So you’ve picked a running training plan that you want to follow, but it doesn’t fit your life or schedule. You’re not alone! Training plans are not one size fits all, which is why I’ve taken to creating a personalized training plan. In doing so, I’ve learned how to alter training plans to meet my body’s abilities and my personal calendar. In this post, I explain the tricks you can use to address the common dilemmas you might face and how to tweak your training plan.
I Need to Rearrange the Training Plan.
Whenever I find a training schedule that I want to follow, it is rare that it is set up exactly how I want. Some schedules are built with the long run on Sunday, but what if Tuesdays are best for you? Rearranging a training plan is a like a fun little puzzle that only you can solve.
The answer is pretty simple though. Just keep to an easy, hard, easy, hard pattern. Hard days would be speedwork, hills, and your long run; easy days include things like recovery runs and rest days. You can put two easy days back-to-back, but you shouldn’t put two hard days back-to-back, which is just another way to help prevent overuse injury.
I Can’t Run 5 Days a Week!
I have made this adjustment to every training schedule that I’ve ever used. I’m not a runner who can run daily, and I only recently graduated from running three days a week to four. For this reason, I usually have to drop a run in the training schedule that I’m following. To to do this to your own schedule, just take one of the easy running days and substitute in a cardio/cross training session. Give the same amount of effort to your cross training session as you would the running day. And if the scheduled run would have taken you about 45 minutes to complete, your cross training should take the same amount of time.
I Need to Skip a Workout.
Some weeks are just hectic. You’re looking at your schedule and see that you have appointments, deadlines, your period, or plain old life coming at you from all directions. Dropping a workout is sometimes the only way we can manage to do it all. But how do you know which workout to drop?
Depending on what you’re training for, you’ll probably see these types of runs on your training schedule:
- Speedwork ≤ 5 miles
- Hills ≤ 8 miles
- Long Run ≥ 8 miles
- Easy/Recovery Run
- Cross Training
If using a rest day to play catch-up won’t suffice, then look at dropping a cross training day. We all know that the best way to get better at running is to run more. So if you have a choice, skipping your cross training might be better than skipping a run. Just don’t forget that cross training works with your running to ultimately make you a better runner, so don’t make a habit of skipping it regularly.
If you need to drop a run one week, evaluate your goals to determine which run to drop. Are you trying to get faster? Then you probably shouldn’t skip your speedwork. Are you training for a marathon? Then your long run is one of your most important weekly runs.
I Need to Skip ALL the Runs.
If life is too crazy, your sick, or even worse, injured and can’t get a run in all week, that’s okay too! Take a deep breath. It may not feel wonderful to skip an entire week of running, but it is not the end of the world. You are not losing fitness with a weeklong break. Don’t let the time off make you question all of your training.
If you’re not training for a race, you can simply pick up your training schedule exactly where you left it the following week. Just make sure you ease back in to running if you took the time off because you were sick or injured. Most importantly, don’t try to make up for lost training time by squeezing in extra miles.
Ultimately, give yourself a break! All will be okay. I’m sending you all of my positive runner vibes.
Share your #runnervibes below: What training plan dilemmas do you face?