Believe In The Plan
After that terrible race at the national championships in 2008, I was hungry to get back on the roads and redeem myself, but it had been a long spring of racing and I was physically and mentally burnt out. My coach insisted that I cut back my volume and intensity and focus on recovery for three to four weeks. He explained to me that while I would sacrifice short-term redemption, the recovery would allow me to run well through the late summer and fall.
Like many runners, I was stubborn and lacked confidence in the validity of my training plan and the ability to open up and trust my coach. I kept pushing the training instead of taking the time off my coach insisted upon and my body (and mind) undoubtedly needed. As a result, the bad races continued to pile up. Later that summer I ran the two worst road races of my career and was at an all-time low with my training and racing.
I wish I could say this was the first time I had neglected the advice of my coach or failed to follow a great training plan. Like most runners, I always wanted more mileage, more workouts, and faster results. Unfortunately, because I never had the self-confidence to trust in my coach or training plan, I was chronically struggling with my running and never saw that linear progression we all strive for.
If you’re going to put in all the planning and work it takes to choose the right training plan or the perfect coach to work with — TRUST IT! Learn to let go of your fears and stop listening to the hundreds of different opinions you’ll get from running friends or message boards.
Most renowned coaches and training plans are meticulously researched and are backed with expert experience. Boosting mileage, running faster than you’re prescribed, or adding additional runs is a recipe for disaster. Of course, if you’re using a generic plan you will need to modify some elements to align with your individual needs and weaknesses, but trust in the physiological principles created for you.