June 12, 2009

Finally, My Own Plan

I am a planner by nature. For a very long time, I have been planning to plan. For 18 marathons, someone else (training plan/coach) has been in charge of my training. Not anymore! Like I said in my last post, I thought about and read about training during my entire flight home. Before I get into the details of it, I think it's pretty stupid that I haven't made my own plan up until now. On a regular basis, I plan everything ELSE within my life- lesson plans for my students, plan our trips, plan what I'm going to wear for the week, plan our meals for the week, plans, plans EVERYWHERE! The main reason I have yet to make my own training plan is lack of confidence. After so many years of running, I still feel like a newbie. I still feel inadequate.

The first thing I did was to identify my goals for this training cycle.

1. Incorporate more speed work.

2. Focus more on perceived effort vs. time/pace

3. Move the majority of tempo, intervals, and pace work outside.

4. Make easy & recovery runs truly easy.

After I decided upon those goals, I made some notes about the things I like about each author of my 3 fav. running books.

Pfitzinger: LR progression, mileage progression, progression of GMP runs

Hudson: variety of speed work, most speed work based on effort

Daniels: Phasing, in general kick tail speed work

After that, I read and reread Hudson's chapters about becoming self-coached. Finally, I decided to plug and chug w/ numbers, workouts, and paces. I did it all in pencil and I only planned the first month. I have learned a lot from some great runners on RWOL and one of the best pieces of advice I read recently was to only plan short amounts at a time, that training should be ready to change at the drop of a hat. I won't bore you with listing the entire month, but I will share what I did this week.

Mon: 8 easy miles w/ 5 stadiums (8:02)

Tues: 9 miles w/ 6 x 4:00 @ 6:22-6:36

Wed: 10 w/ 4 GA (7:48-8:08/ 6:55-7:17)

Thurs: 8 easy (8:20)

Fri: 5 easy, 4 @ GA (7:17-7:21), 1 @ HMP (6:38)

Sat: 7 easy

Sun: 15 LR @ 7:48 pace. This run was terrible. The week before last, I pulled something in my back doing Kempo X. (Stupid, I know.) Well, it is now hurting worse and worse. It basically felt like a side cramp the entire run. OUCH! I am also not acclimated to the humidity yet. Boooh. I wanted this run to feel easy, but no luck.

Total: 67 miles

In summary, I am actually very, very afraid by all this self-coaching. I know it's a lack of confidence. I try to look to other respected runners for advice, but the problem is- they all tell me something different! I guess that's part of it, figuring things out for yourself. So... this is what I'm trying. I might be overtraining, undertraining, peak too early, peak too late, and crash and burn on October 10, but live and learn.

Ps. Check on the pic of my very first race in the upper right hand corner. I was actually cleaning out some stuff the other day and found a few boxes of things my grandmother gave me. This was in there w/ the words, "Bec running, as usual" on the back. LOL. I miss my Nana. Run strong, friends!

Edited to add: I self diagnosed my injury via Internet and apparently I have a pulled/strained, ouchie external oblique muscle. It says recovery time is usually 3 weeks. This is quite depressing to me b/c I have finally gotten to the point of P90X where I can sorta, kinda, see my ab muscles. Very frustrating, but oh well.


  1. i wish i still had it in me! cute picture of you as a child.

  2. Love the picture!

    Major kudos for taking your training into your own hands. It stymies me how you lack confidence when you're such a fast runner with solid times. I know, it's never enough, but you really do deserve to step back and appreciate what you've accomplished so far. With more to come!!

    The thing about training plans, and why there's nothing to fear, is that they're basically all the same!

    Very simply: LR, Speed and/or Tempo and Easy/Recoveries between. Not much more about it except the distance of intervals or length of tempo miles (longer if prepping for longer race, shorter and faster for the shorter ones). Keep the speed work between around 2.5 - 5 miles total for the session and dat's about it!

    So fear not, woman! There's nothing you can't pull or hurt that you couldn't have done in the good hands of a coach. :-)

    Also, had to laugh at "planning to plan". You're my kind of gal.

  3. I think it's such a great idea to come up with your own plan particularly with all the running experience you have, whether you think you have it or not! I really believe it will work for you, but even if it doesn't I would be surprised if you didn't have a lot more fun this way. I imagine it was a lot of fun just coming up with the plan and now you get to follow what you believe in. If I knew enough about running I would try to do one myself, until then I'm just going to have stick to my non-plan plans!

  4. Good plan, good things to work on! I like plans to, but with running struggle to stay on them.

  5. OUCH on the muscle pull...I hope that heals faster than you expected! That said, though, I'm glad you're not just ignoring and toughing through it and thus winding up out for a longer stretch.

    I am with you, too, on feeling the way you do without a plan-I am being brave and winging it right now, and it's SCARY! Even when you are building it with good balance and on a schedule that fits your life. So WTG on taking the plunge.

  6. Anonymous6/15/2009

    Hey LAR,

    You are more organized than me when it comes to making a 'plan', I think you will be surprised how well it will work for you. Just have faith, you have enough experience with racing. You have the leg work, just keep the positive mental aspect part of it...

    Nice cute little pic of you! Take care of that strain too!