Real Life Runners with Angie and Kevin Brown

338: Plan for Your Success

December 21, 2023 Angie Brown
Real Life Runners with Angie and Kevin Brown
338: Plan for Your Success
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Embark on a journey to elevate your running game with the Real Life Runners podcast, where we unravel the essential elements of a well-crafted running plan. This isn't just about setting a goal; it's about the intricate dance of organization, injury prevention, and consistent progress, whether you're eyeing the finish line or simply seeking improvement. As your faithful guides, we reveal the pitfalls of medium-effort runs and the triumphs of a plan that truly resonates with your life, your abilities, and your ambitions.

Let's get real about the struggles of balancing our passion for running with the chaos of daily life. In a heart-to-heart conversation, we delve into how a structured plan isn't merely a schedule—it's a compass that navigates us through the distractions and maintains our focus on health and fitness goals. We share personal anecdotes and the emotional highs and lows that come with juggling priorities, offering solace in the form of long-term planning and the art of compromise.

As we lace up for the grand finale of our chat, we tackle the paradox of planning meets life's spontaneity, particularly when prepping for a half marathon. We share the secrets to keeping your training palate diverse and delectable, mixing speed workouts with those steady, tempo runs, and the savvy tweaks that keep you on track amidst a hectic schedule. Whether it's juggling long runs or modifying sessions, we're here to help you find the sweet spot between rigorous training and the flexibility life demands, ensuring those less appealing workouts don't fall by the wayside. Tune in for an episode that's packed with insights to keep your running routine as consistent as it is effective.


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Speaker 1:

This is the Real Life Runners podcast, episode number 338. Plan for your success. If you're looking for ways to bring more joy into your running and you want to be a physically and mentally stronger runner, you're in the right place.

Speaker 2:

This is the Real Life Runners podcast, and we're your hosts, kevin and Angie Brown. Thanks for spending some time with us today. Now let's get running.

Speaker 1:

What's up? Runners, welcome to the podcast today. 2023 is almost over. 2024 is right around the corner and, if you're like a lot of runners, you've probably already started to think ahead to what your goals are going to be for 2024. Have you thought ahead of what your goals are going to be. Yes, um, I have not quite finalized them finalized my running goals. I've thought a lot about my other goals in the business and in real life. And I am starting to think about the running goals because I just ran my first race in quite a long time, that last weekend, and I feel like next year I need to run another race.

Speaker 2:

Raise a little bit more.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I think I I'm not as into racing as you are, um, but I do think that a race is good for me occasionally.

Speaker 2:

Yes, that's a good way of putting it. A race might be good for you occasionally.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. So today we want to talk about the importance of having a plan that works for you in your real life, because a lot of times people set goals and then they don't have the plan to back up that goal and to actually help them achieve it. And so what we want to help you understand today is that a plan is the best way to set yourself up for success for any goal, whether this is a goal in your life or a goal in your running. Because a lot of times people will set a goal and they don't necessarily come up with a very structured plan and they kind of just try to get runs in when they can or just work out when they find available time, or they'll set the race as a goal. They'll choose that race first, thinking that it's going to help keep them motivated and thinking it's going to help give them, give them a reason to train. But if they don't find the right training plan, some people don't choose a training plan anyway because there's so many things out there. So it can get very confusing for a lot of people to try to figure out which training plan to use.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, to like get a cup of water out of the fire hydrant is probably not the best option, right, and so I think, a lot of people get stuck in overwhelm and they're like I just don't really know what to do.

Speaker 1:

So I'm just going to go out and run and I'll just increase the length of my long run by a mile every week.

Speaker 2:

Every time until we get to the race, and then I've made it to the distance. Let's do this thing Right, or?

Speaker 1:

Or they end up just kind of putting off finding a training plan and they just keep going out and running and then that lack of structure ends up a lot of times with inconsistency, a lack of commitment and then showing up to a race unprepared.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, lack of structure does tend to lead towards lack of commitment and lack of consistency. It does usually go together.

