Does anyone else not use a training plan?

I see so many people asking about training plans on here and I have tried myself to stick to one but I end up just going out when I get the chance.

Some weeks I might run short distances to work. Some I might do longer distances at home. All practically at the same pace apart from longer than 10k runs.

I'm not great but I am usually in the to 10-20% maybe in races. I did join a club but can't be structured due to other commitments. 

Plus might be just me but I tend to just enjoy going out when I feel like it.  Id love to get under 40 for a 10k but feel that I would have to become much more structured in terms of doing slow runs/intervals etc

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Comments

  • Yes, loads of people. They probably don't talk about it as much though because there are fewer details to fine-tune in discussion with others!

    I used to just run when I felt like it (most days, 4-7 miles, whatever pace I felt like) but then follow a 10-week plan leading up to a target race. Maybe that would be a good compromise if you want to get a 10k PB but also spend most of your time just doing what you feel like.

  • To be fair I struggle sticking to a 1 week plan, let alone 10 weeks.

    Building up to a race I just make sure I increase my mileage and get some speed work in, thats about how far my structure goes, not very professional.

    I think I just like running and I like going faster but I don't have the dedication to stick to a plan. Maybe I'm just doomed to forever be outside 40 mins image

  • I think training structure doesn't have to be all or nothing. For instance, you could make the first run of each week a tempo run and the second intervals. That way, the most important types of run get done each week.



    Or perhaps do a distance, then a tempo, then a speed session. Go through them in order. When you've time, you'll do all 3 in 5 days. When you're busy, it will take a couple of weeks.



    You can improve if you're prepared to put SOME structure to your training. Looked at another way, you will be making the most out of the time that you DO have ??????
  • I don't use a plan but lots do. Its quite often a question of personality. Some need to be told what to do, even on their days off.

    I used a plan simply to prevent myself getting injured. It worked beyond all expectations. 84 to 76 minutes for a HM in one year.

    Now its day to day guess work. Plans are usually based on being able to recover from 'whats on the list'. If you cannot recover in time, the plan doesn't work.

  • I run according to how I feel.  I have a few personal rules, ie sufficient rest days, tapering before longer races, trying not to overtrain etc.

    However, I have entered my first marathon (which is April, 2015) and may follow a plan for that event, I will see how I go.

  • I've followed training plans for certain races, I have to admit that my performance was pretty close to optimal for those races. Certainly saw good results.

    Otherwise I have just run how I felt.

  • I have done both but the best results have always come from following a plan. I'm much better when I have something to focus on.
  • I don't have a set plan but aim to tick certain boxes each week (e.g. a long run, 2 x sessions, approx 40 miles total). How I achieve that tends to alter each week which keeps the fun in it I guess

  • The problem I find with plans is that they are 'one size fits all'. As a 49 year old woman, my training needs are going to be very different from a man in his twenties. I managed 3:50 at VLM this year, but did not follow a plan as I find I need to factor in recovery from my lsr. I agree that you need a mix of lsr, threshold and speed work, each week, but real life gets in there as well, so fit the runs in around everything else.  Plans also do not take into account if you pick up a slight niggle and want to take it easy for a day or so to recover. 

  • True. I always have some element of flexibility when following a plan to allow for niggles, work etc.
  • I have spent ages over the years devising training plans leading up to races, and then ignoring them.  No point in planning a 5 mile easy run when you only have a half hour window that day.

    I like some of the suggestions here though - 3 key sessions a week and it doesn't matter too much when you do them (keeping an eye on recovery).  Stick the list on the fridge, choose the one you fancy that day, and off you go.  I could do that!

  • I use a training plan but mainly use it to pick up training/interval sessions as a rough guide to the type of running I should be doing tempo, speed, brick, endurance but I then try to structure my week based on how I feel. To me a training plan is just that a plan of what you ideally will do if everything is going well work, commitments, body niggles, tiredness all need to play a part when implementing the plan so it is good to have a plan but much better to use your own judgement to adapt this if you need during the week.

  • I don't use one, struggling to get out on regular days due to work and family life. I'd like to get under 40min 10km too but I don't want it enough to make the necessary sacrifices at the moment. I just enjoy running and less keen on time tabling.
  • I think you need to be flexible.

    I don't follow a plan.i don't even do a weekly plan.....I do try and have some aims in a month though

  • I work standing up for around 50 hours per week currently, so planning would be foolish. Recovering from work is just as essential as recovering from running, as a newbie I'm not sure currently which is the more gruelling activity. I just go out 3-4 times a week and enjoy running, moving my distances and mileage along over time. I'm pretty sure once I find out more about my limits and recovery a flexible structure will generate automatically. image

  • I think most people do actually have some kind of plan, even if it's not an official one.  I only started running to a proper plan when doing my first marathon, but I ran with aims and goals and an idea of which days I was going to run and how far I wanted to go. I can't imagine there are many people who just run on a whim, not when they have race aims in mind.  Either running is a purely enjoyable thing that you do with no quest or purpose, or you do something to quicken your race times, which will involve sticking to some kind of routine or at least some thought-through processes.

    For what it's worth, I have found running to a plan has greatly improved my performance, as running sessions based on my own knowledge are so much more limited than the wealth of experience that the people writing the plans have.  If I were aiming at something in particular I would now always look for a plan, but feel ready to be flexible with it if it didn't work for me or something came up to prevent me following it to the letter.  I am the kind of person that likes being told what to do though image

  • Ive never been one for training plans, just run wild and free. ha ha. I was getting bored of running though so I joined a local running club. Theirs a different session each week (temp, interval, hills etc) so I guess im getting a structured and varied training plan by default. 

