Following a plan

This might make some people cringe but I haven’t followed a training plan in a long time.  My very first triathlon season in 2007 I got a coach for 3 months because I had no clue what I was doing.  Since then I’ve relied on a basic structure of trying to get in 3 workouts of each sport in a week (3 swims, 3 bike rides, and 3 runs).  Hardly any workouts were planned more than a day or two in advance and even then I’d usually design a swim workout during my warm-up in the pool.  My bike and run distances were usually determined by how much time I could spare or how far the group/training partner planned to go.  The secret behind my training revealed Smile

Over the past few weeks one consistent workout I’ve tried to hit is a tempo run with a few friends.  I love and hate tempo runs.  Not that I consider myself a fast runner but I contribute any running speed over the past 4-5 years to the training periods where I regularly pushed my body through 3-4 miles of a tempo run.  During races, I still imagine turn-by-turn the tempo route at UCF remembering what I should feel like at the first, second, and third mile of a 5K.  Last summer, my training partner, Todd, and I had the goal of breaking 21:00 in a 5K and would drop our pace every week resulting in my PR of 20:42. 

My tempo Tuesday friends, Felipe and Jess, were gracious enough to share their marathon training plan earlier this week and I’ve been slowly comparing key workouts to my schedule. 

I took advice from Victoria from District Chocoholic and finally set up a Google calendar.  


I’m not completely finished with it yet but basically I’m notated which workout is scheduled for the day and referring to the actual marathon training plan on the master of all excel spreadsheets for specific workout details.  I’m serious when I say “master” because this spreadsheet automatically totals miles and average paces while linking to several different logs and calendars.  I thought my excel skills were good but this spreadsheet puts my skills to shame and the dork in me is SO excited to use it. 

The actual plan consists of long runs, recovery runs, treadmill hills, tempo runs, rest days, and a few other types of workouts.  Yesterday, I did the treadmill hill workout and wanted to die because not only do I hate treadmills but I hate hills.  I know it’s not the same as actual hill workouts but unless I want to drive an hour to Clermont this is my best option for any incline in Florida. 

I’m also interested in logging my workouts.  Hopefully logging will help with motivation and accountability. Please don’t shake your head at my lack of planning and logging.  In a way, I wanted to ease myself into triathlon and running to prevent the inevitable number obsession.  I finally feel I have a healthy perspective on training and competition.  I don’t dwell on bad performances or missed workouts.  Life happens and sometimes we can’t perform the way we trained or even train the way we want.  This simple lesson took me years to truly understand and embrace. 

One thing I’m bummed about is my new clinical schedule.  For those of you that don’t know, I’m in nursing school right now.  This is my last semester (thank goodness!) of the second bachelors degree program which means I am finishing up the pediatric/obstetric rotation and starting the preceptorship portion. I requested peds for my preceptorship  and luckily my instructor was able to find me a position (great news).

Unfortunately, my clinical days will mainly take place on back-to-back Saturdays and Sundays until I graduate. I am EXTREMELY grateful for the opportunity and feel blessed that I was able to get my preceptorship where I requested. I’m bummed because it means my long runs will take place by myself during the week.  Yes, I know I’ll run the marathon by myself and I know that real runners enjoy running by themselves.  Here’s the thing…I’m not a real runner.  I’m a swimmer at heart and to me, nothing beats matching somebody stroke-for-stroke or with regards to running, stride-for-stride.  I love listening to somebody breathing next to me and knowing they are sharing the pain and I can’t back off because they aren’t. 

So basically, this will just be a test to see how well I can do on my long runs competing against myself and the clock.  The last marathon I trained for by myself resulted in pathetic long runs so hopefully I’ve grown up a little bit since then.

On a side note, I got new shoes Smile

173  171

I’ve been using Mizuno Waveriders since 2007 and love them but I’ve never had such a fun color.  Genius here forgot to bring her shoes to the 1DayRelay last weekend in Sarasota.  I got a nice discount for being part of the event and haven’t had new ones since December so I wasn’t too upset. 

Do you like running by yourself or with somebody else?  Why?  Do you follow a training plan and keep track of your mileage/performance?

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9 Responses to Following a plan

  1. Oh yay, so glad to see you are going to get this to work out with school and everything. You can totally do it!

    (and join dailymile for workout/performance tracking. then add me as your friend)

  2. I like a mix of both – sometimes its nice to be just me and the road. I just like getting lost in the run. But workouts are a different story – I need someone to push me if I really plan to reach my full potential.

    I do keep track of my mileage, just so I know. If I have an pain/issue, I tend to look at my training to see where the cause lies. And so I know when to replace shoes 🙂

    I always follow a training plans for marathons. I just need to be able to check runs off on a list to make sure that i complete them. It keeps me dedicated and honest.

  3. Colleen says:

    Psst. The 15k is on Sunday!

  4. I have always used a training plan when training or events – but mostly because it’s still all so new to me! I usually find a free training plan online and tweak it to fit my schedule. What I’m really bad at though is actually planing workouts. If that free training plan says I need to run 3 miles, I just run 3 miles…no speed goals, no interval sets, nothing fancy. That’s one thing I really want to work on going forward.

    I will say though, I’ve used a few of the swim drills you told Meghann about & it really helped me get more comfortable in the water. Having a plan definitely made it less boring!

  5. Beth says:

    I’m impressed that you’ve been able to do so much without a plan. Even my non-plan periods have pretty well set schedules to keep me on target!

    I have those same shoes!!!

  6. I used to run alone but the last years I run with my dog or with my athletic club. It’s much more fun when you can chat with friends while running 😉
    Coincedence or not but since yesterday I signed up with Daily Mile on my blog to keep register my km’s!
    ps: love the shoes!

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