adjusting my training plan

I haven’t shared my new training plan with you guys yet, but mostly because I was still making adjustments to it.  My goal with my training this year is to listen to my body.  I want to push myself when I am feeling good so I can maybe attempt some new PRs, but I also need to really pay attention to how I am feeling so that I am not overdoing it.

I had my first wakeup call this week when my toe started hurting.  The first thing I always look at is how long have I been wearing my shoes.  I bought my shoes back in September, so they have over 300 miles on them.  I typically buy new shoes every 4 months, so I was due for a new pair at the beginning of January, but of course the shoes I really wanted don’t ship until February.  And now, I have already run 68 miles in January, which actually pushed me closer to the 500 miles range – WAY past when I need new shoes.  No wonder I have a black toenail.

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However, I also started looking at my training plan and how I have been feeling with my runs.  Over Christmas break, I read Greg McMillan’s book You (Only Faster).  As soon as I saw the title of the book, I new it was going to be perfect for me.  I read it cover to cover in a day – and I am absolutely NOT a reader.  The book is all about analyzing your training plan to make it work for you, whether you are an endurance junkie, a speedster, or both.  You look at every single key training run (tempo, intervals, long runs, etc.) and make your training plan work for how you run.

It was exactly what I needed.  I swear by Hal Higdon‘s training plans but I really wanted to change things up a bit since I am feeling a bit stagnate right now.  So, I decided to combine my training plans, taking bits and pieces from Hal Higdon (I use his Advanced 8K training plan for my 5K training) and from Greg McMillan (he provides a bunch of training plans in the book).  I am a speedster so I needed to focus most of my runs on those speed workouts but I also included some runs that will suit my weaknesses, which is definitely endurance.

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The first few weeks of the training plan, I was doing some much longer runs than my body was used to.  Notice the yellow highlighted workouts above.  Those runs killed me.  Especially this past weekend’s run (although, it didn’t help that I was also starting to get sick when I decided to run 10 miles).  Ten mile training runs are just far too long for me right now.  I don’t recover well from them, leaving me sore and exhausted for days after, which end up effecting my other training runs.  So, I knew I absolutely needed to adjust my plan.

You can see starting next week, all of my runs are shorter by 5 minutes.  When I was supposed to be running 50-60 minutes, I shortened that to 45-55 minutes.  I ALWAYS aim for the lower end of those time ranges (which is how McMillan suggests training by time instead of distance), but if I am feeling well, I might run a little bit longer.  Not only will this help me recover better from those semi-long and long runs, but I will have a bit more time in the evenings and Saturday mornings, meaning more time with my 2 loves.

I love having the flexibility in my training plan to not have to run a certain distance.  Sure, I like round numbers, but if I would rather run 5 miles than the 4 I had planned, I feel like I can.  Does that happen very often?  Ha!  Nope!  But, I like that I can change it up from week to week without really changing the basics of my training plan.  Plus, those speed workouts look like soooooo much fun!  I’ve been dying to do something other than 400 repeats and tempo runs, and these workouts are exactly what I am needing in my life.