The Beauty of the Training Plan

A few weeks back, I ran across a blog post talking about a running book. It looked interesting so I requested the book from my library, and I have to say – I love it! The book:

 Run Less, Run Faster

Despite its claims about improving marathon times and words like “training plans”, this book is for everyone from newbie runner to veteran marathoner. The whole basis is to use the training plans to improve your speed, distance, and fitness by only running 3 days/week.
 
I have found that I do much better with sticking to exercise when I make up a training plan of sorts. My running over the past months has been sporadic to say the least. I’m also more injury prone, so running only 3 days/week is optimal for me.
 
This book gave me a clear idea of what my goals should be, and a nice plan laid out that I customize based on my current speed. So I laid it all out in Excel (I *heart* Excel):

fitnessplan

I’m in week 3 of the intermediate 5K plan and so far missed 1 running day. I’m already impressed. I went from running sporadic 1-2 milers and feeling “done” at the end of them, to yesterday, running FOUR miles in about 37 min!
 
This was only the 2nd time I had run 4 miles. The last time I thought I was going to die AND it took me 45 minutes to do it. This time I finished up and walked a few laps and I was just fine. While I could feel it in my legs a little [tired, little sore], I was barely winded.
 
That is a fantastic feeling! I left the gym feeling pretty awesome.
 
I’m excited for where this running plan will take me. Yesterday was a huge confidence booster for me. It was a speed work day that involved 4 x 400 repeats (running 400 meters at a faster pace 4 times with short breaks between). I wasn’t sure I’d even make it through it all. Before starting this, I wasn’t even sure about hitting my next race goal of running a 10K. Now I’m certain I can work up to that.
 
And once again, I’ve proven to myself that if I make a training plan, I follow it.

Do you work better on a plan? Anyone have any goals they are setting for their own fitness? Races you are planning on doing?

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3 Responses

  • I *definitely* do better with any kind of plan. Right now it’s carving out the time. I have two people in my work building that are currently doing running plans. They have got themselves signed up for a few 5ks in the near future. Right now I’m shooting for April to take my first babystep into the couch to 5k program again. Now that we live out in the county I don’t feel as self-conscious running as I did when I was running past people’s houses.

    • I felt the same way when I got back into running a few years back. Its kind of nice doing it without feeling like you’re being watched. 🙂 The couch to 5K program is a great one, and the book I mentioned does have a novice plan that does the walk/run thing if you want to check it out and compare the two. Either way you go, good luck! 🙂 I’ll be here rooting you on!

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