For the last 6 months or so, Ian MacNeill has told me when and how far to run each week in his Beginner's Running Program and I've complied, happy to not have to think, content to just do.
This week I'll finish the program, providing all goes as planned. It will have taken me 27 weeks to complete the 13-week program, which took me from barely being able to run 30-seconds at a time to running 60-minutes without stopping. Time well-spent, for sure!
So, I'm proud -- but I've also been (understandably) freaking at the thought of what happens next. I want/need to work on speed, and thought about looking into Galloway, but hadn't done it yet because I still feel like such a newbie. Galloway, in my mind, is for runners who are more seasoned than my slow-azz, 16-minute-mile self.
I looked through the remaining xeroxed pages that Jenn had given me, the MacNeill program xeroxes that started me down this path in the first place...and once again, I found something I'd not noticed before: a reference to "moving on to the Intermediate course", which could be found "on page 157"!
Well, I didn't *have* a page 157 -- all I had were the handful of sheets Jenn had given me. So, I took to the internet, got on Amazon, found the book, found the correct (1999) edition* of the book and bought it!
It arrived this week, and sure enough, there's a 13-week Intermediate program that's all about increasing speed (employing "Fartlek" training, it looks like, which I know is a Swedish training method, but the word still brings out the 12-year-old in me)
So, happily, I'm in for another 13-weeks with Mr. MacNeill!
I can't tell you how relieved I am to have a new program to cling to, something that will be hard enough to challenge me, but not so hard that I'll give up! This should get me through the winter, definitely, and possibly into the spring, if it challenges me as much as the Beginner Program did.
*Apparently after 1999, MacNeill changed the program to be a little less "babying" in the beginning (to start with 1-minute running intervals instead of :30 intervals, etc.), so if you're as green as I was, and are interested in a slow-ramp-up running program, you'll want to look for the 1999 edition with the cover that looks like the one above.