Training Calendar: Just Do What it Says

I love to-do lists and calendars and organizing but I’m not very good at it. I rarely have enough on my schedule to fill my calendar and the emptiness of it sometimes makes me feel lazy or reclusive. So I’ll give it a rest. Until the next week when suddenly we’re so busy and popular that I just want to get through it so we can sit down and catch our breath. And to-do lists are great until I get through all the easy things (feed baby, put clothes away, brush teeth) and get stuck on the big ones (hang pictures, bind book, sew shirt). Then I get discouraged, lose the list, look at it so many times that I no longer actually see it, or intentionally ignore it.

But the running calendar is different. The running calendar is special. So what if we got it free from the local pharmacy when we picked up a prescription? So what if we have no idea what all of the fishing and gardening symbols mean? The important thing is that it contains rows of blank boxes into which can write our training schedule. It’s usually nothing fancy or difficult. We go online and look for training schedules for the distance we’re covering in our next race. In the past we’ve gone for intermediate level running schedules, but for the half-marathon we just ran, we went for the advanced. Then we count the number of weeks until race day and fill in our schedule. Easy-peasy lemon squeezey.

Actually, filling in the calendar is the hardest part. If we get to that point, it means we are committed. We have made our decision and we are sticking with it. After that, we just have to do what the calendar says. Because the calendar knows what is best. After all, we didn’t decide how much to run, or how fast, or when to rest. Hal Higdon did. Or Jeff Galloway. Or someone else. (We fare better when we don’t have to make these decisions by ourselves.) But if we miss a run, no biggie, we already have one scheduled the next day. We can go into a race knowing we are prepared, and hold onto the calendar afterward as a memento. Or not.

However, we just finished a race. Our calendar has nothing in store for us for the rest of the year. It has been full since February and although we are still (kind of) in recovery mode, we’re feeling a little bit anchorless and a bit anxious that we won’t be able to maintain motivation and focus without the calendar. I see now the wisdom in having a couple of races lined up throughout the year. We’re still debating whether we should sign up for this 20K or not, which would keep us fit until Labor Day. But maybe we should just see how we do on our own, see if we can hack it without someone telling us what to do.

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  1. Oh how I love training schedules! I haven’t done a real race since last Fall and I do miss just looking at the calendar to see what is up for the day. Something about being told what to do really does help. You’ll have to report how running without a schedule works for you. I haven’t found nearly as much success that way.


  2. lizzie

    July 16th, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    It really helps so much to have a goal to work towards. Actually, I just realized that we were pretty good at going running 3-4 times a week last summer and fall, even though I was pregnant. Maybe because I was pregnant. I was pretty motivated to keep up the running so I would be as fit as I could be when it came time to labor Manchild 2 into the world. But I’m not pregnant anymore.

    I am also interested to see how we do . . . I think this blog might be a pretty good motivator for me . . . I’ll let you know.


  3. Love the Calender! Don’t be surprised if I produce a knock-off.


    lizzie Reply:

    Please do. But we want royalties. 😉 Hahaha.


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