Wednesday, August 3, 2011

the training plan.

runners very much have a love/hate relationship with training plans. some days they are great and keep us on track. other days they are the bane of our existence, making us getting out of bed and not party as hard at a friends birthday. some use it as a guide, some use it as a bible.

personally i use mine more towards the middle. to follow it to the "t" is the ultimate goal, but sometimes it just doent happen. i start the training process 4 months before race day, im gonna use my upcoming october race for timeline purposes. so heres what the basic breakdown looks like:

4 months till race day (june) = training 3/days a week.
   ~that usually looks like 2 days running and 1 day cross-training
3 months till race day (july) = training 4/days a week.
   ~during this month i typically add another cross-training day.
2 months till race day (august) = training 5/days a week.
   ~add on that last day of running.

this training cycle though, i did it a little different. in june i chose to run 3/days a week, adding 1 cross-training day in july, and my 2nd cross-training in august. this is where you stray more to the guide side of the training plan. something just felt right about running 3 days in the 1st month, so i went with it. here is what my training plan week by week looks like for this cycle:
click to view!
i didnt really realize how crazy this is until i sat down and wrote it all out again. i got this instant feeling overwhelm and panic looking at the excel spread sheet. i had to take quite a few deep breaths and close the workbook for awhile before opening to look at it again. once i opened it again i was able to look at how much i had already done. i think that is very important. while august and september look terrifying on the graph, i am already done with june and july, and i survived. its a tough cycle and trying to fit it all in with life is the biggest challenge.

with each training cycle comes some sacrifices...
2 months before race day-august 1st
   ~give up starbucks, alcohol, and fast food.
1 month before race day-september 1st
   ~continue with the first 3 things and give up pizza, anything fried, and ice cream.

it sounds drastic, i know. but the reward is so worth it. feeling so clean and healthy in that last month is super important. i had a run last week when i ate mcdonalds the night before a run and my stomach was screwed up for the whole day. its hard to give up those things, yes. the alcohol isnt too hard except for when i go to bars, etc with friends. pizza is by far the hardest! i love pizza, seriously i do. and it is everywhere. all the time. ice cream is a very close second, mostly because i love it so. but the clean feeling is so worth it in the end, i promise!

my love.
a runners training plan is deeply personal. i go into my races wanting to finish them. the goal is to not get picked up by the bus (if you are not keeping pace there is a bus that will come to pick any stragglers and you do not officially finish!). i care about my time, but i dont plan for one. i dont do speed work to improve my time. or push my body to the ultimate extreme for a minute off my previous days run. i run for me:)

3rd place in my age group!!

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