Hope this helps.

Thanks, Robert.

Good advice. I was thinking I should just stick to the book and "finish" it, before I look at something else, but wanted some confirmation. 


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