What is your motivation to run? I can go for runs whenever I feel like it but that isn’t very inspiring. I really need a goal to work towards, something set to achieve. And to do that I usually follow a plan. Not any plan – I research different options I can find online, and then make sure it works for me: I adapt it to my schedule and the amount of time I realistically have.
In the past I have drawn up different training plans to achieve various goals: running the Birmingham Black Country Half Marathon, taking part in 2 Tough Mudders and training for my first marathon. For the first two the training plan worked quite well and I managed to finish (in one piece). The marathon training didn’t work out as the marathon itself got cancelled because of COVID-19 and I had to divert from my training plan because of a shin splint. I ended up having to recover for a good few months, so it’s probably for the best that the marathon got postponed to 2021.
As I mentioned, if I don’t have a goal I don’t really push myself. Unfortunately there are no races planned in the foreseeable future. I found myself going for a run once in a while, but not committing to it really and decided that I needed a change. If I want to stand a chance to run a marathon next spring I’m gonna have to get in shape and give myself more time to do so to avoid injuries.
Because of the shin splint my physio advised me to only do two runs a week. So from April until July that is what I did, slowly building up the distance. In addition I did a video workout from my gym once a week, focusing on core workouts mostly.
From August onwards I’ve added a run: doing 3 runs + a workout every week now. I’m starting with short distances as I’m very weary of overdoing it and getting shin splints again. Also, I’ve really been struggling with the heat here in Belgium, so I’ve only been able to run at like 6-7am in the morning. And because of the heat I’ve not been able to do a long run lately – the furthest I got to was 6km. But now the rain has arrived hopefully we can change that soon!
I will continue with 3 runs and a workout each week, ading a km every other week to my longest run. This gives me two attempts each time at a long distance before I move up a kilometre.
From December onwards I need to step it up and add a km every week. However, winter is also the period when I’m most prone to getting ill. That is why my planning is until end of Feb, so I have some leeway if I cannot stick exactly to the plan, and also depending on when it will be possible to run a marathon in Spring.
So fingers crossed! Do you create your own training plans when working towards a goal? How do you go about it?
If you are into running and would like to read more about it, why not check out one of these blog posts?