Speaker 1:

Right. So today we're going to talk about the importance of having a plan, and specifically, the importance of having a plan that actually fits your goal, your abilities and into your real life. Because if you are someone that chooses a training plan based on you know whatever you looked up online, maybe that training plan would be great for you, but maybe it wouldn't, and so today we're going to talk about some of the things we want you to keep in mind when thinking about why you need a plan specifically and then kind of what that plan might look like for you.

Speaker 2:

Excellent, good approach, all right. So we're starting off with, like why do you need a plan in the first place? And one of the first things that came to mind is why actually have some sort of training plan? Is a plan helps keep you organized, instead of simply going out and saying like I'm just going to run based on how I feel on that day? Very often, what happens if you go with I'm just going to run every day based off of how I feel especially if you're, if you're newer at running and you're not used to having a variety of different runs is you maintain that lack of variety, which means you're not going to make huge progress. If you run how you feel most of the time, you're tending, you're going to tend to run medium efforts every single time you go out.

Speaker 1:

Right, and we've talked about this on the podcast before, but running at a medium effort day after day after day is not only not going to lead to long-term progress, but it is a path that will get you towards injury sooner rather than later, because most of your running should be done at an easy pace, and so, when most runners go out, if they're just running by feel, they tend to go out and run at that medium pace, and that is not what you want to be doing. And the thing that I want to point out here, before we go much further, is that this episode especially applies to you if you're not training for a race, because I think that this is what a lot of runners don't really understand either. There's a lot of runners that will get on board with having a training plan for a race, but if you currently do not have a race goal in mind, there's not a lot of runners that just follow another plan for strengthening or for base building or for speed work or to have another goal outside of a race. And what we want you to understand is that it's important to have a plan if you want to improve in any way.

Speaker 2:

Right, like any of those plans could set you up for kind of like a shorter term success. Like, if you're working on speed, then you're like, oh wait, there is a 5k coming up. You could then kind of fine tune 5k race skills in a much smaller window. So many training plans that you find online are all like 12 week plans, as though 12 week is the number that it needs that you need to get ready for. Whatever the race distance is, it depends on what you've been doing. If you've been working on increasing your strength or increasing your speed, you can probably get close to a 5k pretty quickly. If you've been maintaining a long run or you've been building your endurance, you can probably throw in a little bit of speed and be ready for a half marathon pretty quickly. It kind of depends on what you're doing, which is why having a goal, even if it's not connected to a specific race, a goal leads to a plan and a plan leads to improvement.

Speaker 1:

Right, because the plan equals progress. That's really what the big takeaway that we want you to understand from this episode is plan equals progress. So the plan helps you to stay organized, because if you are just going out there every day and just making it up as you go, it's probably going to be an incomplete plan. Because any sort of training plan that you follow, regardless of what the goal is if the goal is a race, if the goal is to get stronger, if the goal is to build your base, there needs to be a certain variety of workouts that you do. There needs to be some speed work. There needs to be some base building, some slower, easier runs. There needs to be distance runs. There needs to be different pieces that are a part of every single plan, regardless of the actual end goal. Okay, the goal will determine the intensity and the frequency of certain things, or maybe the volume of certain things.

Speaker 2:

