Hello, thank you for joining me along my journey of becoming a Runner! I've always been an active guy, played sports in high school and continued into adult recreation sports after high school. As I started my family and found a career, the activity level slowly decreased. Well my Fiance had enough of our lazy ways and started on the Weight Watchers program and completely overhauled our daily meals. Step 2 was getting more active, so we decided to JOG our annual Juvenile Diabetes charity walk and actually enjoyed the activity. The month following the charity walk, we signed up for our first official 5K and had an absolute blast. From that point forward I have officially been BIT by the running bug and this is my journey to becoming a RUNNER!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

I'm Terrible At...

Training plans!!

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?


  1. I'm very much a training plan follower when it comes to preparing for a specific race. That's just me, though! I think each runner has to do what is right for them. If running sans training plan works for you, then go for it! I'd say just be careful to make sure your mileage is peaking at the right time (typically 3 weeks out from your goal race). But this intuitive type of training, versus following a regimented generic training plan, sounds like a great idea.

    Personally, I'm following a 15 week training plan for a 50K I plan to run in April (first ultra!!). I wrote the plan for myself, after reading a lot about different approaches to training for ultras. I feel like it will be a good fit for me.

  2. I'm with you on avoiding training plans. BUT, I think it is important to incorporate some actual workouts every now and then. For instance, during a training block, make one day pointedly a long run then pick one or two days that I force harder efforts each week. The other thing that being a free spirit doesn't lend itself towards is consistency. I find without a general outline I will end up doing a massive day then taking 4 days off and never getting in any real progress. I'll be having to switch to a more structured schedule with my next race being completely flat and (relatively) fast.

  3. I have to follow a training plan with a marathon, otherwise I flounder. I need the structure, both for long runs, and for making easy runs, easy!

  4. I agree with you 100% that running based on passion and feel brings the fire back. That's absolutely true for me as well. When I'm gearing up for a half marathon or shorter and don't expect to PR, I'm good with just running by feel and throwing in speedwork when it feels right. However, when I'm training for a PR (or the marathon in general) I need the structure of a training plan. Following a plan definitely kills some of the passion, but the reward is usually worth it!

    That being said, for 2016 I want to run based on passion, feel and for fun a lot more. I want to chase a half marathon PR in February and I want Chicago in October, but other than that the rest of my running this year will be for FUN!


Thank you for your comment!