Take It and Run Thursday is nothing if not timely for me this week. The subject is "Training Plans Do's and Don'ts." Next week, I start officially training for the two triksos (aka "half marathons") I'm planning on running this spring. I've spent some time choosing the right training program for my schedule, adding it to our online family calendar, working to incorporate some group training runs (as part of my goal of getting to know local runners) and generally geeking out with excitement at the great runs I have ahead of me.
I love training plans. It's like having my very own coach who tells me how far and how fast to run each and every day. There is no doubt in my mind that the training programs I've used for my longer races have gotten me to the starting line prepared and in as good of shape as was possible for me on that given day.
At the same time, an important lesson I've learned is that sometimes, you have to ignore your coach. That is to say that although the training program is important, it's not carved in stone, and some degree of flexibility is vital to my sanity.
For example, sometimes I'm just going to have to take an unscheduled rest day. It could be because I don't feel well, because Jack has pulled on his Cranky Pants and is being a total nightmare and I can't ditch Steve with him, or just because. And if my training plan calls for me to run 10 miles, but there is a 5K that day that I really, really want to run, I am going to make that work.
Running is one of the most important things in my life, but it's not the only thing. As much as I love training, sometimes, I've just got to ignore my coach.