Does that make sense? Sure, it's the ratios that you're working on, the ratios.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so one way that we improve like the pretty much the path to all improvement in our life is doing things that we are not comfortable with. Right, because if you are constantly doing the things that are comfortable, you're not going to improve. You have to force yourself out of your comfort zone. You have to do things that are uncomfortable, because that leads to a new stimulus in the body and then your body has to figure out oh wait, what is that? I need to adapt in order to get stronger and to be able to accommodate that stress in the future. So that's what leads to growth, that's what leads to change, and some of those things might not be our favorite parts of running. If you're just going out and doing what you feel like every day, most likely you're going to default to the things that you like doing. So if you like easy running, you're probably going to go out and you're going to run easy and you might slack off on the speed work. If you really like speed work, you might slack off on the distance or the easy runs and end up pushing yourself a little too hard. If you don't like strength training, I'm guessing if you're not following a plan where it says strength training is on Wednesday. You'll probably just go for a run instead.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, 100%. I mean this falls into all categories. Maybe you like speed, but you like the shorter, faster stuff rather than like the moderate, stretch out the speed stuff. Are you talking directly to me? I'm talking to so many people. There's all sorts of different nuances within running and it's not just like I prefer easy, like that's not what we're saying here is the default, isn't? I would take it easy every day. That's not everybody's default. Some people would. Some people would just go easy and comfortable every day and never push the speed. Some people would crank speed every single day If they didn't have a plan telling them no speed today. You need to have recovery from yesterday. Some people might skip, like drills, some mobility work, like there are certain things that I know I I tend to skip if I don't consciously make the efforts to include everything on on my schedule, which is why the plan helps the organization.

Speaker 1:

Well, and that's the thing is, some people just forget about them.

Speaker 2:

Right, like. Well, that's the other thing.

Speaker 1:

Legit forget right, because if you're just going out and kind of doing whatever you feel like every day, you'd be like, oh you know what, I haven't done drills in a while, I haven't done strides, and I don't even know the last time I did strides, right, like, and if you have a plan, those things are on the plan, you don't have to think about it. It kind of takes that out of the equation. It helps keep you organized and it helps make sure that you are hitting all these pieces that are going to actually lead to improvement.

Speaker 2:

Right and that's where the big thing is is you have to hit all the pieces. Most running should be pretty repetitive. Like, if you look at like a long three month training plan, there's going to be a lot of days on there that are repeated. Most of the easy days are going to be repeated. Maybe it's an easy day and some drills afterwards. Maybe there's strides on occasion on those easy days, but it's very repetitive because you want to build this base that you're comfortable with as a runner. Like, every day shouldn't be this like mental challenge of I don't know how this one's going to go. Like there should be some comfort in most of your training, but occasionally you need to test the limits, you need to push some boundaries and say, hey, is it possible for me to do this thing? Because that's where the growth comes in, in that question mark of how is this workout that I haven't done or that I haven't done recently, how is this one going to play out for me?

Speaker 1:

Right, and if you have a clear plan, it helps you to lay out and make sure that you are incorporating all the different types of workouts, and you're doing that ahead of time. If you're someone that likes to make your own plan, or if you're someone that likes to, you know, find a plan online. Either way, you know that this plan is structured and you know that the plan includes all the pieces that you need to include in order for you to get better. And it's not just based on how you feel, because we all know that sometimes making decisions based on how we're feeling at any given moment sometimes doesn't lead to the best decision. It's like going to the grocery store when you're hungry, right, and it's like I'm you're more, you're less likely to choose like a healthier option that might take a little longer to prepare, and you're much more likely to just go to the pre package or pre prepared food section because you're so hungry that you just need to eat something. You're going to grab something that's going to be fast and that's going to be quick, and maybe it's. Maybe you just go to fast food instead, right? You're so hungry that instead of even going to the grocery store, you go through the local drive through instead.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and if you go to the grocery store, you know you're making one of those, like those family favorites that you've made week after week after week. You're like, well, I think it's time for tacos again. Yeah, well, it's taco Tuesday, that's cool, but now it's also taco Thursday and Friday, because you're hungry and you're at the grocery store and you know it's quick. you know it's quick and you know everybody's going to eat it, so you stick with what you know. Sometimes you have to venture out and try some different things. That's how we grow.

Speaker 1:

Right, and there's nothing wrong with tacos. Nope, right, but do you really want to be eating tacos every single night? I mean, some people might be shaking their head and say, yes, that sounds like a wonderful idea.

Speaker 2:

I mean it doesn't sound terrible, I'll give you that. It's just not something a bad idea.

