Or, as Erin asked as part of the Runner’s Lounge Take It and Run Thursday, should you always have a training plan and, if not, what do you do?
Since I’ve been running without a training plan since I ran the Marine Corps Marathon in October 2008, I obviously think you can run just fine without one. One reason I’m not using a plan is that I tend to rebel against someone telling me I “have” to do something. Another is that I haven’t had any specific “A” race since the marathon. I just want to run well at any distance from a 5K to a half marathon. My race distances are all over the place these days as I’ve been choosing races based on one of three things: 1) a new state (0r a beer related race), 2) a local race I’ve never done, or 3) a local race that I love to do every year.
Now, just because I don’t have a training plan, doesn’t mean I don’t have a plan. At the beginning of each week, I figure out my running schedule, based on what is going on in our lives and what my next race is. Each week I try to run a minimum of 20 miles, which will increase slowly to 25-30 during the school year. I do at least 3 speed workouts a month and at least one hill workout (I don’t have to specifically do hills often as I live in a very hilly area). My minimum long run is 6 miles, with a goal of hitting at least one 10+ per month (not sure if that’ll happen in August). The longest race I currently have on the calendar is a 10 miler in October, so I can slack a bit in the long run department for the moment.
Is it working? I think so.
- I’ve been injury free since before the marathon (KNOCK WOOD!)
- I’ve seen some nice increases in speed and have PR’d at almost every distance this year.
- I feel like I have a nice balance with the amount of running I do and what I have left to give to my family.
At this point, I’m unlikely to pick up a training plan again unless I decide to run a marathon. If I do, I will probably create my own plan, based on FIRST, Hal, and my marathon buddy’s advice.
In unrelated news…
- That peanut butter was every bit as good as I expected and I managed to limit myself to 2 spoonfuls.
- I had a babysitter yesterday afternoon. I stopped in to Origins to check out some skin stuff and ended up getting a mini-facial. That, combined with a quick 3 mile run when I got back, kept my sanity intact last night.
- In the very near future, I plan to review POM Wonderful, Nuun, my new Adidas Rebound shorts, and my new Amphipod handheld.
- I found out yesterday that my local Whole Foods is trying to get in Dragon’s Milk beer. Guess who’ll be buying every bottle they have in the store. ;o)
- Beer Geek commented that, based on how clean the table and the living room were, the maids must have just come. So, here’s what it looks like 24 hours later (and it only gets worse as the days go on)…
11 thoughts on “TIART: To plan or not to plan”
great that the non-plan plan is working for you, and remaining injury is what it's all about right! Awesome!
Whatever you're doing seems to be working, keep it up!
Yay to being injury free!You've been running really well, so obviously it works for you.
Wow, that's a great non plan! Love how you take each week as it comes & plan your running around life. Great idea. & planning your races around beer states? Classic.
You've been running really well! I commend you dedication to keep running well without a specific plan – I'd just stay in bed, I'm sure.
I've seen some nice increases in speed and have PR'd at almost every distance this year.Okay, so from now on, sister, I'll just call you Teh Anti-Vanilla, because … well, I think the reason is obvious.Dragon's Milk beer …O, sure. Now that your little fling with wine is over, you come crawling back to beer, expecting it to take you back, no questions asked.Well … it will. Lucky for you, beer is the low-self-esteem-doormat of alcoholic beverages. Beer may not like this "open" arrangement; but it will tolerate it because it fears growing old alone and become a spinster with nothing but its 27 cats to keep it company.Shame on you for playing on beer's esteem issues!
These are all great ideas for how to run without a set plan. Thanks for the tips!
Side note: LOVE the color on your walls!But yeah, even without a plan, I usually run with a "plan" of some kind. There's always some way to create purpose.
I love that it is a revolutionary idea to most of us runners to "plan your runs around your life/family that week." This seems to be the challenge I have with using a marathon training plan; basically, I don't do it very well, because I do just that…adjust my runs to my current life schedule. And now I have proof from yourself that it works out so…whew, I feel better.
clearly your planning works for you! don't fix it if it isn't broken!!
I love the free form plan!…I think it gives us balance with people that have lives to lead, work, family etc. I have found that not being so darn anal has really helped my race times AND my home times;)