Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Changing training plans
I love my trail season pass, but I will say that it has taught me two things...first, training for a half is much easier and shorter to commit to, and second, altering a training plan around races you've scheduled is as much of an art as a science. Well, I think. Since this is my first time training for a marathon, I'm assuming that that's what all the mixed responses means.
Since my trail pass has monthly races and marathon training goes for over 3 months, there were some conflicts. Namely, a 5 mile race that fell on an 11 mile day, a half that fell on a 17 mile day, and a 4 mile race that fell on a 20 miler day. Being a novice I knew I didn't want to skip races that I'd paid for but at the same time, I wasn't sure exactly how to adjust around those. I asked on a distance group and a few friends who have been running much longer (and many more marathons) than I have.
And almost no one gave me the same answer. For the 5 miler most people said warm up 3 miles ahead of time and 3 miles after, one person said do the long run a different day and don't race the 5 miler. (I ended up doing that - 11 miles is still low enough that it's a distance I'm very comfortable with, so I felt okay adding extra to the week, I just took the trail run very easy.)
For the half some people said add miles to warm up and cool down, some people suggested flipping weeks in my training schedule, and one really helpful person actually had me send him my training plan (which I have plotted out on an excel sheet) and he redid it to accommodate all the races, with notes.
And for the four miler some people said skip and some people said do the 20 a different day.
Personally, I am taking a little bit from each person I talked to and sort of hodge-podging it, along with my best instincts for what my body is capable of. It makes me uncomfortable though - for my first marathon, my instinct mostly says - follow the plan! Do not deviate!
What about you? Do you alter training plans, or do you stick to them to the letter? Or do you not bother with plans?