Monday, August 26, 2013

On-the-Fly Training

So, I slowly seem to be developing a style of training for my running that I can live with.  I like to call it On-The-Fly training.  The basic idea of it is that you have a vague idea of what you need to accomplish during the week to come, so then you just look at your calendar at the beginning of the week and plug all the elements in to where they fit.


So, for example, this week I know I need to work in two moderate-length runs (I am in taper, after all), one of which I would like to be on trail.  I also need a long run over the weekend, and one or two bike rides.  If it fits, I could also throw in a recovery run today, but that is not a huge deal breaker for me.

So, looking at my week, here are the factors that influence when I get to do all this stuff, in no particular order.
  • Weather - While I will run through most weather, including the current heat wave we seem to be experiencing, I will not run in a thunderstorm if I can help it.  Scattered storms today, and storms possible most of tomorrow.  Monday and Tuesday runs seem unlikely.
  • Parental Availability - I am extremely lucky that my parents, fondly referred to as the GPs, live close to us, are retired, and love to spend time with their grandkids.  They are almost always willing and able to watch the kids when needed, and that is especially important now when the kids are still on summer break. Of course, that all being said, they do have their own lives and volunteer quite extensively, so as the years go by, I find myself checking their calendar more and more.  GPs available most of the week.  Yay!
  • The husband's running/work schedule - When you live with someone who works full-time and whose hobby is running ultramarathons, you have to learn to be flexible.  While the husband mostly gets up before the crack of dawn to do his workouts and runs both weekend days, he is also flexible and accommodating.  (This is how marriage works, right?)  Coming down to crunch time with his 100-miler, though, my main concern is are there days he is running or biking to work?  Since he is also in taper mode, his schedule is not too much of a concern this week. Hurray!
  • Anyone else want to run with me - More and more, I am liking the group run thing, so if someone says they want to meet to run, I will try to juggle things around to do that.
So, as for this week, since the rain is persisting this Monday morning, and I don't think the kids will like playing on the rain-slicked play equipment at the park, a recovery run is most likely out for me today.  That's okay.  I can also partake in recovery cleaning or recovery errand-running or some such.  The main thing is just to keep moving this day after my long run.

There is a group run Wednesday and a friend who wants to run trails Thursday, so there are my two mid-week runs.  Since we have family coming in from out of town on Saturday evening, that influences when my long run will be - most likely Saturday morning.  That just leaves two days to plug in bike rides.  Since tomorrow is stormy, that leaves Friday.  

Easy peasy! And, just like that, a week's worth of training is scheduled.  A week on either side of this one could look completely different, but that's the beauty of the On-the-Fly just doesn't matter.

As disorganized as this may seem to be, the past couple of weeks, On-the-Fly has been working for me quite well.  It seems so much more stress-free not being so rigid in the days I do things, and I think I am to the point where my body can take a bit of spontaneity in the training plan.  As long as I listen to what it is telling me, that is, and  I am getting better at that.

As for this past weekend, the family had a good - albeit NOT stress-free - bike ride on Saturday. We ended up taking a roadtrip to Two Rivers, Wisconsin, where we biked the Rawley Point trail for six miles from Two Rivers, through Point Beach State Forest to the lighthouse on Lake Michigan.  It was a gorgeous ride on crushed limestone paths, which twisted and turned through the trees, crossed bridges, and went up and down small hills.  The scenery was wonderful, the ride nice, but the company not so much 100 percent.  At about the three-mile mark, E. decided she was going to pitch a fit because she wasn't enjoying the ride anymore.  So much for hoping they would have fond memories of biking.  Oh well, at least the first half of the ride was nice.

Rawley Point Trail in Two Rivers
Yesterday's long run was meant to be 12 miles or two to two and a half hours on trails.  As it turned out, it was both.  My friend Amy and I managed 12.22 miles in just under two and a half hours.  That's not bad considering I didn't stop my watch while taking pictures, etc.  We headed over to High Cliff State Park to run the bridle trails there, and it was really quite nice. While I have run some of the horse trails, I hadn't run the outer loop of them.  I didn't realize how scenic or hilly that area was.  I definitely will want to be running those a bit more in the future.

View from the bridle paths.
A hot and humid run in the fields. Nice breeze, though!
Happy Monday!


  1. I think my running plan is pretty on the fly too. Between kids and my husband's work schedule I have to go with what works. Although now that both kids are in school it is a little easier!

    1. lol...It's probably nothing special, is it? This on-the-fly type of training. I think all parents probably do a variation on a theme of it. I guess I am just learning not to stress out too much with it. :)