Changing Up the Training Plan

Over the past six months, my approach to training plans has gone a nearly 180 degree shift. While neither type that I’ve used is completely wrong or right, I’m beginning to see more benefit from the more flexible type.

Backing up a bit…

After MCM, I attempted to dive right back into another training cycle. I even wrote out all my planned workouts for the next 3.5 months. As I’ve mentioned before, I quickly experienced burnout that drastically altered my spring marathon plans.

When I dropped Hilton Head and Bayshore from my schedule, my training calendar cleared instantly. It was a big step for me to leave that calendar open.

I started with baby steps. First, I set a weekly mileage goal range. (This was while I was still delusional about running HHI, just to finish.) Then I ditched it entirely. I wasn’t motivated to run long distances (anything longer than 6 felt long) and seeing those mileage numbers prominently dismayed on the fridge was a bit discouraging.

So I printed a new, blank calendar and started writing in the workout after I completed it. I would decide the night before and then execute the plan in the morning.

When I started Y2Y training I had an informal plan written in a notebook but it changed frequently through those 8 weeks.

Now comes the fact that got me started thinking about this post. As I mentioned recently, I just started working with a running coach. Among the many new things this brought, one of them was the week to week training plan.

I know only the workouts for the current week. The next week’s workouts aren’t put into the plan until Sunday.

Old me would have a definite problem with by knowing the entire plan, weeks before I started. Instead of just preaching flexibility in training, now I have to live it.

I guess the moral to this story has to do with being thankful for last fall’s burnout. I didn’t like it then but it’s taught me many things. Training flexibility is just one of them.

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