Yesterday I spent some time working on a new training/workout schedule to start following. I have been using a very loose schedule approach for the last year or two. But I think I'm going to start following a less loose (dare I say tighter) approach for a few weeks and see what happens. Also, this is how a beagle flops down beside you to help with your training schedule development:
A brief background: I love schedules and planning. In the past, especially when I first started running, I looked up plans and copied them down on calendars or in notebooks so I could follow them daily. I would plan out races and workouts leading up to them, but without really knowing what I was doing. As time went on I started tweaking the schedules more and more, realizing that I wasn't always going to be able to do what the schedule told me to do, be it because of my fitness level or because of my day. I soon became frustrated trying to follow too religiously, missing workouts and feeling like everything was ruined when that happened. So eventually I adapted a training guideline kind of approach. Last year when I trained for my marathon, the only real scheduled runs were the weekend distance buildup, Track Tuesdays, and I ran during the week with Krista every now and then. I think I just tried to run as much as possible the other days of the week.
That kind of approach really does work for me in accomplishing consistent and happy running: Tuesday track, midweek with a partner, long run on the weekend. However, it only works if those things are present and, most importantly, I have the motivation to carry through with them. Which brings me to the current State of the Running Union. The State of the [my] Running Union is weak.
My motivation is at an all time low, so it's time to make some changes. Enter brand new, shiny, still-has-that-new-car-smell training schedule! I've reflected a lot about my running hobby and how it fits into my life. I'm not so sure I've ever taken this approach, but I do believe it's imperative for developing a successful schedule. I also thought about what my goals are, another crucial element. They are pretty simple. I love running, so I want to run. I love biking and believe I might have some unleashed potential there, so I want to bike. I really like the challenge of improving, so I want to push myself and enjoy the rewards.
Here are the boring details of it all, an overview of the next few weeks. I'm going to "spin" (indoor trainer) 3 days a week and run 3 days a week. I've scheduled times for this to happen that are realistic and current. I'm not going to run in the dark by myself, so morning runs are out and have instead been moved to lunch time. Spinning works after work, unless I work late. That happens from time to time, and for the past month has been pretty much every single night. So, I am just going to bite the bullet and get up earlier so that I ensure myself the time on the bike. I really don't mind getting up early, and it's dark anyway. It's just that I would prefer to not get up that early :) On the weekends, I will do a long run and a long bike session (Spinflix-style).
I have the daily details scratched out on a piece of paper. I'll be ramping up my mileage and time on the bike back to respectable amounts. I figure I will test this through the rest of the year, and then see what I want to do when January hits. I might want to focus more on one or the other sport, or start training for the Pig. I have some big ideas/dreams about it all, which don't seem to look right on this blog right now. I feel like I'm all talk with nothing to show for it. So for now, it's just about doing what I like to do, and improving at it. When there are results to show, that might warrant more discussion.