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“If you fail to plan then you plan to fail” is how the saying goes, and on the whole I am a great believer in that philosophy. But when it comes to running I have never really followed a plan…seriously.

The reason being is my life is never stable enough to be able to commit to a pre prepared plan designed by a personal trainer or found in a book or online even. I have looked at a few, including couch to 5k and beginners marathon plans but I can just never see how they would work for me.

For the last ten years I have been so busy with work, all kinds of work, working evenings and weekends, in the city and in the suburbs, in an office and working remotely…I just never really had a typical week so could never pin down the details of a plan. Instead I would just run when I could, relying heavily on doing frequent weekend races to ensure I upped the mileage when needed.

I am not for a minute saying this was the right way to go. In fact I think this has been my downfall. But what choice did I have? The thing is unless you are a full time athlete dedicating all of your energy to running it is really difficult to stick to a structured plan.

In my ebook Slouch to 10K (which is selling well on Amazon in case you were wondering, and getting good reviews too) I decided not to set a structured plan so to speak. Instead there are 10 different training sessions that can be slotted into the 10 week plan template as readers see fit…I mean who am I to dictate when you go for your interval runs? Or take your rest days?

But I am still requiring my ladies to do a certain amount of planning in advance. For example they have been asked to sign up for their 10k before they have even done one training session. They will also be choosing a date for a timed 5k and drafting their own weekly plans and pinning them on the fridge. I will be encouraging them to scribble on it, cross out missed sessions and add new ones as the weeks unfold.

That flexibility is key.

Even though my life is a little less hectic than it was I still can’t plan too far in advance. I don’t always have childcare, some days Rose is not feeling well, and other days I am just too tired to run after being up all night.

If I had to stick to someone else’s plan I would feel pressurised. I would feel defeated if I missed a session and might potentially go against the signs that my body gives out, simply because a plan tells me I have to run. By devising your own bespoke plan you are more likely to take ownership over it and respect the sessions in their own right, especially if you have taken the time to consider why you are doing a specific training session.

I am going to have a go at pulling my plan together tomorrow… which is going to force me to have to think about Xmas. I am in full blown denial about it at the moment. But I have decided that I need to face it and think about how to build in my running somehow.

So tell me…Do you have a plan for the next few months or are you just happy winging it?

  1. November 23, 2013

    When I’ve been training for an event like the Moonwalk I’ve had a plan of sorts. Like you life is too hectic for me to plan to the day so I tend to make it a weekly thing, fitting in walks in the week when I can, however long I can and doing one long walk at the weekend. My first Moonwalk training was a matter of just adding a mile each week over twenty six weeks, if I missed a week because of weather or illness I’d add two the next. The last Moonwalk I sort of followed a plan, but again really with the weekend walks. This time I alternated, one weekend a short walk, the next a longer one. The long walks were two miles more each time and the short ones half the distance of the long ones. I think the second plan worked better. Unlike running training I did do the full twenty six at the end of both lots of training then tailed off before the event. Messy, but it worked for me. 🙂

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