Speaker 1:

You can do tacos in so many different ways, right? You could do a taco salad, you can do a taco bowl, you can do hard tacos and soft tacos. We like to talk about Mexican food a lot around here, because it's a lot of the same stuff. Kevin's like rolling his eyes at me right now, but it like think about Mexican food. We're going to go off on a little tangent here. But like tacos, burritos, enchiladas, chimichangas, like all these things, they're all the same stuff, just rolled up in different ways.

Speaker 2:

Meat cheese and salsa wrapped in a tortilla.

Speaker 1:

It's all a different version of meat cheese salsa in a tortilla or not a tortilla. Maybe it's on rice instead.

Speaker 2:

It's all in a tortilla chip involved, if that's the case, nuchos.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and I'm like what's? What's really the difference between an enchilada and a burrito? Hmm, meat cheese sauce tortilla.

Speaker 2:

We gotta figure out the standup comedian we ripped this bit off from, because that's where it was.

Speaker 1:

Is there a comedian?

Speaker 2:

That's where this entire joke came from. Oh really, he's got a whole bit on it, See you're the comedian, not me. There you go.

Speaker 1:

All right. So the plan helps keep you organized. The plan helps make sure that you're getting all the pieces in that are actually going to lead to progress. The second thing we want to talk about is that a plan having a plan helps to clarify your priorities. It helps you to prioritize your health, your fitness and your training, because a lot of times we think, oh well, I'll just kind of move everything around if Real life pops in, because I don't want to inconvenience my family, I don't want to put my training ahead of my kids or, you know, taking them to sports or all these other things. But if we do that, if we base our training on everyone else's schedules, that's going to almost definitely lead to inconsistency, which then often leads to frustration with ourselves. There's that feeling of guilt that you're not doing the things that you want to be doing and then, whether or not you'd like to admit it, sometimes that can even lead to resentment for the people that you're actually doing the things for, because you're doing things for other people and you're putting yourself and your priorities on the back burner.

Speaker 2:

I think this also leads to this weird swing between over and under training, because you go from trying to satisfy everybody else and being like, well, I'll put my training on the back burner, and now you've got like a super down week because you're running around doing things for other people. Then you get all annoyed, resentful, you don't take it out on them. You're like all right, I have to prioritize myself. And so you ramp the mileage the next week. Now you've over-trained that week. Now you're too hurt. You're like well, I mean, I can't really walk very well, so I guess I can take care of my family again for this next week. There's no consistency in training. You're just swinging back between extremes, which is not a good way to train for a big goal.

Speaker 1:

That's very true. I don't really think of it that way, but that often is what happens.

Speaker 2:

It's the over-under-training vicious cycle of I'll help others and now focus on myself, and now others and now myself, which is fine over seasons, but not ideal from like one week to the next.

Speaker 1:

So when you design this long-term plan, if you have a goal, whether or not it's a goal that is your current cycle or if it's a goal later in the year, maybe it's a goal that's actually a couple of years away. Maybe you're building up to like a really big thing. When you help design this long-term plan, you can start to see the time commitment that is involved and you can start to try to plan ahead for possible obstacles that might pop up during the along the way, like vacations or other commitments that might kind of get in the way of your training.

Speaker 2:

Right and you can literally see, like the daily time commitment involved and decide whether this is a goal. Like it sounds like a great goal, but when you start seeing the time commitment that you actually have to put in day upon day, is that a goal that you're willing to fully commit to? Or do you have other things in your life that you're like I don't want to adjust these things for this goal? Maybe you do, Maybe there are adjustments in your life that you want to make and maybe you see the adjustments that would need to be made and you decide that's not a goal I want to pursue right now. I'd argue that this is why Angie hasn't completed a marathon.