  • Running is a simple sport why make it complicated? Just get out  there and run. It does not matter if it is a mile, 2 mile, 5k, 10k, 10 miler, HM, Marathon or Ultra Marathon race. Big deal if you train for it or not. Just get out there and run!

    Lots of runners get stressed out about missing a training run or fitting in enough miles or worries about Where is the fine in that? Just get out and run! No wonder there are lots of so called experts cashing in on people's fear of failure or fear of potential injury. Just get out there and run!

  • I find them useful. I am busy at work and with kids so I find it hard to keep track of how many weeks I have before an event so like to map out the increase in mileage and pace so I hit the right levels at the time of the event. Getting the right mix of hills, intervals & tempo runs is always tricky as I sometimes cannot remember what I did last week so the plan helps me there also.

    Sure you could do it roughly in your head but I just find it easier to note it down a few months in advance and can then check the plan everytime I leave for a run. If I miss one or need to move things around I am not bothered I don't get stressed about it I just find it useful.

  • I have a rough kind of unwritten plan, which is to do three or four runs a week. One or two are standard comfortable plods of about an hour, one is much longer - two to two and a half hours, and one is much harder such as reps or hills or a decent tempo.

    And that's it. In-between days are cross-training on the rowing machine (following pretty much the same sequence as the running).

    I think some of these plans you see floating around take more effort to devise than to carry out.

    And I also think that it largely depends on character and lifestyle. Not to take the piss, but there are folk who need to be told that today is 54 minutes and 30 seconds at hr 68.3 per cent of max on average, and tomorrow is 42 minutes and 10 seconds of which 71 per cent of the time you need to be between 82 and 84.8 per cent of max hr.

    And there are folk who just need to know that today is a plod, tomorrow is a tempo.

    I'm in the latter camp image

  • I don't use a training plan purely because of all of the other sport I do in the week. It bothers me somewhat that I can't go out and do the plan to the full, but I figure that my netball and swimming helps with my running in the long run.... 

  • Muttley wrote (see)

    I have a rough kind of unwritten plan, which is to do three or four runs a week. One or two are standard comfortable plods of about an hour, one is much longer - two to two and a half hours, and one is much harder such as reps or hills or a decent tempo.

    And that's it. In-between days are cross-training on the rowing machine (following pretty much the same sequence as the running). I think some of these plans you see floating around take more effort to devise than to carry out. And I also think that it largely depends on character and lifestyle. Not to take the piss, but there are folk who need to be told that today is 54 minutes and 30 seconds at hr 68.3 per cent of max on average, and tomorrow is 42 minutes and 10 seconds of which 71 per cent of the time you need to be between 82 and 84.8 per cent of max hr. And there are folk who just need to know that today is a plod, tomorrow is a tempo. I'm in the latter camp image

    There's different phases in a running life aren't there.

    I used to do whatever I fancied made up on the spot. Brought me to a decent pace. But after a while you need a proper structure to get the most out of yourself, mixed in with a strong core and luck with injuries.

    Then one day it probably morphs back into a more enjoyable, unstructured plan again.

     

  • RoadWarrior wrote (see)

    Running is a simple sport why make it complicated? Just get out  there and run. It does not matter if it is a mile, 2 mile, 5k, 10k, 10 miler, HM, Marathon or Ultra Marathon race. Big deal if you train for it or not. Just get out there and run!

    Lots of runners get stressed out about missing a training run or fitting in enough miles or worries about Where is the fine in that? Just get out and run! No wonder there are lots of so called experts cashing in on people's fear of failure or fear of potential injury. Just get out there and run!

    Beautiful sentiments.

    But probably a quick fire way to get injured and plateau!

  • But Stevie you have a coach and follow a plan, and get injured on a regular basis.

  • I get quite concerned at some people who train for, say a half marathon or a 10k by sticking rigidly to the training plan and then when the race is over and done with, they quit all training until their next event, where they will basically, start again from scratch.

    I wonder where the idea came from that once the said event has been run, to not bother with any more training until the following year, where they begin it all again?  They would be better off continuing with their running until the next race surely.

  • Lotus flower- yes, obviuosly it is not great that there are people that just give up altogether after their target race, but at least they are getting into the habitt of running, and hopefully after a few races, they get sufficiently ingrained into it that they incorporate it into their daily life, and start running as a habit.

    Sticking to a training plan depends on your life style/ goals in running/ priority that you give your running over the rest of your life.

    I have a bizarre work pattern ( surgeon, work 60 hr per week, plus a few overnight shifts which can be very tiring), and I'm 49, so need decent recovery time after either sleep deprivation, long difficult operations, or long runs, so I can't go much beyond 3 -4 runs per week, even after 10 marathons, and a handful of ultras.

    If you are fit enough/ have a predictable enough life to stick to a trainig plan, thst's probably the best way to optimise performance. This is obviously the case for the more serious runners. For the rest of us (recreational runners), it's more important to listen to your body, and do what feels right at the time, than stick to some computer- generated set of runs, that don't fit in at all.

    It helps for the first 1 or 2 attempts at any new distance- as it gives you the confidence that you should make it round ( especialy for a marathon).

  • I can imagine the stress release those runs give you Tricialitt! Must have to make sure that fitting your runs in doesn't become a stress in itself?

    Lotus, those train, race then quit types are more the casual type rather than keen runners though aren't they? I'm often asked at work what I'm training for, when often it's just normal week to week maintenance training. Some people presume it must be for something specific, rather than a weekly lifestyle.

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