Committing to a running plan is, paradoxically, a relief for me, rather than an intimidating event. Writing the plan, or researching it, or picking a race, all of those tasks, that involve choice so heavily, are intimidating. With a choice, or worse, with dozens of small choices, I am faced with the reality that not only might I not make a good one, I will likely not make the best one. These are the kind of things that afflict those of us with nervous minds.
Once the plan is laid in, typed into the calendar, the goal race set, and the paces all determined, the relief is palpable. At last, no more choices! There is only “run” or “don’t run” and I know which one of those is the best choice.
My plan for the Detroit Free Press Half comes, lifted whole, from Runner’s World Smart Coach, a free iPhone app that takes a recent race result, a goal race, your basic training stats (miles per week, experience) and spits out a training plan. This is perfect for the symptoms described above. I signed up for Detroit because I didn’t get to do it last year, and when I was still agonizing over 5k and 10k for the summer, I realized that the 16 week window I had used for optimal training for Pittsburgh was creeping up for Detroit.
So I told the app to spit out a plan, and it did. 16 weeks of runs, with the three pillars being a long run, a workout, and 3 easy runs each week. It also features a drop back week every fourth week with only easy runs. To see the whole thing in detail, check out the plan over on the Training Calendar tab above.
My ability to stick to the plan may take some flexibility, as my current schedule is a little out of phase with Steph’s workouts, but it feels good to have a plan again. The Detroit Free Press half is in a few months, and I have no reason to believe I won’t show up there with another sub 2 half. And if it goes well, maybe another incremental PR.
That said, I think there’s some room in the plan for using a 5k or 10k as a check-in race, but I’m not sure I want to go down the road of looking for one again. My indecision shines through when I start that process.