Know Better Than the Plan

So I think I’m going to bite the bullet and sign up for a May marathon. I downloaded a training program (that I paid for so can’t really share all together) last week and have  been trying to stick to it.

This week’s long run is 10 miles at a 8:45 pace. What? I don’t consider 10 miles a long run and wanted to do 16 miles so I was about to do more but then I realized this plan is put together this way for a reason. I don’t know better than the plan. There’s a reason Hal Higdon and Jeff Galloway and other legendary running coaching do so well – they know their shit! image

I don’t know better than them. I haven’t been running for 20 plus years or coaching marathon champions and regular people to the finish line.

So even though my body could do 16 today, I did 11 miles. And that extra mile was because I went out too far on the turn around.IMG_7367 (533x800)IMG_7659 (800x600)

11 Miles – Pace 8:41IMG_7652 (800x600)

  • Mile 1: 8:38
  • Mile 2: 8:30
  • Mile 3: 8:44
  • Mile 4: 8:36
  • Mile 5: 8:45
  • Mile 6: 8:39
  • Mile 7: 8:34
  • Mile 8: 8:49
  • Mile 9: 8:48
  • Mile 10: 8:46
  • Mile 11: 8:46

I’m still fading at the end and need to start finishing my long runs at a better pace for the last 4 miles.

Fuel for the run – chews (waited till stop lights to eat them)IMG_7650 (800x600)

I drove to my sweet spot. I always keep a towel in my car so I don’t get my car seats covered in sweat.IMG_7661 (600x800)

I made a quick stop at Costco on the way home for eggs and a prescription. I ended up getting some fruit and veggies too. Oh, and I skipped the one sample table with pie for those of you who are keeping track of my sweets. Chomped dirty grapes on the way home…IMG_7665 (800x600)

Ben ate the last eggs so I had to stop for some more on the way home. I was craving a big salty egg sandwich for breakfast. I made this with sharp cheddar and Italian salami (not Vinny’s unfortunately). IMG_7667 (800x600)This is exactly how Ben makes his sandwiches and they always look so amazing!IMG_7674 (800x600)

Today I’m headed to a press conference and fancy dinner in Los Angeles for Team Refuel Chocolate Milk. image

I’m excited to see my fellow team refuel friends Janae and Skinny Runner! IMG_3019 (800x600)

Have a great Saturday!

Question: Do you stick to a set training program or change it up?

If you do write your own plan (like I normally do!) do you stick to that?


  1. says

    I never stuck to a training plan! I wouldn’t do the tempo runs or speed workouts… really the only thing I used to listen to were the long runs.. For my third marathon in April I am really sticking to a plan I found in runner’s world. (Except for that instead of the 3 mile easy runs I have done 5) Other than that I am totally sticking to it! 😉

  2. Melissa R says

    If I’m training for a marathon, I always follow the training plan figuring they know better than I do–I might move things around by a day or two though. What a rebel…LOL

  3. says

    I love your “I’m no running expert” signage. I try to stick to a training plan and trust it, but sometimes I listen to my body too. I think everyone is different and plans assume that everyone is the same.

  4. Gillian says

    Hey there! I’m a big fan of yours from Australia – never commented before. Just wondering what plan you downloaded? Thinking of paying for one and wondered what one you like? Have my 2nd marathon in June and really want to PR. Thanks!! :)

  5. Jules says

    I follow a pre-made plan, but modify it to fit my week and my body. I do all the workouts and rest day(s) prescribed, but scramble the workouts & runs based on what my week looks like and how sore or stiff I’m feeling. :)

  6. Hillary says

    I downloaded one of Hal’s, didn’t stick with it because I hated not running on rest or cross days, and now I’ve got a jacked knee a week before my run. Don’t be a me: Stick with what they say, just changing up the days if it works better for your schedule! 😉

  7. says

    Welll… the best part of not really MAKING a running plan is that can’t really ever BREAK it. Haha. I try to do like 35 miles a week, but that shakes out any which way.

  8. says

    I love how you speak of 16 miles as if it was nothing. Today I ran 6 miles at 9:25 and I was happy until I read your averages and I feel I am so far from every getting better … tomorrow I am going to run 10 miles … I am already tired … mind over matter, so I say … but oh my … sometimes it is just not easy! :) HELP!

  9. says

    I write my own training plans. It seems to work best for me if I write one up months beforehand and can see the big picture with things building and taking rests. I have training plans more for giving me forced rest days than to get a certain mileage. I’m more prone to going into races over-trained rather than under.

  10. So... says

    Here’s a question for you. Since you’re a personal trainer and all, shouldn’t you know how to research credible training information? Educate yourself?

    If you’re a runner, you should be at least familiar with the following names: Lydiard, Daniels, Pfitzinger, Canova. Read them.

  11. says

    I ran Chicago 5 years in a row and followed Hal Hingdon. Crossed the finish line, continued to improve on time every year, no injuries. It worked!

  12. says

    Mmmm you’re making me *really* want an egg sandwich, that looks absolutely delicious!!

    Where did you download your marathon training plan from? I’m currently on the lookout for a good one for my first full marathon. I usually like to design my own so that it fully rotates around my schedule and group runs, but I like to use one or more plans as a guide(s) to help me decide how far to be running and intensity.

    I can’t wait to hear about the Endurance Live event!!

  13. says

    I’ve never written my own plan because I have no idea what I’m doing.
    I always follow the plan, I might have to switch days around due to schedules but I always stick with what it says as far as distance or time.
    I feel way more confident going into a race knowing I stuck with the plan and am prepared for the race.
    Hope you had a fabulous night!

  14. says

    Oh Vinny’s salami… 😉

    I have never actually followed a training plan before, because I’ve never trained for anything before. But I have a feeling I’d think I knew better than the plan. Mostly because I think I know my own body better than anyone else. I may not be an expert at running, but I am an expert on me!

  15. says

    Hello my fellow Ginger! First time visiting your blog and I love it! I am training for my first 1/2 marathon in April and have been (somewhat) following a training plan. It’s a mix-match of a couple different ones with some spins thrown in. What I’ve found about myself? I can’t follow a plan worth sh!t. The only thing I’ve actually been following are the long runs, but I figure they’re the ones that count the most.. kinda 😉 Happy Training!

  16. says

    How do you look so fresh after 11 miles? I’d be lying on the pavement, probably crying, and my hair would be stuck to the sweat on my face!! Hehe! Good luck with the marathon training.

  17. says

    (Don’t you love how the snarky comments are always anonymous?)

    I’m struggling with the same issue on a much smaller scale (c25k). I feel that my body is ready for more but I’m sure that I’ll benefit in the long run (!) from following the progression and finding other opportunities to strengthen and challenge myself.

    Looking forward to reading more about your marathon training!

  18. says

    I generally try to stick with the plan and have been more or less successful. I make up or switch certain runs coz you know…life happens.

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