Experts say that if you want to achieve something, write it down on paper. I live by that—and I swear by it. I even take it one step further by detailing exactly how I’ll go about to achieving that goal. (I know a lot of you runners do the same.)
When it comes to running, I am just as anal. As soon as I commit to a running goal, I pore over various training programs and choose one that’s best for me at that particular time.
When I started running in 2006, my first goal was to run 5k in Pinay in Action. I downloaded Runner’s World 8-week program and followed it to the letter. (Beginners, click here to download the same program I used, same program I printed out for hubby when he was starting.)
This time, for the Singapore Marathon, I pored over various Marathon Training programs:
Jeff Galloway – run/walk program, best for beginners
Hal Higdon – various marathon programs to choose from novice, intermediate, advanced, best you read his book
Smart Coach – personalized program
F.I.R.S.T. (Furman Institute of Running and Scientific Training) – 3x a week running program
And, after all the research, the winner for me was F.I.R.S.T. Why? The program recommends three high-quality runs each week—intervals, tempo, and long run—leaving me with enough time for strength training, stretching, massage, cross training, and most importantly, it allows me to have a life outside of running (in case you forgot, I’m a wife, mom, and entrepreneur, too!)
I didn’t follow it to the letter. I made a few adjustments for the program to work with my schedule and a friend had to make major revisions when I did my accidental marathon at QCIM a few weeks ago (whooops!), but I’ve followed the three mandatory runs as much as possible, no matter how I feel that day. I always cringe when I think of the intervals on Tuesdays, I dread the tempo runs on Thursdays, and I am always giddy like a school girl on Sundays when I get to do my favorite long runs. Crossing my fingers that it’ll help me reach my goal on marathon day!