Speaker 1:

It is, and that's exactly that's exactly why I haven't. I don't have that burning desire within me to do the marathon right now, because I would much rather focus on other priorities, and for a long time it was our kids being little, and there are people that would argue with me on this and say, of course you have time to do this and of course you know you can make it fit if you want to and again, that's the phrase if you want to, and to me I would. There's other things that I would much rather pursue and other things that I would like to invest my time and energy to, other than marathon training, and that's why I like the shorter distances I love, you know, 10 Ks or half marathons or the 10 mile really intrigues me, and I was so close to applying for a 10, the 10 mile cherry blossom race next year. But again, I just signed up for a new business coaching program and um and mastermind group and that has a live event in April, which is the same month as the cherry blossom. So again, that's going to take priority for me. When I look at the time commitment Plus, our kids have a lot of things in April too and our, our daughters graduating in May, so there's going to be a ton of end of the year stuff going on, and so right now in this season of my life, that's not the priority. It will be at some point, it's just not right now.

Speaker 2:

Right and it's fine to make that call. Signing up for a marathon and then being like, oh shoot, how do I make everything work, Does not seem like a successful way to train for or ultimately race, the marathon, because you want the support from the people around you and it's tough to get the support from people around you If you're kind of going back and forth between this, like I'm committed to my thing but I want to like help the people around me and support my family, Like there's like the two, the two timelines don't actually they don't merge well with each other If you're trying to make both of them your top priority. You can't make two things your top priority.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and I think that's one of the reasons that you chose not to coach track a couple of years ago, because you wanted to pursue your 100 mile goal.

Speaker 2:

I believe the exact phrase you said was if you would like to race 100 miles, you cannot coach track. I believe those were the words.

Speaker 1:

I really don't believe that those were the words. I believe that, knowing myself and I think all of our coaching clients can vouch for me on this, because they know that I don't just come out and say you can or you cannot. Well, I do say you can, because that is one of my favorite phrases is helping people believe that they can do things. But I probably asked you the question. I believe that the question that I asked you was do you think that you want to do both of these things at the same time? Will you be showing up in the way that you want to show up for each of these things if you do them at the same time?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and it really. It highlights that I could not train productively and put the time commitment into track, because the time commitment for track is huge, Like meets are intense.

Speaker 1:

Especially when you're coaching the whole team by yourself, with no assistant.

Speaker 2:

Right, there is a lot of time involved. Meets get really hard and you know me Like you just you know how I've been over the course of track seasons is it just wears on me Like?

Speaker 1:

I'm you get so stressed out.

Speaker 2:

I'm mentally spent by the end, which is no way to be training for a super long race. It's just not a good combo.

Speaker 1:

Well, especially with your history of seizures right and like one of the things yeah, no one needs that combo. One of the things that we learned on that journey is stress plays a huge role, and so if you are gonna be undergoing a huge physical stress of training for a 100 mile race, then you have to try to minimize some of the other areas of normal stress in your life the mental stress, the emotional stress, the psychological stress that comes along with some of the other things. And there are certain things that you can't get rid of. Right, you're not getting rid of me, you're not getting rid of the girls, and, as much as you love us, we obviously contribute to some stress in your life. You can't get rid. Well, you could, but you weren't going to get rid of your full-time teaching job at that time. So what gives right? And this is kind of the question that we all have to ask ourselves what do I want to give in this situation? Do I want to press pause on the pursuit of my goal, or do I want to press pause on some other thing in my life to make room for my goal?

