I started Hal's intermediate I plan on June 9, and after 13 weeks (of 18), it's time to downgrade to the novice 2 that I've used successfully so many times.
It seems the main feature of novice 2 is to rest on Friday, so you're ready to do the long run on Saturday. It makes sense and I've always done yoga instead of total rest the day before. It's worked. I've been slow, but Hal's goal is for runners to finish.
The idea of intermediate 1 is to run on Friday so you're tired on Saturday and it forces you to get used to running on tired legs. It makes sense and it's worked so far. Well, "worked" in the sense that I'm exhausted and whiny on Saturday but I've gotten through the miles.
I can definitely run through tired legs, but my ankle / lower leg started hurting on Friday, and now it's Tuesday morning and the inside of my lower left calf is still tender. My plan all along was to follow Intermediate I as long as I could, then go back to the novice 2 plan. I've reached that point. The risk of injury seems greater now than does the benefit I could garner from a few extra miles the last two big weeks (the last three weeks are tapering in both plans).
The mid-week and Saturday mileage is the same in both plans, I'm just ditching the Friday run. With the fewer miles, I can now spend Thursdays doing speed work. Intervals are hard, they're miserable, they just suck! But, they work so it's time to work on that.
Successfully FINISHING four fall marathons is tons more important to me than one potentially faster finish. Four finishes is my goal and I'll take slower times if it means I'm not injured. It's not like I'm anywhere near qualifying for Boston and would risk injury to hit the qualifying time. Besides there was no guarantee I would be noticeably faster with the new program. Then if I got injured at Chicago, the other races and travel costs would be a total waste and I can't throw away that much $$