How to Follow a Training Plan

Training for a race? Congrats! Crossing the finish line of any type of race is an exhilarating, moving experience. But before the finish line, you have to get to the starting line, and before you get to the starting line, you have to train, and for many of us, that involves a training plan.

This is your (literal and figurative) road map to the race; it should include the number of runs each week, the distance for each run (based on your race), safe mileage increases, hill repeats, speed work, rest days, active recovery days, etc. If you are aiming for a PR, it should also have pace and split times that you should be hitting along with specialized workouts.

But a training plan without action is a theory. For the plan to work, you have to follow it. Here are two simple tips to successfully execute your training plan.

Put the Plan on the Calendar

Whether you live and die by Google calendars or have a notebook to track your appointments, you have to marry the training plan with it. This immediately shows you where there are scheduling conflicts and allows you to troubleshoot ahead of time so you don’t have to upset your training plan.

A few examples:

  • I can only run on Tuesday, Thursday and long runs on Sunday so I adjust any training plans to accomodate my schedule.
  • I was out of town for a wedding and couldn’t do a long run so I just did that run the following weekend and will add extra distance to my next long run. Even if I walk that extra mile, I’m still gettting the miles in.

(Note: My rule of thumb is that if you follow your plan 85-90% of the time you’ll be ok.)

Lean In

Don’t fight against your training plan, just take a deep breath and lean in. When you train for a race you will push and challenge yourself. You will be sore. You will be tired. You will love it. You will wish you never read by blog. All of these things will happen. It’s part of the process.

So don’t second guess the plan. Don’t over-think it or get in your head, and do not let doubt or fear stand in your way. Enjoy the great training days, forget about the bad ones and check off each run as one step closer to your goal.

You’ve got this.

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

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