Creative Scheduling & Training

We’re all busy, right? We’ve all got obligations and responsibilities that we work around. An unexpected meeting pops up on the calendar or you have to reschedule a task. And the one thing that usually takes the beating is often your running schedule. Such is life. Among all the other non-work things you must get done within 24 hours, you still need to figure out how to stay active and stick to a training plan, if you have one. I’m sure a lot of you are thinking, “easier said than done, my friend”.

Here’s my 2 cents:

I find that if you’re disciplined enough to have a training plan AND creative enough to fit the runs into your schedule, everything will be okay.

Even in the past 5 days, I’ve made several changes to the plan that I scribbled in my planner. Last Thursday, I was debating when I should do my long run of the week. I had plans to go to Indianapolis over the weekend (no, not for the Super Bowl) to help my twin sister find a wedding dress. Whenever I’m home, the days are full of activity and the last thing I feel like doing is heading out for a run–much less a long run (I’d rather be cuddling on my mom’s big red couch!). So I decided I’d get up super early on Friday morning to run those 10 miles before work. I’ve had to “suck it up” and do this before, but it had been awhile. I just knew I’d feel better if I got it done that day instead of wondering whether or not it would happen over the weekend.

Sure, I was sleepy that day at work and the drive to Indy was pretty uneventful, but I was flexible enough to change my plan and determined enough to get it done on a tight schedule. I wasn’t anxious about not having the time to run the entire weekend and I was happy to take the time to relax with friends and family.

I’ve also learned something about myself in the past couple of weeks. I’ve realized that if I don’t get up and get moving on Monday and, instead, delay my ‘key workout’ until Tuesday, I consistently feel like a slacker and struggle to get my workouts in before the end of the week. So I began this week with a very strong speed session. That’s not the interesting part.

You see, I’ve started to do some calisthenics/drills before certain workouts. And it’s taken a lot longer to recover from Monday’s workout than I thought! Usually one day rest is enough for me to feel energized for another workout, but it’s now two days later and I’m struggling. I had every intention of running a few recovery miles last night and heading out for a strong 5 mile tempo this morning before work. But guess what?

It didn’t happen.

I know. Shocking! Last night’s recovery miles didn’t allow for FULL recovery. And I don’t mess around with tight legs that make me walk funny. (Ask my coworkers–it’s a quite entertaining walk to the water cooler after you’ve been sitting for 45+ minutes.) So this morning I scrapped my tempo workout and settled on the next best thing–an easy 30 minute bike ride to flush some more junk out of my legs.

I wish I could say that it worked and that I’m feeling normal now. But the truth is that I wish I could jump into a steaming hot whirlpool and sit there for 2 hours so that my legs turned to jelly again. I’ll have to settle for a good hour of stretching and foam rolling tonight while I watch t.v.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s really easy to say that your schedule will always allow for running, but it only happens when you’re disciplined and creative enough to make it a priority.

Greg (@PredawnRunner) wrote this great post about turning creative scheduling into a training advantage. Super informative, even if you are the person that ‘always sticks to the plan’.

How do you stay on track?

-J

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One thought on “Creative Scheduling & Training

  1. Thanks for mentioning my post, appreciated it. I like the way you bring the concepts of discipline and creativity to bear in your approach – they would seem to be at odds but it is in fact the ability to apply both as needed that makes for a successful season. And I love doing speed work on Monday, mainly because Sunday is my rest day but also because it gets a tough workout out of the way early in the week.

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