Back in early September I won a 16 week training plan from a certified RRCA coach. It was a giveaway that Abby was giving away on her Instagram feed. At the time, I had my fall set already, but I figured I would put my name in the hat for the giveaway. I didn’t think I would actually win, but when I did, I was very excited.
Since I had my Fall races planned already, I was sort of in a loose training plan at the time for the multiple half marathons and what at the time was my end of the year marathon. Once I was notified I won, Abby and I talked about what might be best for the plan. To me it did not make sense to throw something together for the end of the year and I was a little worried I’d lose the chance to use her as a coach. Luckily, she was beyond flexible and we decided we’d use the plan for the Pittsburgh Marathon. Pittsburgh would be my 10th marathon and while I wasn’t planning on going for a PR at this race, I did want to run my strongest Pittsburgh race to date.
Even though the start of the training was well off, Abby was quick to put together a loose plan for me. It actually helped me so I could wrap my head around what her training was like. Since I stated running, I have just used varied Hal Higdon plans for training. I will adjust them to what best fits my schedule with races and go from there.
When I got a first look at my plan, I knew things were going to be different. I had something that was created specifically for me, for my running needs and for my schedule. She did a great job taking into account the few half marathons I had already planned in the spring and made sure they were taken into account during my plan. I was a little worried that the plan would be so daunting and intimidating, but that wasn’t the case. She laid everything out and gave plenty of detail for how each run should go.
Each week has set easy runs, set tempo runs and of course the set long run. In the plan she pushes me to not go into my run/walk routine right away. It’s something I’ve been trying to drop for the middle distance runs so the extra support will hopefully get me to where I can I maybe even mentally drop it for a marathon.
I am used to having a training plan, but the biggest adjust that I have had so far is putting out my splits and how the run was. When it comes to the details of my runs, I have always been a bit private. I typically don’t put splits out there for all to see. I’ll give general details about a run, but nothing to level of detail. This is different. What’s great though is that I am sort of opening myself up on this and Abby takes the time to respond to each run. She gives feedback on the splits and will say something for me to perhaps keep on eye on for next run.
It’s been a little weird that someone actually cares about how every miles goes for me. I’m not used to this and for me, it’s taking some time to adjust that Abby is there for anything I need. What’s great is that she will also text or email and follow up with how things are going outside of the communication on the plan. She continues to remind that I can reach out about anything. I’ve always been very up front with the good, the bad and the ugly about my running, but not to this level of detail I guess. While this plan is focused on the training or Pittsburgh, I think it’ll have some other positive effects for me as we continue through the weeks.
Currently we are in week 3 of my plan. I’ve had 2 full weeks down and have been able to hit all of the workouts as planned, minus maybe flipping some days around to accommodate my schedule. So far it’s been a great experience! I am excited with having this plan at my fingertips and look forward to seeing the results. Less than 100 days until the Pittsburgh Marathon and we’ll see how everything comes together.