Sunday, March 8, 2009

A training plan is needed?

Have you ever had those days where you didn't feel like running?

Well, I have had quite a few recently. On a couple of the days I haven't been sure what was going on as I just didn't feel very well and my body just seemed to be in a quasi shut down mode. Then you add in the days when work stresses me out and consumes my time and keeps my focus off of running and then you add in the winter, darkness, cold blues and it's easy for me to get off track.

My running issues are I think exacerbated by the lack of a training program (ok, I actually think the weather has as much to do with my issues but I still should be following a training program at least if I am serious about wanting to improve this year). If I had a training program that I was committed to versus my normal ad hoc panic program then maybe I would get my body out the door on those low motivation days. What's my normal ad hoc panic program, it goes like this, oh "blank", Chippewa is in 7 weeks, I need to get in some long runs. So that leads me to map out a long run schedule and then I simply write down 5 miles for Tuesday and Thursday.

Lately, I have been running 9-13 miles with Karyn on Saturday on the Big River Regional Trail and then I have planned on running long on Sunday (which hasn't happened like I have wanted, maybe because of the malaise). The runs with Karyn have worked out real well and to top them off we have seen Bald Eagles and last weekend we also saw a Golden Eagle. Those birds are so cool.

I think, a training program would help me get a focus and the lack of one has a lot to do with the fact that I have had no consistent midweek runs and definitely most of my runs have no planned purpose. I think I am also hampered by the lack of a routine as I keep thinking the night before I will run before work, then morning comes and I think I will run at lunch, then lunch happens or doesn't so I think I will run after work, then I get home and it just hasn't happened. So it's time I figure out a training plan and actually commit to it. One thing that doesn't help is my trails are now ice covered thanks to some melt and refreeze and are real hard to run on and the bike paths are mostly clear but asphalt which is hard and seems to take a bit out of my legs plus I have to deal with seeing people, cars and things. Can I say spoiled by trails.

So to get me onto a schedule, I looked around and eventually I went to the Santa Clarita Runners page and clicked on their handy dandy ultra training schedule link and then accessed their ultra training calculator and I put in the date for Chippewa and selected 50k for my distance and out popped my schedule which of course I immediately wanted to modify. The plan is a basic 5 day a week running plan with a midweek longish run (up to 10) and a long run on Saturday (build to 24) followed by a longish run on Sunday (usually 10).

To follow this plan, I will need to resolve the Wednesday mileage as I do have to manage work and church and a 10 mile run would take me more time than I might have (in my case pretty close to 2 hours) but otherwise it looks to be doable. Hey the way I look at it, even if I cut back the 10 on Wednesday to 5 to 7, I would still be way ahead of where I am today. I have already been trying to do is build up the two longer runs on Saturday and Sunday so at least that is in line with their plan.

So now all I need to is follow the plan and I am there, a PR at Chippewa or at least a little less pain. After Chippewa, I want to add in some hill training, run a couple of marathons and then shoot for a PR at Afton. So for the moment, my plan is to follow the plan and try and get some consistency and hope that spring comes soon to help me out.


Matthew Patten said...

I have found that having regular tempo runs and self tests (like HADD), help keep you motivated.

Just when it comes where you don't want to run anymore, you have to do one of those tests. The test can often show that, even if you have not put in the mileage you want, that you are still in shape.

I also take the approach of "3-4 miles is better than no miles" on days I don't want to run, but should.

I don't believe in the term "junk miles". If you are doing them at low intensity, any miles are better than none.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for putting up with me on our Saturday runs. Our fiery political discussions really help the miles fly by!

Love, Ky

roadwarrior31 said...

I recently found the Santa Clara training calculator and am using it to train for my first 50k-Ice Age. It will be a stretch for me to get my mileage that high by May, but I will at least be ahead of last year.
Congrats for the shout out on Phedippidations. I have been following you for a while, and I really enjoy your blog. Happy Trails.

RunWesty said...

Thanks Roadwarrior, drop me a note about your 50 training when you get a chance. Might be useful to compare notes.


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