Train how you want to train

This week started the training for the Lake Effect Half Marathon (I will have more about this race and the cause I am running for next week!). I’m pretty sure that I have mentioned before about my hatred of training plans. See, I always think they are good idea. I mean they look good on paper and stuff. But then something happens and I miss this day, or miss that day, and POOF…training plan is no longer being followed.

That may very well end up being the same case here. But I am trying not to do that. I am *trying* to be good and stick to it. And one of the ways I made sure of that is to modify it to MY liking!

Thanks to everyone's awesome & super sweet comments on Social Media, I am never taking this jacket off again
& all pictures from here on out will be in this public bathroom.
Here’s what I got going on in my head when it comes to training plans…*I* am the one running!! Not you, not her, not him…ME!! I am the one going out there and putting in the miles. I am the one showing up on race day and crossing that starting line and (hopefully) that finish line. I am choosing whether to run for a PR or to just run for fun or to just run and hope not to keel over and die. SO therefore I would like my training plan to be a reflection of what I enjoy about running. I want it to be something that I know I will most likely stick to. There are so many elements in certain training plans that just drive me nuts and they are not to my interest. And I’m not paid to run…so why do something with running that I don’t like to do? Running is for my health & enjoyment…not to be forced into.

Training plan says- 2 X 200 then 4 splits of 10/3 then take that and circle it around for the 40X400. 
Suzi Says- I’m sorry…did you say banana split??

Training plan says- Tuesday: Fartlek run
Suzi Says- Heeheehee…you said FART!!

Training plan says- HILLS!! RUN ALL THE HILLS!!
Suzi Says- Awwwww HELL NAH!! Suzi don’t do no hills. Nope.

Training plan says- Cross Train
Suzi Says- I don’t know our local train schedule. And crossing an oncoming train sounds kinda dangerous, dontcha think?!

Training plan says- 1 rest day
Suzi Says- Awww, you’re cute!! Byebye training plan! 

But Suzi…you are not challenging yourself! But Suzi…you won’t have a great race without a great training plan! But Suzi…training isn’t supposed to be fun! But only get out what you put in!

But…NOTHING!! Look, many of you know that I am pretty good at challenging myself & striving to make myself better. I get it that certain types of runs and workouts will make me a better runner…I get that. I really do! But that doesn’t mean I HAVE to do them. I like to have a guideline...a flow that I can go with and can make changes to. I can still run great races, chase and set new PR's with the kind of plans that I follow. I have done it before and I will do it again! 

My training plan is based off of the Hal Higdon novice ½ marathonplan. I picked novice 1 because while even though I have run a bunch of half marathons (one just this past October) and have even ran a marathon, I am still adjusting to being a runner again. My progress is going a little slower this time so I wanted something with the flexibility to amp it up but not the pressure.

How did I make it my own? Well first off…I took out one of the running days. It calls for one day of the week to have a 2 or 3 mile run or cross. I took that out and added a day of rest. Actually I have 2 days of rest in there, with a possible 3rd. I have always been a 3-4 days a week kind of gal when it comes to running. I have zero desire to run every single day. By having an option to add another day of running leaves me more in favor of ADDING a day of running instead of subtracting a day. I have a cross training day in there and I have a stretch/strengthen (aka Yoga) day in there.  

Yes, my training plan has 3 definite days of running with a possible forth. *I* like this…*I* want it like this…*I* am the one running. I run Mondays, Wednesdays and my long runs will be on Saturdays. I like that. I can definitely do that. That is feasible for me. And there is much room to add in another run or workout without it feeling like a job.

This is how I train. This works for me. That doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you, but who knows! Don’t feel like you have to follow some strict crazy plan if that isn’t your personality. I've tried really detailed plans before and I always drop them. I don't like them and I don't have to like them. Some people need that structure. They need that kind of plan to stay disciplined, and that is great….for them. Remember, this is *your* journey…your race…your run. It doesn’t have to look like others. The only one it should be benefiting is YOU. Unless you are getting paid to run you should be trying to make this as fun as you possibly can because lets face it...the only real fun parts about running are the parts where you get to eat lots of carbs and wear a medal.

So who else is starting a training plan soon? Who wants to start a bet going on how soon I quit this training plan and just run whenever I feel like it?


  1. Suzi! I JUST downloaded Hal Higdons half marathon trainer as well. I'm running the Syracuse Half this year and would like to actually train rather than show up on race day and say OK 13.1 miles let's go! :) I can't wait to follow your progress with it. Its always nice to know others are using the same tools at the same time. Good Luck in the Lake Effect, I'm always too chicken to sign up for that one! :)

  2. Love your new page!! I'm totally with you. I am about to run my sixth marathon this weekend. While I follow a training plan for my long runs (for the most part) I always have good intentions to get all my training runs in during the week, but it never happens and I feel like a failure. I've never shown up to a race totally unprepared so this past training schedule I just ran to how I felt during the week and then got my long runs in. There's something about having a set schedule that drives me CrAzY!

    I ran a marathon in October so this is the longest period of training I've ever done- 27 weeks. I'm ready for this weekend to be over! I'm forgetting why I love this thing called "running" right now!

    Best of luck training and i look forward to reading about your progress. You're a superstar.

  3. This is my current half marathon training plan:
    Weeks 1-8: Run or elliptical 2 days and run long outside 1 day. Each run either further or faster than previous.
    Weeks 8-13: Get pregnant and too sick with nausea to get off the couch.
    Weeks 13-20: (aka, this week until race day) Elliptical 2-3 days, run outside 1 day going slightly further than the previous run taking it slow with lots of walk breaks. Final mileage should be somewhere around 12 miles total by race day in Mid-January.

    Pretty sure I have the best training program out there. ;)

  4. I've run a few half marathons and one full marathon, and I always ran 3 days/week as you are planning...two shorter runs during the week and one long run on the weekend, and I always felt well-prepared come race day. I think the key is consistency, so better to pick a frequency you can stick with than one that will make you dread the next work out. Training for a distance run is a lot of wear and tear on the body. I think that people with a "traditional" distance runner's build...wiry and not carrying much extra weight...are more successful at pulling off the high-volume, every-day running that some plans prescribe. But since I have a little more meat on my bones I think doing only 3 runs/week helped to minimize overuse injuries. As it was, I still developed tendonitis in one knee about a month out from the full, but fortunately it did not prevent me from running the race. Good luck, I know you will do great!

  5. Lol over the crossing a train's path. It sounds like you have a good plan in place. I like the idea of incorporating yoga into the running plan. I wish you all the best with your training.

  6. Hi Suzi,
    Been following you forever but haven’t commented on here.. I love seeing your progress on Instagram though, you’re doing so AWESOME!!!
    I absolutely love your take on a training plan and completely agree, I’ve started so many in the past that I always abandoned half in, or rather ¼ in haha.
    For the marathon I started out super strict, trying to following everything on a plan until I realized it didn’t work for me, once I started doing my own thing and running when I felt like it (except for long runs ) I ended up feeling great, I wasn’t over trained, undertrained and best of all, I was injury free because I listened to my body and did what felt right for me!
    No doubt, you’ll have a great race, I look forward to following your training on IG  and BTW yes, never take that jacket off, LOVE IT!

  7. I use Hal Higdon for my training plans, because they don't say confusing shit like 2X100 X track run X 800 minutes. It just says on this day, I run this much. I created my plan showing what he has written down and what I actually do. I'm more of 3-4 days of running per week and it usually ends up being 3. I also added in rest weeks just in case shit happens like an injury, which always happens. So, good for you! you have my style of training.


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