This is Phase 1 of my Long Trail Training program. I’ve adapted it form some other training plans out there and will tweak it as I go depending on how I’m performing. I won’t pretend that I know much about putting together a training schedule, but I’m pretty good at knowing what I need at a certain point in the cycle. Hint: It’s usually exactly what I don’t want to do i.e. track, hills, deadlifts, repeats. I really liked Matt Fitzgerald’s book, Run: The Mind-Body Method of Running by Feel which talks a lot about not relying too heavily on a strict training schedule. A general plan is good, but if your body and performance are telling you you’re not improving where you want, then it may be time to go outside of the schedule.
Planned vs. Reality
Phase 1 is just wrapping up, and here is a look at what I actually did. The goal of phase 1 was to increase workload, introduce stairs, and add consistency.
My plan was very aggressive and had I stuck to it strictly, I could very well be exhausted by now.
- 1 Day of rest is not always enough. I try not to let negative self talk influence my decision to rest or not. In other words, I don’t feel guilt if I take an extra day. This is a long program, and I have to stay healthy above everything else.
- I’m not quite ready for 30+ miles a week yet, and it’s OK. I’m at 1/2 marathon distance and am poised to be in marathon shape by the end of Feb (right on schedule) before I hit Phase 3.
- Double days are hard, and back to back doubles are near impossible, especially when you have a job, wife, and child. Consistent scheduling isn’t always possible.
Overall I feel pretty good about where I’m at. I feel strong on my long runs, I’m still motivated, and I haven’t had any real injury issues. I’m confident I can reach the next step which is a 20 mile long run in mid Feb.