Being Flexible and Boston Week 1 Recap

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
THU:  rest
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.  


10 Responses

  1. I have never once followed a training plan to the letter. I always just do what works for that day and make sure to do the long run. 🙂

    Great week of running!

  2. Sounds like a good week, you’re off to a great start 🙂 I love making training plans, but I always tweak them! I need to get busy about figuring out my training plan and might combine two I really like. I agree though, that you need to listen to your body and make necessary changes along the way.

  3. Once your hands get that cold, it’s all over. It makes the run turn into torture. I bought way overpriced, super fancy warm waterproof gloves – so worth it!

  4. I’m the same way – if my hands get cold they are impossible to warm up and I can’t stop thinking about it. My fingers turn white and it’s horrible! As for training plans, I always adjust as I go – you can’t always plan how you’ll feel so you just have to take it as it comes! Congrats on week 1! 🙂

  5. I had that problem Friday morning. Lesson learned: just because tells me it’s going to be 50 degrees at 3 pm doesn’t mean that I should forego warm clothing for a 7 am run on frosty trails.

  6. I have an overall set plan of how my mileage should build up and I like to do speed on tuesdays, the midweek long run on wednesdays, tempo on thursdays and the long run on saturdays. Sometimes the days shift. I don’t think I have every gone through a training schedule without things changing.

    Last Tuesday was freezing! My gloves were definitely not enough. This Saturday was beautiful though! Shorts and a singlet 🙂

  7. ahh I love those questions you ask yourself! I need to start doing that instead of gettting so hung up on numbers and mileage. I usually make my own plans but am still to rigid in following them to a T sometimes. Love your strategy!

    I HATE it when my hands get cold. I’ve been wearing double gloves even when it’s not that chilly, or else I can’t put my key in the lock when I get home because I literally can’t move my hands.

    Nice running!!

  8. I think this is great! I’ve found that the best way for me is to get through training injury free (especially in winter!) is to embrace flexibility. I always have a set long run/workout/weekly mileage I want to hit, but the days I do each run might change – and I may even compromise my overall mileage by pushing my long run to the Monday of the next week if it works out better with my schedule/the weather. I think that feeling strong, confident, and healthy at the end of the training cycle is more important than sticking rigidly to any plan.

  9. […] Being Flexible and Boston Week 1 Recap […]

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