How Long Should You Train?

While living in San Antonio, I ran with the Ft Sam Houston Army 10 Miler Team. The team worked with a running coach who gave us the best training plan I’ve ever used. This coach was a retired Sergeant Major who had Agent Orange from serving in Vietnam. His tactics were old school, for example he considered chocolate milk as a recovery drink and coffee as a pre-workout, but the secret to his training was a longer plan, 22-weeks long to be exact. 

I did a Google search of “half marathon training plan” and found most online programs to be around 12-weeks in length.  Hal Higdon has a 12 week program and Runner’s World program is 12-weeks in length.

Is the longer 22 week training plan beneficial?

I’ve been using the same 22-week plan since 2010. The program keeps me at a specific milage for 4 weeks before increasing mileage and workouts slowly. This longer training cycle helps curb my appetite and therefore I’m not as hungry from a long slow distance run and the typical marathon weight gain is not a concern. The longer training plan brings comfort to distance which leads to a natural ability to keep and maintain pace. The longer plan encourages me to be more active overall. I’m able to complete extra workouts, mostly cross training and yoga sessions for increased fitness.

What do you prefer? A shorter 12-week program or a longer 22 week program? Sound off in the comments.

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