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How to build a plan for a novice

  • 24-10-2018 1:32pm
    Registered Users Posts: 29 kukkanen

    Looking to get advice on how to build up base level fitness to prepare for a half marathon training in the new year.

    Background: Picked up the running shoes in late June this year, after not doing any exercise for 10+ years. A base level fitness in June was very poor, enjoying the life too much and near 2st overweight. Since June, I have started to build up the base, looked at the diet a bit more (lost a stone of the weight so far) and finally ditched the smokes two months ago.

    Current stats:
    Running 3 or 4 times a week, but no routine or plan in place, just hit the road after work in town or the hills here in the country with the dog. Currently do between 20 & 30km a week and looking to increase this. Normally do the 5k parkrun on Saturday, then one longer 10km run a week on top of few 6-8km runs, work schedule permitting.

    Current times:
    5k: 28 minutes
    10k: 58 minutes

    I am now ready to see how I can bring myself to the next level and am aiming for a half marathon sometime next year. What is the best way to start slowly building up from the feeble base I have so far, getting confused looking at all different plans recommended here.

    Should I just stick to my “plan” of no plan until early next year and then kick off proper 10k to half marathon plan ?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,964 ✭✭✭ aquinn


    The Graduate plan attached would be ideal for base building. It is set up for those who would have just completed DCM and as a way forward. A lot of the Novices have used this and thrived.

    There should be a new thread starting in the next few weeks once the mentored one finishes.

    All the very best.

  • Registered Users Posts: 29 kukkanen

    Lovely, I'll take a look at this now !

  • Registered Users Posts: 141 ✭✭ Lombardo123

    Apologies for hijacking - but it looks like the graduate link above has answered your question. Ill use it as a base myself as my situation is not dissimilar to yours.

    Taking that plan a bit further - how do you decide when to do interval training / speed work / gym sessions?

    Is it a case of getting miles into the legs first before that stuff - or how should it be fit in?

    I am a gym goer for the last 3-4 years, strong but not lean, 85kgs - and i'd like to change the focus of my training, with running being the goal. Ideally i would like to keep some power/explosiveness that i have gained from my time in the gym.

    What would be the right split of miles on the road vs gym work (albeit different gym work)?


  • Registered Users Posts: 29 kukkanen

    Thanks Lombardo, I was wondering about the same thing. I currently go out for my runs, but they are all at the same pace :)

    I don't feel like I have a base to do anything more advanced yet, but not sure what's the best approach.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,370 ✭✭✭ pconn062

    One thing I will add is (and it happens in nearly every one of these new/novie runner threads), don't always think of moving to the next step = longer races. Inevitably it's what people do- they go 5k-10k-1/2 and so on.

    Why not try to focus your attention on getting faster and fitter over those shorter distances before you go longer. Based on what you've posted you have made some great changes but you are still very unfit with a low aerobic base. You can probably do a half but I bet you the time you do will be out of whack (slower) with your 5k time. You could consider spending six months trying to get your 10k time under 50 mins and your 5k down to 22/23. Then when you do go and try a half, you won't be on the road for as long.

    For 4 days a week you could try:

    1 easy day: 6-10k at 6+ minute plus per k, very easy.

    1 faster day: 2k warm up then, 10 by 1 min hard/1 min easy, 2k cool down. Any variation of this is good, 8x75 secs hard/45 rest, 6x90 secs hard/60 easy. 3-4 x3mins hard/75 secs easy. Don't worry about distance, just time.

    1 easy day with some faster running in there: So 6-10k with maybe 2-3 k at your current 10k pace in the middle, roughly 5.40 per k

    1 longer day: aim to build up to 16k and keep it easy.

    Ideally over time you could add in another easy day in there to get you to 5 days a week. Try that for a few months and see how you get on.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 29 kukkanen

    Your post makes so much sense Pconn and made me take a step back to see I am rushing things a bit.

    I really like the 10k distance - feels like it's a good distance to aim for next (and to get it under 50 mins).

    I'm doing my local parkrun every Saturday and will see if I can bring the time down over time.

    The half that I signed for is 5 months away, so I will take a proper look at the advise you gave on increasing the speed on shorter distances and then see closer to the half if I can embark on a plan more suited.

    Cheers !