Tone It Up Tuesday: Is it time for a training program?

I’ve been debating lately about what I will do next with my running, especially since yesterday’s run didn’t go exactly as planned. Last week I wrote about the next six weeks and what I plan to do there in regards to running, yoga, and my body weight training I’ve got going on. However, I wonder what will come at the end of those six weeks? I have some goals of how I’d like to see it all turn out and I’m pretty confident that I can reach those goals, but what happens when I don’t?

As a degreed and certified fitness professional, it would be great if I had all the answers when it came to my own training, but I don’t.

A few years back I had decided to do another half-Ironman triathlon and I set out training seriously about 8 months out. I wrote out my every day and I was so diligent about training for the first five months that if something came up and I couldn’t do a scheduled workout; I made it up the next day. This lead to some serious overtraining if I had a fun weekend and skipped a few two a days. There were a few days that involved teaching 3 classes, swimming over lunch, biking to and from work, an afternoon run and strength training. Not something I recommend for anyone who is trying to do training in a safe manner.

I decided, as one of my 30 days, to run a race this fall. I have picked out the event and I’m saving up to sign up. I’m also trying to figure out how to best progress toward this goal. Part of the problem is that I’m trying to decide if I want to try for a PR (although this far from having competed I’m not sure what time to shoot for) or just to know that I finished without walking or quitting all together. Each of these factors will lead to a different training style for me. I also have to consider if I’m going to run with my friends or just sign up and go out to compete with my friends. Again, another factor that will determine training. Finally, I have to consider all of the other demands of my training. My training is not just geared toward this one race.

In an average week I teach between 3 and 10 hours of yoga. My training incorporates that and feeds it. I have to be cautious not to put too long of a run on the same day that I will be teaching for 6 hours. In the Spring and the Fall I have sessions where I am teaching a much more vigorous style of yoga and that shouldn’t be preceded nor followed by a HIIT workout. I also travel for work and am expected to physically perform at each of these jobs and therefore have to balance my training to be able to do the work, but also be able to do the work.

As a degreed and certified fitness professional, it would be great if I had all the answers when it came to my own training, but I don’t. I’m constantly learning and I believe that it helps make my training and my clients’ training all the better for it. What I do for myself is not what I recommend for others and vice versa. Each client, each person, is a different athlete and therefore needs something different. I have been toying with the idea of using a training program for this race and here are the top five contenders in no particular order:

  1. On the recommendation of Caitlin at Fit and Feminist: Run Less, Run Faster I was hoping this one would be available at my library, but it is not.
  2. Sarah over at Sarah Runs is using another program that Caitlin mentions: Hal Higdon Novice 2 but both of these are geared toward a full on marathon and I’m not training for that…..
  3. My own half-Ironman training program from before. It wasn’t super specific and it had lots of different activities woven in, but I won’t have access to a pool (nor do I need to swim for this event) or a real set of weights. I think I’ve also lost some of the workouts that were from Fitness magazine (one of my favorites for the fun and variety was the Drop a Jean upgradeSize workout…..not that that was the goal).
  4. Another canned program like those being offered on ExRx.net or the ones just emailed to me by MapMyRun (where I log all of my running and teaching). But I don’t want to upgrade and I feel like I need something more personal.
  5. So, that leaves me with option number 5: write my own new plan as I have been doing and maybe consult with a few of my runner friends and other fitness colleagues.

If you have a favorite run cycle or training set that you’d like to share, I’d love to hear it!

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