Speaker 2:

Right, because ultimately something is gonna need to get compromised on this thing. And so I changed. Like I could have done both. I could have like legitimately trained for the race, but I would have had to show up as a coach as, like a shell of myself, I would have had to be like completely emotionally detached from it. And that's just not how I coach. Like that's just not how that works at all for me. So we talk about making these adjustments and I think if you've got a plan laid out there and you end up realizing that you're gonna need to be making constant adjustments, basically every single day, that plan might not be the right plan for you, and it could be for a whole wide variety of reasons. Maybe that plan just doesn't fit your lifestyle, but the goal might not be the right goal, like if you're like I have to keep putting these other things that I prioritize in the backseat, but then maybe the goal doesn't work. Maybe the timeline doesn't work for you. Like I'm trying to ramp up my mileage because I have a marathon in three months, but I don't see how I can possibly be putting in the multiple hour long weekend runs. I just it can't fit over the course of the next month. I've got a vacation and then we've got this other thing and out of town for another thing. Maybe the timeline, maybe the season of life is not right. There's always gonna be conflicts, and so kind of having that plan laid out and seeing the potential conflicts whether it's like a vacation or like just day-to-day conflicts that you're gonna have lets you know whether that plan is actually gonna make sense for you, if that goal makes sense, if that timeline makes sense.

Speaker 1:

Right, and then again, it allows you to decide what your priorities are going to be. Yes, in that moment, I'm not here to tell you you can do this thing or you can't do this thing. It's okay. Here's the situation right. Here's what's going to be required if this is the goal that you want to achieve. Is this something that you want? Is this something that you wanna prioritize? Is this something that you can fit into your real life right now, that just slides right in and totally fits? Or are you gonna have to make some adjustments to your real life in order to make this fit, and are those adjustments that you wanna make?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's the last one. Are those adjustments that you wanna make? I was trying to think of some examples for this one. I don't know a specific example of this, but this popped in my head. I'm like how do tax accountants prep for the Boston Marathon? I feel like that is a really bad combination timeline for any tax accountant.

Speaker 1:

I mean I'm sure there are accountants that do it.

Speaker 2:

I'm sure it happens. It just seems like a really bad combination. Same thing happens in a war in the winter season here and big college football fans ourselves. The college bowl season and finals don't seem to mesh well, Like how are you successful in your bowl game and studying for a collegiate exam?

Speaker 1:

Well, I think that that's what leads a lot of people to move over toward the pros a little bit sooner right Rather than later, because that isn't their priority. Their priority is football for a lot of them, right and then so it does get very tricky, that's for sure. So a plan will help you to stay organized and create more structure. A plan will help you to figure out what you wanna prioritize. And a plan will also create flexibility, and this is the thing that people. When we say this, people are like wait what? Because they get that it creates structure and they that it will create that stability for you. But when we tell people, no, no, no, the plan actually helps create more flexibility, they're not quite sure. And the reason that this happens is because you know what you need to do. So now all you have to do is kind of figure out where you're putting those things Right and and so, for some reason, if you're not able to run on a Tuesday and that's what your training plan says, but life comes up and you know, okay, well, this is what my week looks like. I can just move that to Wednesday, or I can move that to Thursday. I can adjust. In that way it's going to allow you to be much more flexible, because you're not just trying to stick things in whatever you can.

Speaker 2:

Right, because you know that if you, if you miss the run on Tuesday let's say you do speed on Tuesday that's going to domino effect the whole rest of the week. Like, do you just shove it back by a day? Well, now you're doing speed on Wednesday. Were you planning on doing another speed session on Thursday? Were you supposed to have an off day on Wednesday? That doesn't exist. Are you now doubling up a run and a strength day? There's going to be some effect from things getting moved. So the more structure you have, the more like you have the plan laid out. You know, oh, I can just move it to this day and it's going to be fine. Knowing what like the purpose of that run is and the like the priority of that particular section of your training cycle allows you to be like, oh, I could skip that run or I could move that and make that my my Thursday or my Friday speed session and the whole plan is still going to work. Screwing up one day does not. It's not like pulling out the bottom of a Jenga stack and the whole thing goes down Like you're just, you're fine, you just move one little brick and you adjust and everything works out fine for you.

