To be honest, I never quite know what to look for in a training plan when it comes to running. Really, the only one I've successfully followed was C25K back when I first got into this whole business around a year ago. (Has it been almost a year already? Wow). That said, I think probably the most important thing is just choosing one, knowing you can modify it to suit your needs, and then sticking to it.
Helen's dad sent her a bunch of potential plans based on level from Running.About.com and in the end, we just decided to go with this one. We're going to tweak it a bit for days we're not together and in order to add in a week or two to make it the right length, but it looks good to us so far. :)
Today was our first day of training and of the three runs we've done since getting back from vacation, it was definitely the best one we've done. As I've mentioned before, the course will shut down at 2:45:00 with them coming to pick us up in busses, so we're really just aiming to be able to finish. The slowest pace we could have would be 12:35/mi, so we're going to try and hit a pace somewhere in the 11:30 range so that we can account for water and potty breaks. What do you guys think?
Anyway, here are today's run stats. Our original goal was to maintain a 12:15/mi pace and to stop for water after 2 miles (as opposed to after each mile as we'd been doing), but at Mile 2, we were feeling so good we decided to keep going and ended up with our fastest mile of the day: 11:35 and guess what?! It felt good !
This was the first time I used the "Virtual Partner" setting on my Garmin and I really liked it. You don't see your time, just your remaining mileage and your pace... AND (bonus) when you finish, it says "You Win!" What can be better than that? I'm also a fan of Garmin Connect/Bing's "Bird's Eye View" map view. Kind of fun, right? I'd still like to see my HR come down a bit during our runs, but I think that'll come with time.
On that note, I'm off to hang out with Chris, one of my best friends from the States, who got here yesterday to visit! :) She's a big sleeper, so she doesn't mind staying in bed while Helen and I are off prancing about.