Bupa Great Birmingham Run - Getting Started

When I started running I didn't really intend to run races further than 10k. I figured I could focus on getting really good at that distance without training taking over my life. At the time I didn't know how important running would become to me, or how much I would want to push myself and test my potential. 

When I signed up for the Bupa Great Birmingham Run last autumn (shortly after my first 10k race!) I was slightly intimidated...13.1 miles felt like a very long way! These days, with a marathon firmly in my future, 13.1 miles is starting to feel a bit more achievable. However, given that my longest run ever has been around 12.6km (not that I was counting), I have some serious work to do!

I see this half as laying the foundations for my marathon training (it's scary/exciting to think about that!), and I've put a lot of time and energy in to researching which plan to follow over the next couple of months. Mindful that I've had injuries related to over training in the past, I wanted a programme that would push me to achieve my potential, but that wouldn't totally abuse my body, and that wasn't massively complicated or difficult to follow. In the end I settled on Hal Higdon's Novice 2 half-marathon programme as it ticked all of my boxes and feels like the best fit for me - which is the most important thing.

Higdon's reputation precedes him, and I really appreciate the straightforward, uncomplicated approach of his programmes. I had briefly toyed with heart rate training, but actually Higdon's approach, which is very much based on how you feel with the odd pace session, is a little more me. I've always found that if my training plan gets too specific in terms of how fast I need to run then I get stressed out, so this approach is perfect. 

I'll be sharing updates on my progress each week, and I can't wait to get started with my training! It feels like I am ready for the challenge and that I think it will feel good to stretch myself and do something new!