Speaker 1:

Exactly so you know. The other thing that the plan allows you to do is it's it's to see multiple weeks at a time. Yeah, right, so if you do miss a speed session and you understand, okay, what's the purpose of that session, right, maybe it's a tempo run, maybe it's a higher end speed workout where you're working on, like your, your faster pace running. That's going to help you figure out, okay. Well, next week, you know, can I fit something in next week and kind of move things around a little bit? Or if I if I'm just going to skip this one, do I have another workout similar to that coming up in the next couple of weeks, so that you're not just eliminating it completely?

Speaker 2:

Right, cause if you look ahead and you don't have a similar workout coming in a couple of weeks, you probably need to find some place to put that in. Maybe, like you said, if it's a higher speed, if you're working on VO2 max, that doesn't come into the plans very often because it gets you pretty tired, especially if you're training for, like, a longer distance race. So you might want to kind of put that in place of one of the more moderate, stretched out, slower speed sessions, because you know you're going to get plenty of those, so slide that thing in there. Or maybe you're just you're physically exhausted, maybe life has just gotten to be a lot that week and you can take that thing out and be like you know what strides is going to be sufficient, because I know that my high end speed is good, so I'll just maintain it with some quality strides and then we're just going to keep on moving on. But when you have the schedule, you don't see this like nonstop obstacle If you turn left, obstacle if you turn right. You see options laid out in front of you rather than just barriers for your success.

Speaker 1:

Right. So I think that one of the things that people often misunderstand when it comes to having a training plan is that people think if I have a training plan, that means I have to do every single workout on the plan. And this is real life. The chances and the likelihood of you doing every single workout on the plan is pretty low. Right, that's why you have the comprehensive plan, so that if you miss a day here or there, all of your progress, all of your, the effort that you've put in, has not gone to waste, because you can just, most of the time, just resume right where you left off. If you're only missing a day or two, right, because you know that that plan is built to cycle through things. That's the thing. Like you're doing one tempo workout in your half marathon training cycle, you know that you're probably going to be cycling through things based on whether or not you're doing one workout a week or two workouts a week. I know that, like, the way that I like to usually train for a half marathon is I like to have two speed workouts, because I prefer speed workouts to easy runs. Now, I don't know if that's necessarily the truth, because I've become much more fond of easy runs.

Speaker 2:

It would be interesting.

Speaker 1:

Yeah so, but the way that I, the last half marathon I trained for and I would do higher end speed on Tuesday and then I would do a tempo or a steady state run on Thursday, and so I knew that if I were to miss one of those, I had another speed workout coming out.

Speaker 2:

You got the next week coming.

Speaker 1:

I got it next week right. If you are someone that only does one speed workout a week, it if you're, you know, one of our clients inside the academy we often will cycle through that. So if you're doing one speed workout a week, one week will be higher end speed, the next week will be more of a tempo or steady state, and then week three would go back to the higher end speed and you kind of like alternate back and forth, back and forth. So again you know kind of what's coming up, so that if you miss a day it's easier for you to just be flexible and know okay, don't nothing to worry about here, I'm going to hit that effort level in a week or in two weeks and I still have plenty of time before my goal.

Speaker 2:

Well, this is where the the organization that we talked about at the beginning and flexibility work together to try to really optimize your training. Because if you don't have the big picture plan laid out, we can be super, super flexible on days where we don't want to do that workout in the first place, Like I am incredibly flexible around my lift sessions Super flexible oh man, I don't know if I really have time to squeeze that in today Incredibly flexible on those. But there's other days that we're super rigid on of well, I've got to get in this particular type of run. We we can skip things that we don't enjoy and not skip things that we're like no, no, I'm good with this, I'm comfortable with this. So having that bigger picture organization kind of helps us really see and make sure that we're still checking the boxes, that we're not regularly being flexible on the same thing and suddenly we don't have any higher end speed or we've we've missed, we've cut our long run short for the last three or four weeks in a row, Like these things, that there's going to be a regular pattern on things that you might not necessarily enjoy and, yes, part of it is flexibility, but part of it might just be that you're trying to get to be a little more flexible on things that you don't want to do in the first place.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and I think about training planning, kind of the same, or similarly to meal planning.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

