Fitness · Just my Thoughts

Training Plans – Flexible or Not

I am at the Tuesday of week 7 of my 18 week training plan for the Anthem Richmond Marathon in mid-November. My question is have you ever felt a training plan was out of whack for you. This is the second training cycle in a row that has me questioning if I picked the right training plan.

When I started out researching plans, I made a spreadsheet. I put in three different plans as I am also training for a Ragnar Relay at the end of September. I looked at weekly overall mileage. I looked at various runs that were needed. My previous training cycles had basically been running. I threw in hills and fartleks but there were no designated negative split runs. There were no designated tempo runs.Ā 

The plan I started out with for this training cycle has hill repeats. It has tempo runs – good distance ones, not just a mile or two. It has negative split runs. I am loving the challenge. It also has three 20 milers. I’ve never done more than two in a cycle. Prior to one marathon, I only did one 20 miler due to flooding when I was suppose to do my second 20 miler. I am feeling run down. I am dreading getting out the door.Ā 

I’ve looked at all that is going on in my life. I’ve had some major changes happening on top of training. I’ve also had some huge life stressors – you know those quizzes they have with major stresses for life; think three or four of those. I’m looking at life being as much of an issue with my training at the moment as burnout but I am thinking about bailing on my training plan. Ditching what I thought was good for me for a lesser challenge.

I’ve decided I am going give myself a break. I’m not running today. I’m going to run today’s miles tomorrow on a cross training day. I’ll see what things look like in the next few days and make a decision.

Have you ever thought you have too much training going on? Have you ever switched training plans mid-cycle?

12 thoughts on “Training Plans – Flexible or Not

  1. I think you’re smart to listen to your body! We are on the same cycle, I’m in week 7. I think it’s ok to change it up and maybe normal to doubt your plan. I had been doubting mine and then came on the upswing with a few good runs and am feeling (hoping) like maybe the plan is working. So stick with it but make adjustments and as your body and life demand!

  2. Nicki, Words that I live by are “listen to your body”. Sounds like you listened today. You’ve got to do what is comfortable. Don’t beat yourself up for missing a run. My plans always remain fluid, and I always give myself slack if the body or heart just aren’t in it. Breaks are OK.

  3. Listening to your body is HUGE. I routinely fail at this and it leaves me burnt out and injured. The plan may be working but maybe it’s just that you need a little break.

    1. Thanks, Bari! I am sure the plan is working. I really think it is more a mental thing. Daughter is getting married in 11 days and lots to do.

  4. I saw your comment on the AMR Facebook page. šŸ˜‰
    This past spring I used a marathon plan that never felt right to me. I had a horrible race (tummy issues, not plan related), and I wish I had tweaked my plan rather than gutting it out.
    This fall I’m following the own it plan and I really like it. BUT I’m on marathon #4 and am finally confident enough in myself and my fitness that I will jiggle workouts around, take time off if I need it, etc. I’ve taken up to a week off and been glad that I did.
    One of the things I would suggest is to start by resting or doing light cross training on the coffee cup days or on the days before the long run.
    I hope it gets better for you! Running should be fun, do what it takes to make it fun! šŸ™‚

    1. Thanks! I’m training for marathon #6. I’m not sure what’s up but I did rearrange this week a bit and am riding out the heat and humidity that is hitting right now by not pushing too hard. I’ll take the coffee cup days suggestion into consideration. I’ve been trying to get everything in. I really think, once I get done with the wedding next weekend, things might get back to “normal” here. I hope.

  5. Saw your post on the AMR website and had the same issue with this training cycle. At about week 6 I moved from the Own It to the Finish It Plan and have not looked back since. It took the pressure off and made me feel a lot better about the training. I had to give up on my dreams of a sub-4hr marathon, but with the stresses of life, I couldn’t keep up with how demanding the Own It Plan was – and then was feeling terrible about myself when I wouldn’t get a run in or wouldn’t hit my repeat times, etc. Sometimes you need to look at your life and allow yourself a little break. Keep at it! And remind yourself about this amazing thing you are doing that only 1% of the population does!

    1. I sort of took it easy last week and will run this week but hit and miss due to my daughter’s wedding. Hoping to make a firm decision by mid-week as to which plan I am moving forward with. šŸ™‚

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