Monday, February 27, 2012

Training Recipe

As I mentioned, last week during our winter break I attempted to follow my marathon training plan in addition to working at the mountain and skiing with my family.  On Monday, I managed to drop my girls off at ski school, drive down to a relatively flatter area, run a 14 mile loop, hop back in my car, change into my ski clothes (in the car), drive back to the mountain, dash to my hour long shift and pick my kids up by 12:30 to then ski with them for another 3 hours.  Monday evening, I was feeling pretty damn proud of myself.  On Tuesday,  I woke up feeling strong and ready to do it again.  Though the run was only 6 miles, my shift happened to be much earlier than the day before so rather than run it easy, as the schedule advised, I ran it at my tempo pace in fear of being late for work and the rest of my day.  Again, I made it all happen, though the fatigue was now setting in and by Tuesday night, I was starting to feel worn down.  When I woke up Wednesday, my mind was telling me I needed to get out there and keep it up, while my body was saying there is no freakin' way you are doing anything today.  My friends and co-workers took one look at me and told me to go home and get back in bed.  So, I did.
Sadly, for the rest of the week, not only could I not get the running in, but I could barely make it to work and I had no energy for the skiing that I had been so excited to do with my family over the vacation.  Bottom line here, my family and my health are more important than my running schedule and they should be my top priority.  I am not a competitive athlete.  Is running important to me? Yes. But there are times when I can ramp it up and times when I should coast.  This was one of those times.  Below is a blurb from a recent article that I wish I had read before we headed off to vacation.  It is the method I will use moving forward no matter what I'm training for.  There is "training recipe" for every situation and, as I learned last week, it's worth mixing it up.


Use a planner (digital or paper) and plug in your life schedule first. Include your travel, obligations you can't get out of, holidays, and other events that may be potential training obstacles. Then begin to plug in your training around it. While doing so, consider your busiest days, your calmer days, and develop your training days with the flow of your life. For example, if you have a spring break vacation scheduled with the family on your longest run, move your run to the week before. Follow a longer tapered program where the vacation long run is cut back, but run at a harder effort (e.g. 6 to 7-mile run versus a 12-mile run).

If Mondays suck the life out of you, schedule an easier paced run that day and balance the energy demands so you can recover efficiently and train harder on a lower stress day. If you work 12-hour shifts three days on and four days off, take the first work day off (rest); the second as a short, easy cross-training workout; the third off; and then train four days with a hard easy pattern. There is an optimal training recipe for everyone and all you truly need to do is create your plan with the flow of your life. When you do, you'll recover quicker, improve faster, and run stronger.

Listen to this:

*download this song for free at the above link.  so awesome.

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