A few weeks ago, I had a grandiose plan for my next half marathon. I decided I would train for it properly. Yes, I was going to really commit. I was going to download a training plan, and I was going to do all the runs exactly as prescribed. And, I was going to get a PB in my upcoming race on September 6.
So far, I have failed miserably at this goal. I tried to find a reasonable 8 week training plan online and was disappointed that even plans for beginners basically have you running 4 times a week and cross training every other day. That kind of commitment is daunting and unreasonable (in my opinion). And most plans are 12 weeks or more. I don’t have that kind of time.
I finally found a plan that looked semi-realistic and instead of following it, I just did my own miscellaneous runs and exercise that comprised of random 3.5K runs to work and back, spinning, some weights and even though the plan called for a 10K run this past weekend, I decided to run 12K. I basically didn’t follow one single workout of the first week of the plan.
I don’t like being held to the rigid schedule of the training plan. I completely recognize that following it likely would result in a PB in my upcoming race, but I actually don’t care that much. Sticking that training plan to the fridge made it feel like a to-do list. It suddenly became this overwhelming, sigh-inducing chore. Where’s the fun in that?!
I have decided that following a specific plan is overrated. Sure, it may have been created by a professional, but it takes the fun out of training! Training plans are great for guidance and helpful for new runners or runners with specific goals. But when you’ve run many races, and you’re running for fun, you know what to do. I say stick with what works for you.
I’ll work out and cross train throughout the week, and I’ll continually increase my distance week over week getting up to 18-20K the week before the race. I have done this several times before, and it works perfectly fine.
If I want to blow off a workout to enjoy a glass of wine after work, I am going to do it. I’ll make it up some other time. Life is a lot more fun this way.
Do you follow a training plan? What works for you?