Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Plan

I'm planning on running the Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon in November and it's time for training season to begin!  In previous marathon build ups, I haven't been so good about following a plan. Sure, it all starts fine and dandy.  I pick one out.  I label the weeks. I plot the course.  But then somewhere by week two, it looks like a massacre has occurred on the paper, as I've crossed out and rewritten to reflect what I've actually done. And my marathon times have reflected this plan free style. But this time things will be different.  I plan to do it right.
Bibs of Marathons past.

For the Bootlegger Half Marathon, even though it was my 18th, I committed to following a plan.  I thought it would be good mental training for marathon build up. Kind of like training for training, if that makes any sense. I scoured the Internet, narrowed down the options, and finally picked a plan that reflects the routine I currently maintain: 4 day a week of running with 2 optional cross training days.  Each run had a purpose that I could focus on (easy, tempo, speed, and long) which also helped me not get bored.
It worked out great for me.  I enjoyed crossing off each day as I completed it and only missed a small handful of runs mainly due to a bad cold. I pushed myself by finally adding in specific workouts like speed and tempo, but I kept the overall plan manageable for my lifestyle, which really was the key to success. Instead of picking a plan that is popular, or worked well for others, I picked a plan that reflected my reality.  Sure, I could be faster if I run 6 days a week, but that isn't realistic for my life and it would leave me feeling defeated in an already draining pursuit.

I'm starting a week early and doubling up on week one. Source
To be honest, I've felt a little lost the last three weeks without a plan. I missed the daily plan telling me exactly what I needed to accomplish with each workout.  So, now it's time for marathon training. Once again, I've picked out a plan that is both obtainable and challenging (is marathon training ever NOT challenging though?).  I'm posting it so everyone can see it, use it, ask me about it, and hold me to it. Just another way to help get me to the finish line.


Do you follow a training plan?

What about training plans do you find most helpful?

6 comments:

  1. I like being told what to do so I do usually follow a training plan and like it. BUT I didn't follow a plan for the half I'm doing this weekend. My sprained ankle derailed my plan and I never got back to one.

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    1. Sorry about the ankle. Hope it holds up for the race!

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  2. I always follow my own plan and follow it more as a guide than specifically day by day. I run all distances year in and year out so I never start a program for a specific race. I just do more hills or more trails or night running or whatever the next race has. I try to be ready for a marathon and 50km always and only push training up for long ultras and multi-day events.

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  3. In the past, I've always followed my own little tweaked plan. Having something holds me accountable as well. I've never tried something with a real purpose (ie - specific speedwork, tempo) and tend to run more by what I feel like doing on a specific day. I'm trying run less, run faster this time around (though a bit tweaked as well) and curious how it'll pan out!

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    Replies
    1. I'm curious to hear how your run less, but faster plan goes. I agree that most plans need to be tweaked just a little for each individual. Good luck with your training.

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  4. I live for training plans! I'm lost without one now!

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