Planning to be Planless

8 Mar

Makes sense, right? I am going into Marathon #4 without a written training plan.

Are you thinking I’m crazy yet?

Here’s the thing – every time I write a training plan, it changes. Then it changes again. And then – well it changes some more.

Then I stress.

And I freak out.

And I panic.

Why do I do this to myself?

I am an extremely organized person. I love lists.  My closet is sorted by skirts, pants, blouses, sweaters.  I have folders for every piece of outstanding work I need to do on my desk at work, stacked in alphabetical order..

Maybe over the top but it makes me happy and comfortable.

Marathon #4 is where I am going to step out of my comfort zone.  Not just by not having a written plan, but also by increasing my run quantity.

Here’s how it’s going to go down:

  1. Run as much as I can while listening ever so closely to my body. At least one long run per week (of course). I’d like to work in some tempo and speedwork too, but I’m going to wait until April to start that. Right now, I’m going to ramp back up while my legs continue to heal. I run 4 days a week right now. If I can bump that to 5, and maybe even 6, I will. But it all depends on how the legs feel. (This is entirely experimental)
  2. Do yoga once a week – NO EXCUSES.  I am going for my sub 4:30 in Providence – I’m so close now, I’m confident I can do it. But I have to keep my hips open, and the rest of my legs and core strong.
  3. Begin strength training again – my entire body, not just my upper body and core. Again, with all this running I’m going to need to keep my legs strong. I’m going to try to strength train twice a week, at least.

I know this sounds crazy, and it sounds like a lot. But I’m going to move into it slowly and carefully. I’m also going to make sure I have a pull back week or two thrown in for good measure, and that I taper fully before the race.

Wish me luck!



22 Responses to “Planning to be Planless”

  1. Michele @ nycrunningmama March 8, 2012 at 7:09 am #

    I think this is a great idea!!! Sometimes sticking to a plan can actually limit you – with no plan, you will need the motivation to run when you don’t want to (but I don’t think you will have that problem)…but you will also be able to listen to your body more – so you can push yourself harder than with a plan!!
    When is #5???

    • runcupcake March 8, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

      Thanks Michele! I can’t wait to see how this pans out!

      #5 is Chicago unless I find one between May and October (I don’t know if I can wait that long!)

  2. Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean March 8, 2012 at 7:43 am #

    sounds like a good no-plan to me!

  3. Heather (Where's the Beach) March 8, 2012 at 8:30 am #

    I don’t think you’re completely crazy. Hell, I’m the one who did a half with zero training. So you? You’re sane! 😉 You’ve done this before. You know how to train and what you need to do. I think adding in the strength is going to be very beneficial as well.

    • runcupcake March 8, 2012 at 5:52 pm #

      HAH Yes you are crazy! I can’t wait to see how the strength training benefits me!

  4. Heather @ Better With Veggies March 8, 2012 at 9:25 am #

    What about instead of no plan, you plan your workouts a week at a time? I typically have a skeleton plan with a long run goal for each week – just as a general guideline, but actually plan my workouts a week at a time to allow me to adjust as the weeks go on and how life happens. Best of both worlds. 🙂 Either way – good luck!!

    • runcupcake March 8, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

      I kinda have that – I have a general outline in my head of how I’ve done things in the past, and will continue to do them in a similar fashion. It’s just more of a “go by feel, go by time, go by what I need to do…” kind of a situation.

  5. jobo March 8, 2012 at 9:43 am #

    I actually love that you are going planless! It’s a plan, here, but it’s not fully documented down to the minutae, and sometimes you just really need that. This is great!

    • runcupcake March 8, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

      Exactly! Too many details get so stressful sometimes, I’m looking forward to the freedom!

  6. JessSutera March 8, 2012 at 9:43 am #

    This is typically how I train for races. Fairly plan-less with the exception of the long-run. The only reason I have a plan this time around is because I’m juggling teaching now too. BUT, all in all, my planless plan is VERY much like yours. Stretch. Run. Strength train. Rest. Repeat. 🙂

    • runcupcake March 8, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

      With all your juggling you NEED that plan!

  7. Ericka @ The Sweet Life March 8, 2012 at 3:48 pm #

    I get your vibe. I’ve done this in the past and works out just fine! However, I’m going to try a very rigid plan for my next marathon — just to see if it makes a difference you know? Either way, best of luck!

    • runcupcake March 8, 2012 at 5:54 pm #

      I know what you mean! I adhered to a pretty regimented plan for New Orleans and kicked major butt, so now I want to see what I can do on my own.

  8. Lisa @ RunWiki March 8, 2012 at 5:37 pm #

    I have a marathon a week from Sunday and this although I did not do the weight training and yoga I followed no plan other than one long run that increased with each week peaking three weeks before my race, one speed work and one tempo a week. I have also done core work. My last marathon I trained with a coach and had the worst time ever (I was overtrained) . Who knows if I will have a good race or not but I feel stronger than I ever have before.
    You have done a marathon before and you know your body and you know what you need to do. I think not having a plan for some people can be the best plan. Always great to try out something different anyway. OK know I’m rambling…Good luck with your training, looking forward to cheering you on.

    • runcupcake March 8, 2012 at 5:56 pm #

      haha not rambling! I felt great through my last training cycle, which was a plan, so I know what to do in my head, I’ll do it and I’m sure It’ll be just fine!

  9. Donloree March 8, 2012 at 5:50 pm #

    The no plan, plan. I have had those before and there are just some seasons in life where they work best! Just plan to succeed and the rest will fall into place. Awesome!

    • runcupcake March 8, 2012 at 5:57 pm #

      Exactly! I know my goal and I know I’ll get it!

  10. Laura March 8, 2012 at 7:00 pm #

    Sounds great to me! After running a few, you know what you need to do, and the long runs are really the only absolute. I think adding s/t in twice a week made me a much stronger runner, as did some tempo and speed work– however, I would be careful with increasing miles and adding speed/tempo at the same time– this has led to injury more than once for me. 😦 But listen to your body, like you said, and you’ll be fine. Exciting!!

  11. runningwithsass March 8, 2012 at 9:20 pm #

    doing yoga is a great idea! I have been doing it and it has been helping me!

  12. TriGirl March 8, 2012 at 9:27 pm #

    Other than the whole marathon thing, I pretty much do the same (for halfs…halves?) I can’t overdo the running or I hurt myself. I also started yoga, and it’s great!

  13. Emily @FamilyNLifeLV March 9, 2012 at 5:24 pm #

    I think this is a great plan! I bet you are going to rock this 26.2!! fyi Can you please pass some of your organizational prowess on my way please!

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