When I began running I followed a training plan. I began walking one minute and running one minute for a total of 30 minutes and increased the number of minutes I ran. This plan helped get me through my first race and I continued along this route for a while.
Over time, I began running with my friend outside. We started with 4 miles once a week and eventually increased it to 4 miles two or three times a week. This turned into 5 or 6 miles a few times a week. As I added miles and outdoor runs, any formal training fell by the wayside.
I simply ran for fun. Racing continued to be a part of my routine as I love it. The longer miles and better stamina certainly helped with 5Ks. I am sure speed work and intervals would help improve overall performance but it isn’t a priority for me right now.
I practice pilates and yoga and work with weights and body weight. Not for running, because I like it! All of these habits help each other. I can definitely feel the effects of strength training when I run hills and improved cardio has helped in all areas of my life.
Training sounds like it has an end date to me and I don’t have an end date in sight. I simply want to do what I enjoy and right now that is running, yoga, pilates and general strength training.
I have already talked about how running will be more challenging this summer. Frankly, I just have to change my mindset. Maybe I bring the boys to the track before teaching or gasp become one of those early morning runners ;). Like everything, it will be a little trial and error.
For me, following a training plan is important to get started in any new adventure. It provides structure, knowledge and confidence. Over time, it’s important to take that knowledge and confidence and translate it into something that works for you.
Do you follow a specific plan? What is your favorite way to get moving?