Q. Now that I’ve run a half, and covered that distance in training runs with other people, or just when the mood strikes me, I know I can do it, which puts me into some sort of lazy disadvantage. I have no “training plan” printed. I keep thinking I’m good because I consistently run because it is part of my life now.
Could I plan on running 3 days (either solo or with a group)–one 3-4 miler, one 5-6 miler, and one 7-9 miler? As the race gets closer I will add in the 10-12 distances more regularly on that long day. I will still have those, plus three group workouts a week where we do strength and intervals. Sometimes I stack a run and an interval workout together so I can have an extra day off. I always take Sundays off, and have found I needed another rest day mid week. My legs and feet get tired and I am tired of running through soreness.
I could care less about time or pace. I just want the t-shirt. Finishing is my prize.
A. Yep, I think you can easily do that if you’re chasing a lofty P.R. Your plan is about what I do year-round. I run three to four days a week — a 3-4-mile on Mondays, a 5 to 6-miler on Wedneday nights with a group and a group long run on Saturdays (8 to 12). Sometimes I throw in another 3-miler on Fridays, if I feel like it. Plus, I weight train three days a week. Training this way means I’m ready to do a 1/2 marathon on any given weekend. All you really need (if your goal is simply to finish) is a long run at least twice a month.
Now I am following the 3-run-a-week marathon plan, but I’m not going to be strict about because I have a lot of other things (bay swim, quad events, etc.) and races I want to do. I don’t care if I miss a long run or a speed workout or two. I realize now that it just doesn’t matter all that much.
There’s being committed and there’s being obsessive. It’s a fine line and few runners know it when they’ve crossed it. It usually take a chronic, recurring injury to help them see the light.
I need at least two days off a week — sometimes 3. I don’t feel bad about that. I lead a generally active life. Even my “rest days” would be exhausting for some people and I know you’re the same (with a house and bunch of kiddos to take care of).
Forget those who insist piling on mileage is the “best” way to train. You know what’s best for you and your mind & body.