Flexible Training Plan

I think many marathoners try to stick to a rigid training plan, which may work if you also have regular job hours and committed training time. My work schedule is very variable and often involves very long days, so I need to stay flexible, but still get in the training. My plan, as I laid it out, was to run the track Thursday, Friday was an optional day, Saturday, 7 miles and Sunday, 18. Here is how it unfolded:

Thursday, I worked until 8:30, and on getting home I was quite beat, todmüde they say in German, dead tired. So, no run Thursday. Friday, I got home by 7 and was all set to run, shorts, running shirt and shoes on, and at 7:15 we were hit by a very dramatic thunderstorm. After an hour, the storm passed, and my wife and I set out for at least a short run, since it was getting dark and we hadn’t had dinner yet. Again our plans were squashed by another big storm coming through. Instead, we did a half hour of yoga, following the “10 Minute Yoga Solution” DVD, by Lara Hudson. We did yoga basics, buns and thighs, and abs. In that 30 minutes, my heart rate shot to max, I was dripping sweat on the mat, and my muscles were shaking. I thought yoga was supposed to be relaxing!

Saturday, the storm was gone, and my marathon training adviser Brandon and I did a nice 7 mile run, according to plan, and at what would be my marathon pace if I were to stick with the status quo, 8:35/mile. Along the way, he suggested a change to my plan, which is instead of doing a weekly track workout, do a marathon pace run starting at 30 minutes and going longer each week. I will make that change, shooting for an 8:16 pace.

Sunday was the first long run, at 18 miles. It went pretty well, at an average pace of 9:15, and without a muscle cramp! On a nature note, along the way I spotted a red-wing blackbird on the south side of Cooper River Park, and a couple of tortoises as well. One of the tortoises appeared to be in failing health…. After the run, the usual Sunday morning running crowd hung out at Starbucks and discussed all the important things going on in the world. That afternoon, I brewed another batch of homebrew, this time a German Hefeweizen, partial mash recipe which I believe holds a lot of promise. I’ll let everyone know how it turns out.


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  1. Michele

     /  June 26, 2012

    I had to laugh at “One of the tortoises appeared to be in failing health.” That is an optimistic statement. I don’t have your medical training, but even I pronounced that poor guy around 7:40 a.m.

  2. Michele

     /  June 26, 2012

    On another note, I for one NEED a formal, written training plan. Whenever I don’t have one, I feel like I am just floating through life and training, without any goal in mind. I let my Runners World subscription lapse, but when I saw Tony mention a training plan in the latest edition, I went out and bought the issue. I like the plan – it incorporates hill and speed workouts, which is exactly what I want for my next marathon. I plan to use this plan for my next marathon, which will be in March 2013. I plan to make this one really count.

  3. Regarding the tortoise, it reminds of the great Monty Python skit of the Norwegian Blue Parrot. “This is a dead parrot! Nah, he’s not dead, he’s just pinin’ for the fjords”.

  4. Sunday sounded like a great day Frank. You ran 18 miles on a lovely day without any cramping observing some fun wildlife (well except for one poor guy who was probably happily moseying along until Michele “saved” him last week and ever since then he grew increasingly confused until..well…sigh). Also addressed the world’s problems and still had time to brew up a batch o’ German Hefeweizen (I mean who is this guy?)


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