I had really hoped to sign up for one of the Running Room's 10K walking clinics to start (I'm a big fan of the RR's clinics despite never having finished any of the ones I registered for) but I can't find one at either of the two locations near me. My next thought was to register for one of their online clinics. Sadly, after two live chat sessions and a couple of emails, turns out the RR doesn't offer the 10K (or the 5K) walking distances online. Sheesh. I can't win here. And then I remember John Stanton, founder of the RR, wrote books not only about running but one on walking as well. I know... I need a book to teach me to walk? More on that below. So, I searched the inventory at two bookstores near me - nothing. Thankfully, the library had a copy for me to borrow but I also ordered one for myself so I could write in it and make notes (yay for gift cards!). On Friday I started reading; its Sunday morning and I have about 100 pages left and those are mainly the actual training program charts.
To be honest, there were some sections I skipped over (power/race walking) and I found that he is quite repetitive. And, his definitions about the different types/speeds of walking is a bit confusing but overall the book is helpful and I cannot wait to dive into my training program. Side note: I found out today that there is a Spirit of the Marathon II! Loved the first one - very inspirational. And this one is set in ROME! Sorry, sidetracked. Yes, I'm excited to get started and to be honest, I'm already envisioning myself powering through the Hypothermic Half - strong, upright and smiling! Best not to get ahead of myself though. Once I've completed the 10K program on my own, I'll take part in a local race if I can find one and then I will decide whether to register for the half marathon program (there's one starting in October!) or if I enjoyed doing it enough on my own to continue training alone.
So there it is. My training plan is ... a book. Its not designed to teach you to walk as I joked about above, we all learn that as children. No, it teaches proper form, how to safely and effectively increase speed and distance, offers advice on stretching, weight and cross-training, walking in a variety of conditions (hot/cold), hill training, selecting the proper shoes, Nordic walking, and nutrition (although not enough of this last one for my liking). Much of what comprises the RR's clinics. The only difference will be that I don't have the assistance of a clinic leader or a group of strangers walking with me. The clinic leader issue? Both good and bad. The very first "learn to run" clinic I took back in university (didn't finish - knee injury), I had amazing instructors. The second one I tried? Horrible - discouraging and demoralizing (comments about my running speed). While I'd prefer the option of having someone to ask questions of or to have provide feedback on form, I'd rather do it myself than have to risk going through the issues I had in the past. The half marathon training though is another story - I won't be making that decision for a couple of months and I'm going to weight the pros and cons very heavily as I really want to succeed.