I don’t like training plans. I see them as constricting. I also have lots of structure in my work life and so getting out there for a run is my time. I don’t want to be accountable to anyone else. Not least an inanimate plan. I don’t even do training principles. I don’t do specific training.
I am not a front runner. I am a mid to back of pack ultra runner. I don’t come last. I don’t come first. I run because I enjoy it. I get my kicks from planning and organisation at work. I don’t let it get into my running life.
Some people need plans to follow. Some people don’t. I don’t. If I wanted to be faster then maybe I would train to a specific plan and have a coach. But that is not where I get my enjoyment.
So, if I don’t train then how do I manage to complete ultras? I offer this parallel. Plans are like recipes and if you consider the difference between cooking and baking then you’ll see how it is possible to do any race without a training plan. I enjoy cooking. I have learned through doing, how to combine ingredients and I know that certain things work very well together and that specific quantities of ingredient don’t matter too much. Mostly it tastes good. Mostly it is edible. A training plan is a bit like a recipe for a cake. Everything has to be just so. Otherwise the cake will be disappointing in some way. It won’t rise. It will be burned. It will have a soggy bottom.
So…. I enjoy the fun of making things up as I go along understanding the general principles of how my body reacts to running, but I really can’t be bothered to make the perfect cake – or to run someone else’s idea of the perfect race. I want to run my own perfect race. No one else’s.