Training adjustment – because try as I might, I’m just not a cross-training fiend

After my last couple (somewhat whiney) posts, I decided that maybe I just needed to adjust my training to create a better atmosphere for motivation and success instead of sitting around feeling guilty and unmotivated.

The first thing I addressed was the lack of structure. I’ve been planning my training weeks every Monday and sketching the schedule out day by day, but for some reason planning each week makes me feel like it’s not a ‘real’ plan. I come up with excuses based on ‘just not feeling it’, rather than just adjusting based on more critical factors such as pain or sickness. By changing this approach to a multi-week schedule, where several weeks are written down firmly in advance, I can achieve a stronger sense of commitment to the plan. Fish shared her college summer XC training plan with me a few years ago when we were training together, and I really enjoyed the gradual progression and ability to adjust to even relatively low starting mileage. I’ve based my multi-week planning on this schedule, and hope to gently progress along the mileage and pace progressions as my legs allow.


Example of the training level groups and progression over the first couple weeks

The second thing I adjusted was my cross-training commitment. I really, really wish I was a true multi-sport athlete, but I just don’t get quite as excited about my other athletic activities as I do about running. I like them, but committing 3-4 days a week to skiing or trainer rides is difficult. I have realized that trying to be competitive about skate skiing has made me much less enthusiastic about it than I was when it was just a fun way to get my heart rate up in the snow. In order to rekindle that joyful, low-stress attitude I’ve decided not to do the last race and to skip the speed work attempts, and will instead just focus on easy skiing and technique work. I’ve committed myself to at least 2 days of cross-training (ski, bike, or circuits for 20 – 30+ minutes) per week, nothing more. I may increase this as my summer riding gets underway, but for now I’m going to stay more relaxed, and hopefully find more joy in these alternate activities as a result.

Here’s my plan for the next few weeks, with potential (training-style) races penciled in:


We’ll see how it goes!


I ran 7.5 miles today!!!

I ran 7.5 miles today! Which is my first run over 7 miles since DECEMBER. I couldn’t believe this when I first skimmed through my training log, but I guess that calf injury + the IT band flare-up really did smother my Spring and Summer training more than I’d remembered.


7.5 sweet miles of trail.

Part of me is really frustrated by the fact that it’s been ¾ of a year since I ran over 7 miles. However, I have noticed that I’ve been more appreciative of my runs lately and, having taken a break from workouts or structured training beyond a general mileage goal/limit each week, have become better at just running for the pure joy of running rather than with a training goal in mind.

Thinking more deeply about the last few frustrating years I am starting to see them as worthwhile contributors to my running, which is definitely not something I could have said even last year. When I consider how differently I feel about running now versus during the last few frustrating seasons of collegiate competition I can see what a difference it has made to be forced to train and plan more casually over the last few years than during any previous running seasons. Viewed as a mental re-set this span of running is much less down heartening than when viewed, more negatively, as a physical pause-rewind-pause-rewind-pause, etc.

I am of course still hoping to move forward physically, but for now I can appreciate the mental benefits and focus on carrying my improved mentality forward with any physical advances.