For instance, when I trained for my marathon, I knew that I had to do a 12, 14, 16, 18 and 20 mile run in consecutive weekends and then everything else pretty much fell into place as I had the time, energy or interest. I didn't have specific day-by-day activities or distances. I didn't do speed workouts one day and pace workouts another. Like Marlene, it just takes all of the fun out of it for me.
Would I have finished the marathon in a better time if I had been more disciplined when I was training? Maybe. But I'm not even sure I accept the premise (of my own question, no less). If I had stayed more disciplined, I may have never gotten to the starting line because I would have been too bored with it. I need fun and variety, and a training plan with day-by-day activities gives me neither.
So, since I feel like I should make a list, here goes:
- Make your plan personal to you. You can use a Hal Higdon or someone else's plan to start, but this has to be your plan for it to work.
- Be OK with an organized or disorganized training regimen. Not everyone has to be organized to be successful.
- Give yourself a break if other things happen and you miss a day. It happens and it won't throw off your training.
- Make it fun. If it's not fun, you won't stick with it.
- Try to work in cross-training with weights, biking, swimming, etc.
- Eat right. Get plenty of protein.
- Share your training with your friends and RBF's. The more people you tell, the less likely you'll be to stop doing it.
- Think that you have to train as much as other people who are running the same race.
- Be afraid that one missed day will throw off your training.
- Start out too fast. Work up to training, especially if it's distance training.
This was written as part of the Runner's Lounge Take It and Run Thursday.