Wednesday, January 4, 2012

training plan vs. desires ...

Some people do not know how to self motivate.

I, however, am not one of those people.

All I need to get to me out the door is a little piece of paper.

That's right. All I need is my training plan telling me exactly what I have to do that day. To me, that little bit of black ink on the calendar is the "end all, be all." There is no questioning the plan. It was written that way for a reason.

My current training plan is epic. I have faith in its ability to produce results (it worked for Irondiva and she's a freaking Ironman) I feel like it's balanced and challenging without being so daunting that I want to stop.

The thing is, the plan is so balanced and challenging that it's messing with the game plan I have in my head.

You see, I like to run. OK, I love to run. But the disciplines are so balanced in this plan, that I usually only have two runs (and two bikes and two swims) each week. Sometimes, I get really lucky and there's a brick and I get a bonus run. At times, it can be torturous.

For example, this week, I have 15 run miles scheduled. 15? That's insane. I like to run 40+ miles. 15 just doesn't work for me.

My head is telling me to run. My plan is telling me to chill the heck out.

Confession: I do a little bit of both. On my "shorter" and strength days, I add a 3-5 mile run. It calms me. But, unlike my official training plan, these "penciled in" runs do not have the same power over me. If I miss them, I miss them. If I am feeling good, I brave the cold and log the miles. If I'm tired from the day before (like this morning), I choose my warm bed over the run.

In some ways, this inability to follow the plan in my head is disappointing to me. I have such high standards for myself that missing these self-prescribed workouts make me feel like I am letting myself down. Self guilt can be rather motivating.

But usually, that self guilt fades quickly. I know that too many "bonus" miles are going to start to take away from the training I am focusing on. I am learning to remind myself that the number one goal is a 70.3 finish, not "see how many other things I can do while getting a 70.3 finish." I need to remember that less run miles is not making me a weaker runner, but rather more diversity in training is making me a stronger runner.

For me, triathlon training is a road untraveled. I will find my way. I just need to trust the plan.

18 comments:

Run with Jess said...

I'm the same way! I live by my training plan... but like you I tend to add in extra miles... say when the girls want to meetup for a couple miles. Or go longer when I'm suppose to do only 5.

fancy nancy said...

I'm with you! I need a training plan to focus me. I have those guilty feelings on days that I don't run but I know I need to focus on the goal ahead of me! You're going to do AWESOME on your 70.3!

Running Ricig said...

When I trained for the marathon, I followed the long runs religiously on my training plan. During the week, I did whatever I wanted because what I wanted was to run MORE than it told me to. I feel you.

trifitmom said...

i actually would be happy to not run as much at first but then as the training got more and more i was tired of the bike......and just wanted to run

RunHapi13 said...

It's a slippery slope, kinda like what we talked about yesterday... for me - A Race, nothing else, and FOMO hasn't bothered me. At first it seemed "weird" but last week I logged over 11 hours of training and I am only in pre-season...
But I get it and can be guilty too...it's hard but I am learning, "ignore the brain, trust the train". All those before me did it, so can I.

MotherRunner said...

I love training plans and have no shortage of motivation when it comes to following them. My huge weakness is that I fail to listen to my body and rest if the plan has a run that day. I also have a tendency to jump into a training program without the appropriate base. This has led to huge injuries... but I'm trying to not be such an idiot this time.

Lynette @ finding my way back said...

Good luck with your training! It is hard to step back on running. That always hits me in a taper. Look forward to continue reading about your training!

mommaof3ontherun said...

Good luck with training. Thank you for being honest with us too. We all struggle with something:-) when there is less run mileage is there increased swim and bike mileage?

Robin said...

Some say that running less, but more intense and longer on the days you do run is actually better for you. Hang in there and follow your training plan ... you'll do great! www.dashingdiva.net

Silly Girl Running said...

I know exactly what I mean - I'm one of those 'adding extra miles to the plan' girls. And then feel guilty when I miss 1 of 2 of those extra miles. The ways your head can be messing with you.

Oh, and yes - cycling and swimming will make you a stronger runner! Mark my words on that one!

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

Boy can I hear you on this one!

I KNOW that I am not balancing my training at all. I KNOW that the efforts I am putting in will result in me being able to "go the distance", no doubt BUT I KNOW that one this path I will most likely NOT produce the RESULTS or achieve the ENJOYMENT during my races/events that I want. Part of me wonders if it is self-sabotage. That way if my attempts at my next 50k, 50 miler or the 100 "fail" I can blame it on my "over training" yet again.

You are FAR TOO SMART to do the same thing! Shorten those "extra" miles down to 1 - 3 to warm up before your strength training and appease the running need inside you without harming your training. No excuses for you! You are not going to take any doubts or regrets about your training along with you into you race. And really who are we kidding? You already know that you have totally got this!!

Beth said...

I cut back on running to train for my first 70.3 and I ended up feeling much stronger overall, while still maintaining most of my run speed and fitness. Good luck with the training!

Holly said...

I usually do really well with training plans other people write, but if I make it up myself I skip here and there and wind up giving it up after a couple of weeks. I'm doing really well lately following everything that I've got planned out. You'll do awesome in your 70.3..remember, it's the quality of the miles not the quantity!

Marlene said...

I have the exact same reservations about heading into triathlon training. Maybe that's why I haven't committed to a plan just yet... I run as much as I want to, add a few days of cycling and a few days of swimming. I can get away with that now, but down the road I know I won't be able to.

Colleen said...

I made that plan work for me - for me it was adding a little more biking and a little more running because that's what I enjoyed. :) It's a good base, and you need to remember that. Listening to your body is smart too. If you have too much energy built up, I don't see the harm in adding a run here and there. Just don't over cook yourself! :) You are smart... you will do what's best! YAY! So excited for you!

Jason said...

Trust the plan young Jedi. Many before us have gone down this road and shown us the way and we need to continue to follow that path.

It gets easier to not run once your bike miles and swim meters start piling on.

Melissa said...

I don't have any experience with tri training but I would imagine I would feel the same way. Good luck. I have a feeling you will rock 70.3 and end up an Ironman someday!

Cindy said...

i am all about the plan! definitely need it for focus...