Sunday, August 10, 2008

The training of a disorganized runner

I've slowly come to the realization that I'm a disorganized, undisciplined runner. When I was training for the marathon, the only distances I stuck to were the 14, 16, 18 and 20 mile runs on consecutive weekends leading up to the race. Other than that, well not so much.

I didn't create a marathon plan, though I knew I probably should have. I didn't do intervals one day a week and then cross train another. When I wanted to run faster, I did. When I didn't, well, I didn't.

I find that I may have a basic goal in mind when I hit the road, but it's generally nothing more than that. I saw I may want to run 5 miles, but if I feel good, I keep going. If I don't, I don't. Where do I get the 5 miles from? Just random based on what way the wind is blowing and how I'm feeling that day or what I have going on afterward.

Don't get me wrong. I am out 4-6 days a week, though these days it's probably closer to 4. I don't like when I go more than 2 days without running, but I get by if I need to. So I guess I'm disciplined in the sense that I do get out that often, but hardly disciplined in how far I go and why.

My theory is that organized people do intervals and disorganized people do fartleks. Why be bothered with structure when I can just decide to run to the fourth tree that the sun is shining on?

I have a great respect for people like Petra, Maddy and Charlie who are all training for the Chicago Marathon and have solid plans. I, frankly, just can't do it. It used to be in me, but I think it's gone off to greener pastures.

For me, I'm just looking for that fourth tree in the sun.


ShirleyPerly said...

I really think training is highly individual and what works for one person may not work for another. Some people need very structured training programs stay motivated, believe they will finish or meet very specific race time goals. If you're not in that boat, then there's nothing wrong with doing things differently as long as you do the basics, which sounds like you did.

Susan said...

I say if it ain't broke, don't fix it!

I am an organized interval-doer -- because I have to be, otherwise I sit on my couch... so I envy you!

Marlene said...

Hey! I wanted to thank you for the comment on my blog and you're right, nothing better than feeling good at the end of a long ass run. :)

I love the concept of your blog.

Had to comment on this post because I have taken a similar approach to the training for my first marathon. I started out with a black and white program; run X km on Y day at Z pace, etc. Didn't work took too much of the enjoyment out of it. So I've focused on sticking to the weekly mielage and the target long run each week, but the other days I just wing it. If I feel good, I run further and faster. If not, well, oh well.

We'll see how it turns out for me on September 28th. ;)