Training Plans: The Ten Commandments?

Much of my view of training plans for long races closely resembles the Ten Commandments, full of “Thou shalt’s” and “Thou shalt not’s”. The plan is an iron-clad commitment, not to be modified in any appreciable way. As a runner preparing for a race, I have lived under this reign of terror, knowing with absolute certainty that if I missed or modified a workout (to make it easier) I could not possibly succeed in my race.  I have followed this to my detriment, training when my body clearly needed rest – and adding miles as penance if I shorted a workout even by a few meters or seconds.

I was am determined that my training for this race, my first (!) full marathon, will not follow this pattern. Old habits die hard apparently, because last week while attempting to complete a 45 minute fartlek in 90+ degree heat (after dealing with a home security salesman who would. not. leave. for over an hour – I don’t care how good your product is Vivint, I will never buy from you now!), I failed.  I ran 41:41 of the prescribed 45:00 – shorting myself by a whopping 3 minutes and 19 seconds. Obviously, I should just cash in my chips and go home now, right? There is no way I will ever finish my marathon after this egregious breach of training protocol.  Laugh if you must, but I really did spend part of my week with those thoughts floating through my head.

I have taken a moment to regroup and some good advice from a friend and moved my runs to the morning to avoid heat fatigue and plan to listen to my body regarding pace, effort and rest. It is my most sincere hope that I will be able to keep these negative thoughts at bay and permanently relinquish my (reserved) seat on the Crazy Train, sorry Ozzy!

Anyone else have these issues?

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