Martha and I went for our first training run together on January 6 although my actual “training program” began at the end of November. I'm running more days and more miles than at any other time in my life despite the fact that I started running in the late 70s. When I was in ninth and tenth grade, my Dad was stationed at the Fort Shafter army base in Oahu. We lived on Palm Circle, which was lined by beautiful royal palm trees. I'm sure one lap was less than a mile but it initially seemed impossible to jog around even once. Today Martha and I ran nine miles and other than some tight muscles at the end, the distance seemed manageable.
When I first started running, I think most people referred to it as jogging and it was just starting to be popular as a sport. I remember my parents giving me a James Fixx calendar and I think his Complete Book of Running was one of few available on the subject. Now, there are lots of books and magazines to turn to for help and inspiration. I bought Marathoning for Mortals by John Bingham and Jenny Hadfield this summer. I used their training plan to prepare for the Boston Half Marathon in October. I had a great race that day so am sticking with the same source for April.
It definitely helps to have a set plan to follow. It somehow seems easier to get a five-mile run accomplished or a thirty minute cross training session if the calendar is “telling you to do it” than if you figure out the workout at whim day by day. I wouldn't have been so organized if my detail-oriented/engineer husband hadn't pushed me to do it. He's been incredibly supportive. My end of the bargain is to have a plan so that I can train wisely to minimize the chance of injury.