Sunday, April 21, 2013

My non-training-plan plan

After my question on whether or not to do a  half-marathon, Anne Taite gave a very helpful metric: if it is less than 6 weeks away, go ahead and train for it. If not, don’t do it, because you’ll probably get burnt out. I loved the specificity of it! And it turned out the races I had been looking at were about two months after the 10-miler, which is maybe why I was balking at them in the first place. It seemed like so much longer to be training.

Additionally, my “big work thing” is finally happening, yikes! It is already digging into my personal time--I was at work for six hours yesterday (a Saturday)--so that further confirmed that maybe right now isn’t the best time to train for a big race.

So, I’m going to forgo the half-marathon this spring. I think it is the right call for life right now--though I am already starting to plan out which fall half I’ll want to do!

Even though I won’t be doing a formal training plan for the next several months, I’m still going to keep working on my running/fitness--getting faster and getting stronger!

I'm also constantly fighting my natural state of laziness...having a (publicly-articulated) plan should hopefully help with that. So I’ve created some general guidelines to take me through these “no plan” months. It basically amounts to a non-plan plan--oh well, there are worse things in the world than being a little neurotic. Here’s my non-plan plan that will take me from April until early August:

Run 4 times a week. I do like my current habit of running 4 times a week. It keeps my endurance up and ensures that running remains a habit. I figure this will be one longer run, one speed work day, and two easy, junk-mileage type of days. I’ll probably average 15-20 miles per week.

...But don’t stress if I miss a run. An important part of this non-plan plan is to allow myself flexibility and to choose living life over exercise! So if going out to dinner with Dan on a random Tuesday sounds better than getting my run in, that’s what I’ll do (within reason, obviously). Not that I didn’t do this while training for the 10-miler--but I won’t feel guilty or like I need to make up the run later in the week.

Do one 8+ mile run a month. For the most part, I’m envisioning weekly long runs to be around 6-7 miles. That seems to be a happy, maintaining-my-endurance/feel-like-I’m-getting-a-real-run place without being so exhausting that it knocks me out for the rest of the day. But! Once a month, I’d like to get out there for a slightly longer run--something 8 miles or longer. They’ll probably be slow and terrible because I’m not doing them consistently, but I know I’ll feel more confident come fall if I sprinkle a few longer runs over the summer.

Strength train twice a week. No excuses! I’ll do them on run days--I’ll probably be running on the treadmill more frequently anyway (DC summer heat, ugh), so I’ll already be at the gym. Just need to make myself do them!

Yoga at least once a week (probably twice). This shouldn’t be hard to keep--I’m loving yoga lately. It is so good for my body and a nice break from high intensity running.

Run a couple local races! I don’t want to do anything too big, but I think running a couple 5ks could be fun and could be a good test of my speed.


  1. Sounds like a good plan! I had two non-training months in Jan/Feb and just posted a blank calendar on the fridge and told myself to fill 4 days a week. Helped keep me accountable, but not stressed over what I did when. ;)
    I am only a month away from the half so only have 2 more long (10+) training runs! Can't believe it's sneaking up so soon. I'll definitely do a training update soon! I've been MIA on the blog for the past week in part b/c I couldn't figure out how to post/write after all the bad news of last week. It really sapped my focus.

    1. Nice idea with the blank fridge plan. I'm trying to tone down my neurotic constantly planning out the next months of running in a spreadsheet tendencies. Not quite ready to go rogue with a blank plan :) but trying to operate on a more week to week level.

      Looking forward to hearing about your race/race prep! Your post on Boston was lovely...agree that it really made it challenging to know what to say/write.