So I’ve received numerous questions about the training plan I used for Long Beach. As you all know, the main purpose of my running is to have fun and because I’m crazy and truly love to run. Sometimes people ask me why I run and most of the time I cannot even explain to them why I do it. I do it because, for me, it clears my mind and makes me feel free. It allows me my own time and time to reflect on so many different aspects of my life, from family, to friends, to work and to my past, present and future. I also have no one to report to but myself. Yes, I have been running for over ten years now, but I just recently started back into entering in races. I truly believe that anyone can run. It’s not about how fast you go, or what your time is. It’s about doing something that you love and you’d be surprised how addicting running can be.
It sounds strange that I do so much thinking when I run, but there are some runs when I can just zonk out and go into the ‘zone’ too and those runs are great as well. Music makes me run faster and I love just enjoying my time outside and doing something for myself.
Most of the runs I did during my training for Long Beach were strictly for fun, which worked out perfectly for me. You may realize that I put a lot of pressure on myself to succeed. I hold myself to a high standard throughout my life and I think it began with running when I started racing in high school. I’m highly competitive and even to this day when I do track workouts or try to run a faster workout I can still hear my coach in my head. The runs I did for Long Beach were NOT pressured at all, and were just to ‘get in the miles’, to get my legs ready for the race.
There were pace guidelines that we talked about doing for training, but I, as you can tell never did any tempo work or speed work or any type of faster workout. I only did general (relaxed/enjoyable) and long (SLOW ha, ha) and then easy/recovery for my paces. Most of the times I felt like being speedy I did a faster workout on either Tuesday or Thursday. If I felt like being fast, I would pound out the miles, however fast I wanted to go. Which I liked because I wasn’t pressured to hit a time goal. I also do not run with a heart rate monitor, which I think helps me not feel pressured. Then, if I felt like going slow, I went slow. The long runs were pretty slow, mostly around 9:30 pace. Most of my Tuesday and Thursday runs were around 8:00-9:00 pace and if I felt speedy they were ranging in 7:00-8:00 pace. I liked this plan because obviously, it was pretty crammed, but I wasn’t overworked and didn’t hate running come race day. I had a decent base going into it so that wasn’t my problem at all, I was running about 20-25 miles a week before I started on the ‘plan’. I really think that this plan helped me to not get burnt out and not put too much pressure on myself throughout the training and I still enjoyed running when the time came to race.
Running four days a week seemed perfect for me because I still had time to relax and rest, and getting in some miles after work or before work worked well for me. I wasn’t overwhelmed which made running way more fun. I would totally try to find a plan that works for you. You can tailor your own plan or use other plans, but for me, this worked out perfectly. I think running is all about you, and no one else, and that’s why this plan worked for me. It was MY plan that fit with MY schedule, instead of squeezing in crappy runs here and there, I had more than ample time to get them done and felt great about most of them.
I am taking a rest day today and will be up and hopefully running tomorrow morning. I have had a little bit of weird pain in my arch, so I just wanted to take a little rest to make sure it was nothing serious and the pain is slowly fading. Hopefully I can run tomorrow am!