How to Make a Training Plan (And Stick With It)
Welcome to Monday!
It was a weekend jam packed with running for me. I did the Creemore Vertical Challenge 25KM on Saturday morning (recap will be on the blog on Friday). It was a fantastic course and although it was a training run for me, I was excited to finish first female.
Sunday, I spent the morning checking out the 5 Peaks Rattle Snake course with the race director and ambassadors and finished off the day by hosting a trail run in Waterloo with the Toronto Run Club Night Terrors. I love meeting other runners all throughout Canada and I have some exciting runs planned for the summer.
(As an aside, if you are thinking of running Rattle Snake next weekend, send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will hook you up with a discount code. )
Last week, I completed the finishing touches on my seven week training plan for my upcoming Endurrun marathon which will also serve as a launching point into my Scotiabank marathon in October. I’m not going to lie, it was a blast, but a wee bit hectic.
I used my MovesCount profile to create the plan and was able to track my weekly running milage as well as all my cross training. It is helpful because it gives me my average cardio for the week and I was shooting for between 10 – 12 hours and it landed me at 11.5! I have been meaning to do a post on how I track my training and I thought that this would be the perfect time, especially as I know many of you are thinking of upcoming A races this fall.
1. Determine the weeks leading up to the race – I knew that I had seven weeks to get into marathon race shape. Considering I am building from half marathon race shape, it really isn’t a proper training cycle length to build and taper, but I worked out some creative solutions in my cardio to add fatigue without the wear and tear.
2. If you are new to creating training plans, talk to an expert – For me, that was my coach. I sat down with him and brought my past mileage and weekly workout habits and we discussed the best ways to proceed. I would have made some silly training decisions without his advice.
3. Know it won’t be perfect – As I mentioned, I am not building in an ideal time frame, but it has allowed me to be creative. What do you do when you have a 30 KM run on tap for the same weekend you are doing an 8 hr adventure race? How do you add appropriate levels of fatigue without adding too much milage? (I am cycling an hour before my long runs).
4. Make it as easy as possible – I created the plan in Moves Count and added it to Garmin. This has uploaded my training into both my Suunto and Garmin watches so it can tell me what I am doing on any given day. It is also a great way to monitor milage.
5. Track your progress – I also hand write each workout into my beloved Moleskin planner which tracks everything for me from my appointments, workouts to my budget. If I lost it, I would be aimlessly wandering. An important thing I do with my handwritten workouts is to colour code them in the following way:
Green – I felt AMAZING
Orange – The workout was a bit underwhelming. I didn’t feel 100%
Red – It was full of pain and suck.
If I start dipping into the orange, I monitor my training and potentially adjust my milage or intensity or just take a plain old rest day to make sure I am not over training.
6. Don’t be ruled by your plan – As I mentioned, if I am feeling burnt out, tired or not into my workouts, I will take a rest day, no matter what it says on my training schedule. Also, sometimes life happens and your mother wants to take you for dinner or a long distance friend is in town. People always trump races for me so just remember that this is FUN and the track is always there tomorrow.
What do you use to track your training?