I’ve been thinking about this the last couple days. I N-E-V-E-R have a training plan. I’ve tried using them before and they always seem to fizzle out. I have a good concept of what types of runs I need to do for race preparation but for the most part I just run based on how my body feels.
Perfect example…I know I need to throw down a run in the 20-24 mile range for the marathon that is coming up at the end of February. This is one of the big challenges I had in Vegas so I know that needs to happen. So building towards that, I ran a strong trail run on Saturday which was just under 18 miles, 2700 feet of elevation gain, and 4 hours on my feet. My legs were thrashed after that run so I completely took Sunday and Monday off from running. On Tuesday, Buster and I headed up to the park in our neighborhood and I did extremely light laps around the park with intentional hiking up the various hills. Last night my legs still felt tight so I did a light 5 miles as I continue to shake off the damage from Saturday.
Quick side note…I was matched up with my run buddy for the “I RUN 4” Facebook group back in November. So we have been running together for roughly 2 months now and the 5.32 miles I ran last night put us at exactly 150 miles together. I thought this was totally awesome; these are the types of milestones that I hope he and I can continue to share.
So you can see I have an understanding for long runs, hill work, recovery runs, etc. But none of this is coming from a training plan. I look at each week, have a general idea of how many miles I want to run that week, and then break them up depending on available time and how my body feels. Of course I’m a world class planner when it comes to the details of my trail runs but that doesn’t really fit into the training plan discussion lol.
For me it’s all about the freedom. The freedom to run when I want at whatever pace I feel is appropriate. The few times I was on a training plan I absolutely HATED when I had interval training and wasn’t able to hold pace or had a key work out and had to miss or reschedule because life got in the way. Since I’ve dropped the training plans and returned to running for the pure enjoyment, I’ve seen the passion return. For all of us I think that is what is most important, running because we have a passion for the sport.
Do you strictly follow a training plan? Are you more of a free spirit like me?
How far into the future are your runs planned for?