This week kicks off the start of a new H-Marathon training program for Ellie and I! We both have been feeling like it is time to get back into it full-time, so over the next twelve weeks it is back to the grind.  We don't have any runs in mind as the target or end goal for this program, but we do have some personal goals that we would like to accomplish by the end of this time-block. Both Ellie and I would like to lose the last five or so stubborn pounds that have been lingering around unwelcomed.

Committing to a twelve-week schedule is a pretty daunting task. Having been through it once now, I realize that all it takes is one thing: dedication. Dedication is sticking to the schedule, making good decisions about what we eat, and not partying the night before a long run. It means going out when it starts to snow and getting that tempo run down even when it is slowed down because of snowbanks. It means going to the gym when training outside just isn't a viable option.

So why would we commit to a schedule without a particular race in mind? For me, and I believe this is true for Ellie too, the structure of a system is immensely helpful.  I can X out day-by-day what we have accomplished, and I know exactly what is coming down the pipe. I know that I probably shouldn't drink more than a beer or two on a Friday night when I am doing a ten-mile run on Saturday. It just takes the decision making out of my hands, and it stops me from making the wrong choices.

Ellie and I have a little bit of a sub-goal going right now. We both want to get as close as possible to our goal weights before Thanksgiving. That is about two and a half weeks from now, and I think the schedule will really help us get to where we want to be.

Here is the link for the schedule we plan to follow. It is the next step up from the one we utilized for our first half marathon. This program emphasizes a little bit more speed work and pace management than the last, and I fully intend on doing my best to get the most out of that. One of the things I have really enjoyed is seeing my base pace drop by nearly a minute from about six months ago. I think with a little bit of work on tempo runs and sprints, my base pace should continue to drop down pretty nicely.

Here's to the next twelve weeks!