When you plan your meals for the week and then you go to the grocery store and you buy the food for those meals when it gets to Wednesday, like I don't like. When I do meal planning, I like to plan out five dinners. Instead of saying on Monday we're having this, on Tuesday, we're having this, on Wednesday, we're having this, I just say, okay, these are the five dinners that we're having this week. And then when the days kind of come along, then I have flexibility to say, all right, monday night we ended up the girls ended up having a lot of homework and we had to help them with homework, so we have less time to prepare dinner. So we're going to choose one of these options that is faster to prepare but we already have all the ingredients, so we don't have to go to the grocery store. We don't have to figure out what we're making. We have five options, or maybe at that point in the week it's we're down to three options, right, and it's like, okay, well, that's what we're going to make. And then now I know what recipe I'm making. I already know that I have the ingredients and I know exactly how much time that recipe takes to make.

Speaker 2:

Right you've got I mean, that's the exact matchup of how it works with your training schedule is maybe long runs don't work for you on the weekend, but we have a client, a personal client who does long runs on Thursdays Because that's the day that fits with their work schedule and that's fine. Like you've got different workouts during the week that are going to take a different amount of time and within some general guidelines of trying not to put the speed in the long run back to back or a speed and a speed back to back, you can move some things around, you can adjust some work on to be like all right, this is going to be my high end speed, but I need to tweak the plan so that it's a higher end speed that isn't going to take me 45 minutes, it isn't going to take me an hour. I need a higher end speed that I can get in and out and be done in 30 minutes. I need a tempo session that I can be in and out and done in 30 minutes. Like there are workouts that can fit into an adjusted timeline. Around the holidays I've been trying to help out a lot of our you know one on ones. A lot of this week is chaos. I'm going to do the best I can, but can there be some workout options in here? Sure, here's what works if you have all the time, and here's what works if you have none of the time. Let's get something in so that you can maintain some consistency.

Speaker 1:

Right, and all of that is possible with the plan. Okay, so, as a little recap, a plan will help you to be more organized and have more structure, which is going to help you actually make progress, because you're going to know that you're hitting all the pieces that are going to lead to the progress, that are going to help you run faster, run longer, avoid injury, achieve whatever goal it is. You have a clear path to get there. The plan is also going to help you define your priorities so that you can double check and make sure that is a goal that you want to shoot for and that you are giving yourself the proper timeline to achieve that goal. And then the plan is also going to give you the flexibility so that when real life comes in because it always will, real life will always come in and always play a role you have the flexibility to move things around and not get completely derailed from the progress and from the goal that you're trying to achieve. Excellent, sorry, I like it.

Speaker 2:

Thank you all right.

Speaker 1:

So that's what we have for you guys today. Last week we know we went long. Today we're going to go shorter, but we've got great news. If this resonated with you, if you're like okay, now I understand, I need to have a plan and I need to have a plan that's not just based on a race schedule. I need to have a plan that leads into a plan. Maybe you're not quite sure you know exactly what that should look like. We've got great news the five day running challenge is back. We're doing a brand new five day running challenge, january 1st through 5th of 2024. We are going to be talking all about how to run your best half marathon in 2024. We're going to be talking about five of the biggest mistakes that we see runners making and how you can avoid them, and we're going to be talking about the five most critical keys for you to have success, to find success in the half marathon, so that you can run your best half marathon in 2024. So, if you want to sign up for that free five day challenge, head over to fivedayrunningchallengecom and get yourself signed up so that we can start with you on January 1st. And, as always, if this episode was helpful. Please leave us a review on Apple podcasts and share it with a friend, and thank you for spending this time with us. This has been the Real Life Runners Podcast, episode number 338. Now get out there and run your life.

Importance of Having a Running Plan
Benefits of Planning and Prioritizing Goals
Balancing Priorities and Goals
Planning and Flexibility in Training