Without a Training Plan

Since Marine Corps, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about racing, and I’ve toyed with signing up for about 15 different marathons next year and twice as many halfs…

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But as for actually running? Yeah…you could say my motivation has waned a bit.

Yesterday, I sat around for much of the day doing nothing (hello, all or nothing: I either am doing ALL THE THINGS or I am a bump on a log on my couch) and attempting to get motivated to run. I had no planned run with a buddy and no goal race that I’m working towards, and so the run didn’t happen.

But I did go lift.


Who am I? I chose lifting over running?

I’m glad I have this new strength thing (and Jess!) to keep me motivated because this is definitely A Thing for me post-marathon. Despite not being a super Type-A person (trust me, come look at my desk and then let’s also talk about my hatred for spreadsheets), I really like the structure a training plan gives my life, and especially my weekends.


(I loved the painting on the side of this deli.)

Anyway, I needed a good run with my running buddy Rebecca, so I texted her last night to ask if we could run together. She had brunch plans so she asked if I could come to Brooklyn to run with her. I’m usually too lazy to get on the subway to run, but I knew running with her was the only way I’d make myself run today. The train was having issues (ON THE WEEKEND, SHOCKER) and I ended up being late to meet up with her so we only had a bit of time to run together.

That little bit of running time with someone else was all I needed to motivate myself again. She left me sort of near Prospect Park, and I was going to run back to a subway stop closer to Manhattan to maximize run time and minimize train time. She gave me directions, and I didn’t even look at my phone once to get back to Borough Hall. (I have a serious lack of navigational skills.) I started my watch without waiting for it to find satellites, so I don’t know how far I ran, but I ran for an even 60 minutes, so I’m guessing about 6 miles.

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Hello, Borough Hall. Happy holidays to you, too! The city getting decked out for the holidays is making me so happy. I got my tree last night, and I love how it makes my apartment smell. Also, pro tip to New Yorkers? Whole Foods (or at least the Chelsea one) has trees for cheaper than the street vendors do.

Do you do better with or without a training plan? I generally do better with, but I usually need just a little time between races without a formal one to prevent burnout.

21 comments on “Without a Training Plan

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  2. Charlie (The Runner Beans)

    I definitely work better with a plan, otherwise I find it easy to make excuses or to slack off early. On satuday I told myself I had to go for a run, even if it was only 3 miles. It was freezing outside so I was pleased with my 4.5 miles-havent run outside for ages and I missed it! Looking forward to starting my half marathon training in 3 weeks time!

  3. michelle

    I do better with some kind of plan. Nothing like having an upcoming race to kick my ass into gear. The problem is that I only raced twice in 2012 so…. yeah, not good! But marathon training officially kicks off today (with a rest day… hah!) so I’m feeling pumped.

  4. Dori

    Are you still doing that half? My training lately has just been doing my own thing and making sure I get the weekend long runs in. I wouldn’t exactly recommend it, but it seems to work for me. I have a hard time sticking to a real plan (the only time I did was for the marathon).

  5. Corrie Anne

    The first time I ever used a training plan was last month before my first half marathon — but really the only reason was because my husband was training with me. I do pretty well on the fly because I’m typically very motivated to exercise.

  6. Maureen

    I definitely do better with a plan. I’m without a plan at the moment, and while I appreciate the break, it is much easier for me to stay motivated when each workout has a specific purpose and goal.

  7. Kiersten

    Most of the time I don’t have a formal training plan but I have a target race to get me motivated. I have always used a training plan for marathons, and this winter I am experimenting with using one for a half to help me break 2 hours.

  8. Kristin

    I am also an all or nothing kind of girl. I can nail Ironman training and even do two in a year, but once it’s over I turn into a lazy lump and I really enjoy it. I need a schedule to get things done, otherwise the excuses pile up! After a year off, I’m very much looking forward to having my coach motivate my lazy self off the couch and away from the cookies!

  9. melissa

    Everytime I see the exhale photo on your blog, I’m really proud that I took it. But not to make this comment all about me. I totally relate to not loving to stick to training plans or schedules in general. Can’t wait to see your tree!

  10. Cathryn

    I’m the same, I really need something in the diary to work towards to keep motivated, but I also think a break after big races is important! We’re away at the moment with my husband on a business trip so I can’t really train but as soon as I get back to the US, I’m signing up for a half and then training my heart out! I’m looking forward to the structure again!

  11. Melissa

    I always need a plan. I’m so incredibly Type-A that not having a schedule drives me nuts. I’m trying to learn how to be more relaxed about it though – it creates too much stress sometimes!


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