To quote an arrogant, but in this case correct, ex of mine; failure to plan is a plan to fail.
Uplifting, isn’t it?
But it’s true. Having a plan is important. That plan must remain flexible, and it may change, but it’s important to have one. And to follow it.
Not just in running, but in achieving any goal.
Structure is important. A goal without a plan is just a dream, right? The structure, the steps laid out, and followed are what make the goal attainable.
Think about it like the degree you did at uni. You likely started with a rough idea of the papers you wanted to do, the steps you’d take, to get your major(s). Those probably changed a little as you went, but if you kept with it, you graduated. You got that degree (even if it looked a little different to how you intended at the start).
So, I’ve searched the internet for a free training plan – there are so many out there, and this is my first half marathon. I don’t have a goal for time, and I don’t want too many options to choose from. In the absence of a personal recommendation, I’ve searched for beginners plans with a focus on completing a half marathon without injury.
Completing a half marathon without injury is my goal. While I’m hopeful that I will have the fitness that will enable me to run it well, with a good time, my primary focus is on finishing. And if I can do that in under 3 hours, I will be over the GD moon.
And with that in mind, I’ve settled on one.
I’m going to follow the ‘couch to half marathon’ plan by the Marathon Handbook.
It’s a 15 week plan, and I have 21 weeks until race day. I will follow this plan, but I can be flexible. My current expectation (note: not plan!) is to repeat some of the latter weeks at the 10km-ish stage, but I’m going to listen to my body and respect it – and the plan – as much as I can as I go.
And I start tomorrow.