So the training plan that I’ve been using (and sort of like, although it’s very light on running) calls for cross-training on Mon, Wed, & Fri, and running on Tues & Thurs. The weekends are supposed to be long runs – this past weekend was supposed to be two miles. I’ve been walking instead of running, mostly because I’m super busy, super stressed, and it’s super hot – for me to run two miles means I will have to be outside for over half an hour, and some days have been dangerous hot. This leads to me thinking about something that gets really frustrating sometimes: I am super slow.
Some days I don’t care so much – I’m just proud that I get out and run at all. This week I’ve seen tons of FB posts and blog posts trying to reinforce the idea that I’m not competing against other people, I’m only competing against myself, and as long as I strive to be better than I was, that’s a win. It doesn’t seem to be doing my brain any good, because I’ve been getting more and more discouraged by how slow I am. My 5K times haven’t really gotten any better, and my lungs can’t handle me running faster than 3.5 mph. I’ve signed up to do the Ocean City 5K, which was the first 5K I ever ran, last October. I’ve been hoping that my time will be better than last year’s – I was at 52:15 the first time around and I would just LOVE to wind up SOMEWHERE in the 40 minute range – even if it’s 49 minutes, 59 seconds. I read about people running 10 miles in one run, and I’m thinking, “I’d have to plan a whole day around one run.” I’d seriously need to set aside at least 4 hours. I don’t like to be restricted by anything other than what I decide in my mind – I feel sort of like a prisoner in my body sometimes, and it’s getting me down.
I haven’t been doing any speed training, as my plan doesn’t call for it, and I think that’s kind of a problem. I love speed training, probably because if I’m going to see any kind of good times, that’s where they’ll be. I have run a mile in under fifteen minutes a handful of times – only during speed training (and during one 5K, my first mile out was under 15 mins and I have no idea how it happened, but I’d like to replicate that!)
My runs have been twenty to twenty five minutes long on this plan – I try to manage .5K during one run/walk portion, so in ten minutes I’ll have run a whole K, and in twenty I’ll run 2K. I usually wind up slowing down towards the end of my intervals, and it’s really frustrating, but at least that’s some kind of plan to get close to a sub-50 minute 5K. This week we ramp up to twenty five to thirty minutes.
Tonight is supposed to be a cross-training or walking night, but I think I’m going to do some kind of speed workout. Maybe I’ll gear up after work and go to the canal and just run the stress away. I think I’ll give fartleks another shot – normally I’m not disciplined about fartleks since there’s no structure, and I wind up giving myself more breaks than I need, but I just feel like I need to run.
Do you have a structured plan you use or one you make up yourself? Do you ever stray from your training plan if you feel like it’s just not working for you?