Since the end of December, I’ve been running plan-less. I’ve been trying to do at least one “workout” per week – basically a few tempo miles thrown in to my Tuesday evening runs.
Then I ran the half marathon in Houston on the 15th. I decided on the 14th that I was going to try to race it – not expecting a PR but at least wanting an indication of what my current fitness was.
And my 1:34 time told me what I kind of already knew: that I’m fat and out of shape.
It gave me the motivation to actually want to train for Boston as a goal race. The race is 12 weeks from yesterday. Which, in cycles past meant I would crack open the Pfitz plan and get going. But I’m ready for a change, to mix things up a bit. I’ve been reading Daniel’s Running Formula lately; I thought about using his plans for NYCM last fall and decided against it. Daniel’s plan revolves around two quality workouts per week, and the rest of the days are easy or general pace runs. This seemed to be a good foundation to incorporate more quality and still be able to be flexible with the rest of the runs.
The other piece of this cycle is that I’m starting to work out with a racing team, and I want to participate 100% in the Tuesday evening track workouts.
So, taking all my basic goals – Tuesday night workouts, more targeted workouts, flexibility, getting away from Pfitz – my training plan looks like this:
R – Daniel’s T-based runs OR a Pfitz-like MLR
S- easy long run OR a Daniel’s targeted long run workout
The R/S runs will alternate each week. The weeks I do a T run on Thursday, I’ll do a long, steady-state run on Saturday. The Saturdays I plan a Daniel’s targeted run, I’ll do a longer steady-state run on Thursday.
I have penciled in which workouts I think I’ll do, but it also depends on what happens on the Tuesday. So, there are essentially no numbers in my plan yet. This is quite strange for me, but I think it’ll allow me to be very good about running on the non-workout days as much as I can, trying to keep my mileage high, but not feel pressured to do so in case the quality days take too much out of me. And for as much as I’m a slave to numbers, there’s something to be said for still being able to leave the house not knowing how far or fast I’ll run and just listening to my body. This will be one big experiment, but it’s making me excited about training instead of feeling “meh” about it, which is what I would be feeling if I was facing another cycle of Pfitz.
I also want to be better about doing weekly recaps and blogging more about how I’m feeling on my runs and workouts to get feedback and to keep myself honest about how I’m feeling.