Monday, July 19, 2010

Getting off, and on back on the rails

The Almighty Training Schedule is kind of bumming me out.
Generally speaking, I have a problem with authority.  When that authority is some sort of generic, outside designed round hole that I'm expected to jam a square peg into, then I start to have a real, real problem with the authority.

And that, for me, is what training programs tend to be.  Some guy (or chick) decided that in order for ME to accomplish my goals (in this case, sub 2:00:00 half marathon), I need to do X, Y, and Z.  Forget the fact that I've got schedule conflicts on three of those days.  Forget the fact that I have a travel schedule.  Forget the fact that I actually want to see my family on the weekends.  Nope, forget all that, and you get no alternatives.  Do the program, or good luck.

Well, you know what?  Bite my ass.

Don't get me wrong.  I understand the program is intended to help.  There are specific workouts that seek to deepen the reservoir, widen the pipes, and improve the pump.  Each one targets one, two, or (for a time) all three aspects of the machine.  I get it.  I really, really do.

I also get it that the program is a good starting point, and if I want to get more sophisticated with my training I should consult someone who knows a little more about me than some editor in Colorado (or where ever the hell he is) for Runners World Magazine.

You know what works really well for me?  A long, long run on Monday and Tuesday, then a rest day for Wednesday, then some speedwork for Thursday, and a shorter (but still long) run on Friday.  Then I can take the weekend off (when most people prefer to run their long runs) and spend time with the family that I haven't seen all week.  Maybe that'll change in the winter, but in the summer that's how the schedule works out.  Does that fit into the Almighty Training Schedule?  Nope.  Does it work?  I'll betcha it does.  In fact, I have yet to find anyone who can give me a good reason why it wouldn't work other than "that's crazy", "that's stupid", or "no program would have you doing THAT".  The problem, though, is if the schedule has me doing something else, and I'm not following the schedule, then the schedule simply doesn't work.

So, that's where I'm at right now.  I've got a schedule I've tried to stick with.  And for the weekday runs, I've done a pretty good job.  The weekend runs, on the other hand, I've not done so well sticking with.  I'm going to have to rejigger the schedule a bit and see if I can rearrange the runs and the days in order to fit them in a little bit better.  I might even wake up a bit early a few times a week and run before work--something I have extreme difficulty doing.

Nonetheless, though, I'll take a stab at reforming the Almighty Schedule into something that's more compatible, while at the same time reforming my own schedule to better accommodate the schedule.  Tuesday's 5 mile run will become Tuesday Morning's 6.5 mile run because I'm not sure where the 5 mile turnaround point is on my local route (maybe I'll run 8 miles, depending on how I feel).  The shoes, socks, and kit will be laid out tonight and when the buzzer buzzes at 10 to 5 tomorrow morning, I'll be out like a shot.

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