Okay.....sometimes I am an IDIOT....sometimes. This will not come as a shock to anybody but it usually takes me all of 10 minutes to write one these “blog thingies” and I don't generally put much thought into them. So, after going back and reading the Mumbo Jumbo.... I realized that I am truly an IDIOT. Training plans are important to a lot of people, just not me. Many CAN benefit from following a plan. Some actually NEED the strict discipline of a “cookie cutter” training plan to accomplish their goals. There are times when I get so wrapped up in the “me” aspect of all this, that I fail to articulate that there are about 1 billion ideas out there that are different and probably better than mine.
This is not a retraction. I still think that cookie cutter plans are, for the most part, not the best way to go and are designed to make somebody some money in one form or another. The C25K plan, for example, is a “miracle worker” for some but there are a TON of people that fail to complete it because they get hung up on the notion that they MUST be able to complete each phase in a specified time. When they get stalled on a certain distance or time, they wind up discouraged and quit all together. To me, that is not a great plan for EVERYBODY. A little tweaking on the plan and the MIND can change all that- but then it is no longer the C25K training plan. It becomes your own plan BASED on another. This is what I was trying to convey but failed miserably. If a plan does work for you or you find that you NEED to follow a plan to reach specific goals then, by all means, you should.
Training plans are designed by coaches, trainers and experts that DO know what they are doing. It is just my opinion that to grab one of these plans off the internet, from magazines or the book store and follow them to a T – without evaluating yourself vs. the plan is CRAZY. If you are fortunate enough to hire a personal coach or trainer that knows what they are doing, you could benefit from a plan they design to specifically fit you and your goals. Personal interaction and evaluation is the only way they could possibly give you a training plan that will work for you, your schedule, your needs and your goals.
The technical stuff....... boring, yes, but sometimes beneficial IF we are not so wrapped up in all of it that running becomes the required burden to gather the data. I stand by my statements about heart rate, VO2 max and all that. BORING. But if it helps you understand your limitations and betters performance, that is awesome. Just not my cup of tea- I would rather run, log my distance and smile. I used to get wrapped up in going faster every-time out- now I understand that to go faster- I should go slower sometimes.(I'll talk about THAT another time) Didn't need a heart rate monitor or an understanding of fast-twitch/slow-twitch for that. Just needed some time on my feet and a few races under my belt.
So, for the 4 or 5 that read this, use a plan if it helps YOU. Runners are part of a GREAT community and we can all help each other get better. This “blog thingy” helps me understand myself and what I can do- but it should NEVER be a tool for discouragement or running down what others believe. The exception to this is “real runners”. When I refer to “real runners” I am talking about a very small group- those that never have a nice thing to say, especially to someone slower, show up ONLY when there is money on the table and they KNOW nobody else can compete or pull out early with a fake injury. I don't like these people and think they are not good for running in general.
My philosophy is simple......run, enjoy, repeat. I feel that by using this as the backdrop to MY training then I will be successful in MY goals. Plans are great- everybody needs some kind of plan whether it is for running or life in general- we just need to make sure it is the RIGHT plan to successfully reach our goals. It is MY thought that the best way to succeed is by resolving to accomplish your goal, remain focused, stay FLEXIBLE and ignore those that say you can't. Basically- It is all on YOU to make it happen.
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.........