"

Over training is over rated, rest better so that you can train even more" - Nick Yster Bester


Monday, July 12, 2010

Flexible Planning


Yesterday I couldn’t run the 21km trail race I planned because I had some serious stomach problems Friday and Saturday. Well, in the end I didn’t run at all this weekend. A friend of mine remarked last night how bad this is and how bad it must be for my planned training for the 50km race I’m doing in September. My answer to this was: “no, it’s not bad. It’s a bummer that I missed the race, but my training just continues.”

I remember a time when my answer would have been very different. I would have agreed that it was bad and that it was bad for my planned training as well. Luckily I’ve learned over time that things just carry on. There’s nothing I can do about it. I can’t change the fact that I missed the race and all my weekend runs. But everything else carries on. So will my training.

So how do I handle this? The moment I know I’m not doing a specific race or run anymore, I move my focus to the next run or race. I look at my training plan and adjust it. I put my focus on the next goal and carry on. I still have my plan, but I change it as needed. I don’t worry about the missed runs any further. When the Sri Lankan cricket captain, Mahela Jayawardene was asked how he stays focused when things go wrong his answer was: “I only worry about the things I can control. I can’t do anything about the things I can’t control, but I adjust and focus on the things I control. That way I’m still in charge of the overall plan, my plan.” That’s exactly what I do. I stay in control of the overall plan, my plan.

I’m a planner. With everything I do I’m a planner. This is the same for running. I have a very detailed plan. I’ve already planned every run, six days a week, until the end of February 2011. My long term plan is already worked out until the end of 2013. I know it’s totally crazy, but that's how I like to do it.

However, this is a flexible plan and I’ll adapt it as life happens. I love this long term plan and that’s part of what drives me to go out for my run at 4AM in winter with temperatures below zero. It also helps me to move my focus to the next short term goal if something goes wrong on a day. The long term goal doesn’t change, so why worry? I’m still in control of the overall plan, my plan.

Have a great week everyone…stick to your plans, adjust as life happens, then move on!

21 comments:

ajh said...

Great attitude and outlook. I can learn a lot from you!

misszippy said...

The best way to look at it! I guess with age comes wisdom right? (and I speak for myself on this too!)

Mark said...

That's the attitude that succeeds!! Carry on!!

P said...

Excellent post, what a wonderful attitude! Sorry you weren't feeling well this weekend.

Black Knight said...

You are right, we are not professional runners so we can have flexible plans. However 2 days off (included the race) are not a problem, you can recover the missed workouts in a wise way.

The Green Girl said...

You are so right. I used to be a lot more rigid as well but with injuries and sickness, I've also learned to be more flexible.

Jennifer said...

Sorry you had tummy problems and that caused a missed race, but bravo for your positive attitude. I was exactly the same a year or two ago; I would have been devastated to miss something. Now I take it as a sign, grab the extra rest day and move on. Great post Johann!

Rad Runner said...

The positivity and glass half full of runners is one of my most favorite aspects! :)

Char said...

I really love your attitude. There's no point in getting bogged down mulling over what could have been. The important thing is the big picture - and the big picture is to keep running and enjoying it for many years to come so what does it matter if you miss one race here or there?!

Julie said...

Hi Johann,
Sorry to hear about your stomach issues. I think that you made the right choice by not racing. You have a positive attitude and smart outlook! Hang in there...there will always be more races:)

Average A said...

You have an amazing attitude, and I'm so glad you don't push it when you aren't feeling well. It's so reassuring to hear. :)

Chris K said...

Johann, you Wise Sage you. Your post cracked me up. That is some serious planning! But, I was glad to see that you are also flexible.

Molly said...

very sound advice....I hope your stomach is better!

Giorgio said...

You didn't run the last 21km race but it isn't a problem. I agree with this. We are not professional runners and your training just continues!

Sherri said...

AMEN! Life does happen! Thanks for the great attitude! =)

Meg said...

FABULOUS post! I love the quote and I need to reread it daily! It really pertains to every area of our lives, right? I laughed out loud that you have your runs planned through February...you ARE a planner, aren't you?!
I can't believe you can function on so little sleep(your comment your left)! Do you really need less sleep as you gain fitness? Does that pertain to everyone I wonder?

wendy_kresha@charter.net said...

You have an AWESOME attitude! And you're right, everything will be just fine! Take care, I hope you are feeling better!

ajh said...

Of course it makes more sense to not want to see a mountain lion than a snake. But that tells you how scared I am of snakes. Truly I think the odds were much higher that I would see a snake. I have heard of many people who see snakes and are fine.......but mountain lions .......not so much.

AZ said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. Hope to hear from you soon.

I agree about your "worrying" philosophy. If you can't control it, why worry about it. If you can control it, don't worry, just take care of it.

Natalia said...

NIce title...flexible planning! I enjoyed reading this post, and totally agree with the quote from Jayawardene. Sorry to hear about the stomache issues. Hope you are feeling better, and looking forward to hearing more about your races.
Lekker loop!

Christina said...

I wish I could be as relaxed about it as you. Maybe that will come with more running experience and confidence.