Thursday, January 8, 2009

Training plans

Today's Runner's Lounge Take It and Run Thursday topic is "Training Plans Do's and Don'ts." While I am still technically a newbie to all of this, I do have an opinion on it (as I do everything else). First, I need a training plan. Without one, I feel like I am clueless, without any direction. When I am not working toward a race with a specific plan at my desk or on my fridge, I don't know how far I should run (or when or even if I should run). Left to my own devices, I would probably run three miles every time during the week and eight on Sunday. I definitely wouldn't have woken up at 5:15 a.m. yesterday morning to do a five mile tempo run. I wouldn't even know where to start with speed work.

Right now I am mostly using the Runner's World Smart Coach half marathon plan using my 5K time to give me pace goals. I also printed up Hal Higdon's Intermediate Half Marathon Training Plan as an additional resource. I figure between the two of them, I'll find what works for me. Plans are a guide for me, not the law. I know that other people do better when following the plans exactly. When we were training for the marathon, it was really important to Laura to get in all the mileage our plan called for in a given week. She would make special efforts to run that extra mile or two so that our totals were correct each week. Me, I sometimes cut out a mile or two and figured I would make it up with a good Stroller Strides workout. Toward the end of the marathon training, a couple of us cut out a short Friday run to avoid burnout and injury.

I plan on training smarter this next marathon. Last year, it was all about building endurance and having the confidence to get to the starting line. This time, we will build skill and strength as well as endurance. I am a few weeks from starting. I'll use a combination of Higdon, Runner's World and some workouts from Brain Training for Runners develop our plan. Even after we develop our training plan, we'll change it as needed as we go along.


Anonymous said...

I agree, I need some kind of plan, especially if I'm doing an event. Although, it's been a little bit of a challenge figuring out my exact plan doing the San Antonio marathon and training for PF Chang's, but I figured out a pretty good one using a combination of Runner's World Smart Coach and Team In Training plans.

Not sure exactly what I'm going to do over the next few months though, I keep thinking I should figure that out, but I will wait until I finish the next marathon and then let myself worry about the plan.

Marathonman101108 said...

You go girl!! Sounds like you have some good running plans. I agree 100% that you have to be flexible and listen to your body also. I overtrained back in November of '07 and as a result couldn't run for 2 months, and missed running in what was supposed to be my first marathon.

Anonymous said...

i'm like you - I don't follow plans to the letter, but they do give me guidance. i think I'm not disciplined enough! And last summer, until we got to the 14 mile mark or so, I always tried to run a mile further than the rest of the team, for some stupid reason.


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