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The plan

11 January, 2010

You know when they issue a weather warning for Vancouver, and that weather warning is for the rain, then we’re in for a serious downpour. I can’t say I’m too upset at my decision to take a rest today. Of course, once I decide to get out there, it doesn’t matter, but knowing I’ve put a strong week in the training bank makes me grateful for the shelter and the chance to take it easy for once.

I’m hoping still that the problem from yesterday will resolve itself in short order, but it has made me realize that I need more structure to my schedule. It’s too easy to wax and wane according to the bigger picture and day-to-day feelings and motivations. The training plan since I started running has always been very loose, with a weekly long run being the only regular fixture (until the recent addition of a track workout) over the course of a week, and other days all being run according to how I feel. There’s much to be said for this, at least for a new runner, and I’m skeptical about the one-size-fits-all, mass-marketed approaches to training. Sure, they probably sell a lot of books and dvds, but they also fail to take into account how individuals respond to the training and how perceptive that individual may or may not be re: the need for rest and recovery. Without some experience of subjecting your body to the breakdown that comes before the buildup, it’s very hard to know when exactly to put the brakes on, and when to take an easy day. That fine line that separates overtraining from successful training is not easy to discern if you try to hit the ground running.

But for me at this stage in my running life, I would like to think that I have a better appreciation for when I’m overdoing it. Having said that, the next few days will tell me whether this is true, and if I get away with it then it will be as much to do with good luck as anything. The last week saw my training volume increase by 17.5% — too much, as a rule, and mostly due to a lack of planning. This is why I’m now sketching out my weekly schedule. The coach at LGRR has brought my attention to the key workouts to focus on until the about the end of next month, and I’ve used this as a basis for the following plan:

Monday: Rest or x-training/gym
Tuesday: Tempo, 25-35 minutes (up to 9k)
Wednesday: Semi-long (up to 16k)
Thursday: Speedwork with LGRR
Friday: Rest, x-training or gym
Saturday: Easy
Sunday: Long 12-15 miles (up to ~24k), or 90 minutes to 2 hours.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Ray permalink
    12 January, 2010 12:35 pm

    Hi Tim,

    You are welcome to come out and do your Tuesday tempo with us. Many of the LGRR folks and some others you haven’t met, meet at False Creek Community Centre to run 7 to 9k at a decent pace. We don’t do 9km in 35 minutes, but we’re not too far behind that.

    Here are the details if you are interested:

    Run Coach

    Michael Campbell-burns
    False Creek Community Centre (FCCC)
    Granville Island
    1318 Cartwright Street
    Vancouver BC V6H 3R8
    mcampbellburns@shaw.ca

    [Tempo Tuesdays @ 6:30pm. Michael runs a less-than-10k tempo run from the FCCC during the winter or on the UBC trails during the spring/summer/fall. UBC trail runs begin from the Ranger Station on 16th Avenue at Blanca.]

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