Planning Ahead

I might be just a little bit Type A. I’ve already started crafting my training plan for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon in November. I won’t actually start “training” until August, but I’m trying to be more proactive and consistent where running and training are concerned. So far, I’ve done OK with running 2-3 times per week, cross-training when I can, and just “winging it” the rest of the time. But I feel like I could be achieving so much more with just a little bit of extra effort and planning. So my new goal is to run shorter distances more often,ย and try to actually follow a plan.

Also as you know, my schedule can get a bit crazy. I’ve really been enjoying all the free time I’ve had since Legally Blonde wrapped up, but I’m about to head into rehearsals for Chess, and while it hopefully won’t be as taxing, it will still require large chunks of my time, and severely limit my flexibility. I’m trying to come up with some pre-training schedules to effectively use my time for the rest of the summer and fall. ย Here’s what things look like.

May – Maintenance

Right now, I’m just trying to keep running while enjoying the flexibility that will be going away come June. I’m running 3-4 times per week, not really worrying about distance or pace. Just aiming for consistency. I’m trying to hit Body Pump once a week, in addition to Pilates and/or CXWORX, but I’m not down on myself if I don’t make it. I’m just trying to soak up as much freedom and sunshine as possible while I can. Oh, and we’re moving in two weeks, so packing needs to be a priority.

June Through Mid-August – Pre-Training

As of June 1st, we’ll be in our new apartment in town, which brings with it a set of pros and cons as far as training is concerned. On the plus side, running will be one million times easier, because we’ll live right on the bike path. On the minus side, the gym is no longer on my way to and from work, so making it to classes like Body Pump and CXWORX will be more challenging–I’ll actually have to go out of my way to get there.

I’ll also be driving to Stowe at least two times a week (45 minutes each way) for Chess rehearsals, and I’ll have three total rehearsals each week, which means that my schedule becomes much more rigid. I REALLY don’t want to have to go to Body Pump at 5:40 am before work, but that means I’d have to start going at 10:30 on Saturday mornings. Will I do that? Maybe, maybe not. But here’s the tentative summer schedule:

  • Monday: 3 miles
  • Tuesday: 2 miles
  • Wednesday: 3 miles
  • Thursday: 2 miles; CXWORX
  • Friday: Rest
  • Saturday: Body Pump
  • Sunday: Long run (6 miles max)

Still striving for consistency here–running shorter distances more often, so that it just gets into my body and my brain. I’m planning to just get up and run before work most mornings, so that my evenings are free (aside from nights I have rehearsal). I know myself enough to knowย that in the summertime, when it’s nice and warm after work, I’m not going to want to run. I’m going to want to be swimming and BBQing and hanging out with friends.

Mid-August Through November – Half Marathon Training

I haven’t finished putting together my schedule yet, mostly because I haven’t decided what I want to do. On the one hand, I know I will be running Wine and Dine strictly for fun and character photo stops, not time, which logically dictates that my training schedule need not be intense. On the other hand, I feel like I’ve done a couple of half-assed half marathon training sessions, and I’d love to see what I’m really capable of, which would dictate a more aggressive training schedule. I could always run W&D for fun, and then find another fall half marathon to race, but I don’t know if I will a) have the energy or b) have the funds. Racing unfortunately ain’t cheap.

The super tentative schedule for Wine and Dine training looks something like this:

  • Monday: Rest
  • Tuesday: Short, easy run
  • Wednesday: Speed work (alternate tempo runs and intervals, throw in hills once in a while)
  • Thursday: Short, easy run plus CXWORX (core-focused, 30 minute class)
  • Friday: Rest
  • Saturday: Body Pump
  • Sunday: Long run

Once Chess wraps up in early September, I may change things up again so that I’m not doing Body Pump on Saturdays–I’ll be able to go back to Monday or Wednesday classes (or both).

So there it is. My plan to get me through the summer in decent shape without going insane. I have some additional thoughts related to all of this, which may or may not evolve into a post. We’ll see.

Do you have a “plan” when you’re not training for a race?

How do you stay motivated when you’re not officially “training” for anything?

23 thoughts on “Planning Ahead

  1. allisonfiorini says:

    Your schedule looks great! I feel like I am always training for a race and I suck at downtime. I have a rough idea of what I’d like to happen through the end of the year – my goal is to run my last race in the beginning of November and try this recovery thing everyone speaks of after, until early December. Then I’ll start building volume during December, and begin Boston training on January 1!

  2. dgobs says:

    *sigh* You’re so good, making plans and getting your mind organized this far ahead of a race! I pretty much just wing it all the time, but – like you mentioned – I feel like I could accomplish so much more if I stopped half-assing it so much. It doesn’t help that my few attempts to follow plans have been derailed by injury, but still. When I’m uninjured and not training for anything in particular, I stay motivated (heh) with a little help from my running club and their regular runs. It helps me a ton!

    • DarlinRae says:

      Well, I made the plan, sure, but sticking with it is a whole different story. I’m going to try *really* hard to stick with it this time. I really think with proper training, I could hit a sub-2 half in the next year or so. My problem is consistency. I just don’t stick with it long enough, take lots of random time off… It’s annoying.

      • dgobs says:

        Yeah… I hear that. But making the plan is the first step, right?? One of these days we’ll both get our butts in gear and train properly! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. kebe51 says:

    Keep in mind that W&D is 2 weeks after I’ve (hopefully) survived MCM, which means I’ll be EXTRA slow…so basically, yeah, no training needed for W&D. Except to stretch your stomach with all the yummy treats we’re going to eat!

  4. runsaltrun says:

    Girl you are the master planner!! These are all such realistic goals and it sounds like you’ve taken everything into consideration. I need to take some lessons from you! I do have a loose plan when I’m not training for anything specific, but it’s not nearly as organized. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • DarlinRae says:

      Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ I have to be this organized because if I don’t have a plan, I tend to just let things slide, and then I end up only running once or twice a week and losing all of my hard-earned endurance.

  5. txa1265 says:

    Great plan – and I always think that it is about whatever motivates you and keeps you getting out there.

    Given that I ran for 23 years before my first race … I think it is pretty obvious that I don’t need a race or other milestone to motivate me. I just get up, and am out on the road by 4:30 every morning ๐Ÿ™‚ Yeah, weird.

  6. Nicole @ pink elephant on parade says:

    Uh, when are you brushing on your disney song lyrics? that’s an integral part of training if you’re going to run with us

  7. mostlyhealthyliving says:

    Looks like a well thought out and very realistic schedule. I live and die by training plans and feel totally lost when one race is over and I need to figure out what to do next. That’s kind of where I’m at right now. I’m running a full marathon in October and signed up for a training clinic for that, which begins in mid-June. Just not sure what to do in the meantime!

    By the way, I just nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award. Details at if you want to participate. (No pressure!)

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