Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Da Plan, Boss! Da Plan!

After averaging about 6 hours/week for the past three months, and up to 8 hours/week now, I felt the time had come to make myself a current training plan (with a little help from Derrick). I find having a plan helps me to stay on track and to progress.

I need a training plan that has the perfect balance of Set-in-Stone and Flexible. The Set-in-Stone aspect is that the basic framework is non-negotiable unless there's a BGR (bloody good reason) for missing a run completely. This at least gets me out the door.

But besides that, there is a lot of flex:
  • A range of times.

  • Morning runs either before work or over lunch, while second runs can either be over lunch or after work. That way I can fit the day's training around other priorities.

  • Choice between weeks A and B. Right now I'm doing a bunch of A's to build volume and get used to workouts again before sprinkling in more B's later on, which have two workout days.

  • Workout options: Currently my workouts are more of a 'steady to low-end tempo', but soon I can add hills, tempos, intervals, progressions, etc. (Workouts will eventually get a plan of their own with more specifics.)
Q1: Do you find that you need a training plan, or do you prefer to make it up as you go along?

I had an interesting discussion with Karen on our lunch run about where that deep-down desire to take the plunge and commit to a challenging race even comes from. Q2: Any thoughts on that topic?



Sue said...

Ok guess I'm first to answer this one. I prefer to make it up as I go as I never know what I'm going to feel like doing that day. Interesting thou as I need a plan for everything else in my life. As far as where that deep down desire comes from I think that you are either born that type of person or not. I love a challenge and need a challenging goal to focus. I know a lot of people on the other end who don't and are happy just doing the day to day norm. Not me, never have been and never will.

Holly Vipond said...

Curious: is this a base/maintenance plan, or are you training for something specific? Also, does the A/B option mean that you decide each week what you will do that week? I've never considered something like that.

Q1: I need a plan or I do not run consistently. However, like you I need flexibility in that plan. Sometimes I might combine two runs into one or rearrange the mileage, but I try to get all my miles in somehow (no speed work at the moment so that doesn't factor in).
Q2: Like Sue, I need challenging goals in order to be able to focus (and follow through with the plan). But more importantly, there's just that little fire in my gut that shouts, "more! more!". It's loud. I can't ignore it.

Sara said...

Holly, I'm rebuilding a base post-injury, no specific goal race yet. The workout days will be geared to that later. Week B is just a variation with 2 longer and/or workout days instead of 1, otherwise similar.

JD said...

Q1: I definitely need a plan. I NEVER think "I feel like doing a ridiculous number of hills today", so I need a plan to make me. I like to look ahead at my week and see what's coming.

Q2: For me to take the plan seriously, there has to be a race at the end of it.

David said...

Ever since I started back running I have always a) Had a goal race b) a plan to get there. I have goals a year + out. I keep trying to say, okay after race X, that will be it, but I always find something else I want...but I am getting to the point where I'd like to run just for fun, totally unstructured. With Strider now I know I could, because he is turning into a great running partner and motivator. However, I got this bee in my bonnet to run the HF100 and that is my goal for the next 15 months, then Susitna, and the cool RATS dessert stage race that ends in Moab...God help me.
As far as plans, well I have Derrick and that takes so much pressure off. I like letting him worry about the what and when, I just have to do the 'do'.

Nature Girl said...

I'm not very confident in just letting myself make things up as I go along. Even when I have Derrick's help, I still have trouble keeping to it. So a solid plan, even if I can't always follow it to a T (that's where the flexible part comes in) helps soooo much.
As for your second question... that's tough. The desire, deep down to do this comes from so many places. First, I feel like the clock is ticking and I only have so much time to accomplish my major goal of completing the 100 miles because of my career path. Another part, the biggest part, I think comes from my experience in giving birth to my kids. It was so rewarding to go through such a crazy event... to have actually given birth on my own. These runs give me a taste of that same feeling. There's a feeling of empowerment which just feels so good and helps me rebuild confidence which I had lost somewhere along the road.

Thanks for asking that question, I was never able to put my finger on the 'why' question until now.

Sara said...

Thanks for all the interesting thoughts you guys. My answer to #1 is obvious from my post...I need a plan.

#2 I find mysterious. Since starting to run races ('98) I've had many seasons of being very motivated by goals, but in the last 4 or 5 years I'm finding it harder to get that fire going full blaze. It's still big at times, like R&I was huge, but is definitely more elusive than it used to be.

Maybe I'm storing up for some serious ultra action in the years to come. That's my hope, but I'm learning I can't force it.