When I first started training for marathons and knew very little about myself as a runner (or really anything about marathon training), I would follow a set training plan. All 16 weeks planned out in black and white. This type of training is beneficial for beginners, as long as you are listening to your body and pushing when appropriate and resting when you need it. My approach to training now is drastically different then it was back then.
Every Sunday, I plan out my running schedule for the week. I’m using the FIRST plan so in a way those 16 weeks are planned out but I modify the plan so much it’s never set in stone. Things I consider:
- Am I busy this week? Do I have stuff to do after work or during the weekend?
- What’s the weather like (especially in the winter)? If there is even a hint of snow, I will finagle my schedule to get all my key runs in before the snow hits.
- What was my total mileage last week? How much should I increase it this week or decrease if it’s a drop back week?
- When will I strength train this week?
- How am I feeling overall? How did my runs go last week? Did I hit all my key workouts?
All of these factors go into my planning. The only things really set in stone are my track workouts and long run mileage. Everything else I decide on the Sunday prior. Even the days I do track, tempo, and easy runs change each week (although I try and get track work done on Mondays to get it out of the way). I love the flexibility this gives me and my training has improved so much.
Boston Week 1 Recap
I’ll call week 1 a success! Aside from my failed tempo run and yoga fail (I just couldn’t get my butt there on Sunday – I have no better excuse than that), I was happy with my long run on Saturday.
MON: 3 x 1-mile repeats
TUE: 7 easy
WED: barre class
FRI: 6 pseudo-tempo miles
SAT: 13 (avg pace – 8:37). I totally under dressed for this run. I started running at 7:30 and it was bitterly cold (it later went up to 60 degrees!). I had a thin, long-sleeved tech shirt and cheap Target stretchy gloves. I thought my hands were going to freeze and fall off. I even stopped into a bathroom to use the hand dryer to warm them up (I hate stopping during long runs too but this was so necessary).
SUN: 6 easy
38 total miles for the week
Do you follow a set schedule or plan your runs weekly like me?
Ever think you were going to get frostbite during a run? Once my hands get cold, it’s all downhill for me. It actually gets painful and I can’t concentrate. I do use hand warmers sometimes but apparently didn’t think it was necessary on Saturday.