This is how it works-
I love to run but there are times when I would rather not. This is when the voices start. Chants, name calling, guilt and reverse psychology is how they get me up and out the door. I don't really mind the voices and have actually started looking forward to their daily calls. Together we have formed a running club that supports, encourages and competes with each other. I love these peeps. They are much more experienced, talented and tougher than I am. Pushing me out the door, through the hard miles and up the monster hills when I am feeling lazy or want to give up. Some people have "real" training partners, coaches and support crews. My team is ALWAYS with me and helps me to keep my eye on the prize and not veer off the track. Sounds crazy- Yeah, probably is.........

Friday, July 23, 2010

Mumbo-Jumbo Training Plans

Training plans.......there are a million of them out there. Everything from running your first 5k to 100 milers. So many to choose from that I have given up looking for the “right” one. When I started my running life, I became absorbed in everything “running”, bought all the books, magazines, movies, read every blog and discussion forum on the internet. I couldn't get enough information about speed work, proper form, training, shoes, gadgets and all things related. There are a few constants but the one thing that struck me was how much disagreement there can be among runners- mortals, elites and “experts” alike. Some say go fast, others want us to go easy and a few say to run slow all the time. Who do I believe? Uhh.....

I am one of those people that believe that the only way to “truly” learn is through personal experience. Sure this takes a little longer and there are some risks, like injury and never reaching the peak performance, but still, I think it is the BEST way. I may be way off base here, but it seems that most of these “experts” are basing there plans on what works best for themselves......exactly what I believe.....but want to apply it to everyone else. HOW can one plan work for everybody? I mean, they are almost always backed with some type of guarantee. (I guarantee that if it doesn't work for YOU, it was because YOU didn't follow the plan properly.)

VO2 max, lactic threshold, fast-twitch, slow-twitch, pronation, fartleks, tempo-run, marathon pace, mp+ 30, heart rate and Yasso 800's....... that crap blows my mind and leaves me feeling less like running and more like taking a nap. I kind of understand some of it and do not care about the rest. What I do know is this...... When I run as hard as I can, my heart beats faster and breathing becomes difficult, so I slow down. When I get thirsty, I drink water. My marathon pace depends on the course, weather and how I feel that day. Yasso 800's tell me nothing except that I hate running 800's. The rest of that “technical” stuff is just mumbo-jumbo to me.

I have tried to follow some plans in the past and usually end up tired, sore and less motivated than ever. Some of it is because of the time commitment required, some due to the mid-week speed drills but mostly because I hate the inflexible nature of a strict plan. Knowing that training is more important than the actual event, I WILL follow a training plan for all future events. The plan will be the same for everyday if possible, try to hit back to back long runs (10-12 miles followed by 16-20 miles the next day). Some will be slow, some will be faster but they will ALL be on my terms- depending on how I feel that day.

Combining this running plan with proper nutrition, weight and core training and my “new” cross-training method- the old rusty Schwinn, things should be fine. I may not hit my ultimate peak and the fastest times possible for me but that will be okay. I WILL have fun training, work hard and not feel burdened by it. Honestly, even if I was somehow able to reach my top potential, cranking out my fastest time- it is not going to make ANY difference other than a few places higher in my age group.

This GENIUS TRAINING PLAN will not be available anywhere but here. I understand that “Real” runners will probably laugh or get irritated by my lack of knowledge or caring but I KNOW what works for me. Besides.....I'm the guy that wears regular old Nike's and a doo-rag to trail races, I obviously have no clue.......

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