Once I registered for the Wapack Trail Race a little over a week ago, I decided that I would try to finally commit to a training plan despite how unrealistic I tend to find them. A quick Google search last Monday morning informed me that there appears to be no such thing as a training plan for a 21.5 mile race; instead, I picked this “First 50K Training Plan” and modified it a bit:
Weeks 10 and 12 got the axe–since I don’t need to run that far yet (someday I’ll have the balls to sign up for an ultra and will have no choice but to keep those weeks intact) and only had 14 weeks until the race anyway–and reduced the mileage of the other Saturday runs by 2 miles each. And on Mondays and Fridays I will cross-train however I damn well please.
I suppose if all you really care about is the thing you’re training for, then following a plan is easy. But there are so many other things I enjoy doing–like climbing and snowboarding–that I already find it nearly impossible to stick to this thing. (Sidebar: I have a couple of friends who were phenomenal climbers until they completely gave it up to be competitive triathletes. I have a ton of respect for both of them because they train so hard and are amazing at what they do, but I can’t imagine doing what they’ve done and, quite honestly, I have a really hard time understanding their decision. I mean, come on guys, can’t you be badass triathletes and awesome climbers?)
Anywho, I actually didn’t stray as far from the plan as I thought I would (yay me!)…
- Monday–Easy 4.5 mile run. I hadn’t done anything crazy over the weekend, so I saw no reason to take the day off. And since I
can’thate to swim and am not quite hardcore enough yet to ride my bike in February, I felt like an easy run was fair game.
- Tuesday–Followed the plan to a T! Another easy run, 5.21 miles/47 minutes; I thought the loops I added to the end of my regular run would take longer than they did and put me closer to 50 minutes, but oh well. I also dusted off my P90X discs that night to do AbRipper for my core routine. I quickly came to the realization that my midsection is currently composed primarily of mush with maybe a rogue muscle or two hidden inside. My “abs” were sore until Saturday (fml).
- Wednesday–Stuck to the plan again (mostly)…it’s not bad if you do more than it suggests, right? 52 minute/5.12 mile hilly trail run. It was my first trail run since mid-November, so it wasn’t pretty (especially since the trail was super icy), but it felt really good to run in the woods again and my pace was 16 seconds faster than in November, so that’s a win.
- Thursday–I was pretty close. 1:09/7.39 miles, easy…ish. I ran much slower than usual, but I also ran a harder route than I normally do. So yeah, I’ll stick with “easyish” and call it good. I bailed on the core routine, which I’m kind of bummed about., but it still hurt just to laugh so I couldn’t bring myself to do AbRipper again. I did spend a good part of the day sitting on my balance ball at work, though, so I’m going to pretend that counts for something.
- Friday–Since I’m allowing myself to cross-train any way I want instead of just cycling or swimming, I joined Tim, Luke, and Mickey Spades for a leisurely jaunt up Wachusett and stuck around for an hour of lift-served snowboarding before the storm started to roll in.
- Saturday–Here’s where it all really fell apart. I know that weekends are going to be the hardest part for me, especially while there’s still snow. There was no way I was: a) going to run during the snowstorm, or b) pass up snowboarding in 2+ feet of fresh snow once the storm passed! Tim and I headed over to Wachusett at 3 (shh, don’t tell the governor we went for a five-minute drive!) and pretty much rode lift-to-lift for two hours (thank you, driving ban). It started to get busy by 5, but we braved a few more runs with the crowd and by the time we got home I think my legs were as sore as they would have been if I had run eight miles, anyway.
- Sunday–I definitely could have dragged myself out of bed earlier to head out for an hour, but I didn’t want to. The legs were still a little sore from Saturday afternoon and I was belaying birthday parties at the gym all day so I just wanted to stay in bed as long as I could. After the last party, I climbed with Nate for an hour and a half…so at least I did an hour of something!
So, in summation, my first week of trying to follow a training plan wasn’t a complete failure, but also obviously not a success. Hopefully I’ll do a little better with Week 2.
Wish me luck!