The ups and downs of following a training plan

It is Monday 22nd of December 2014 and luckily, it is a rest day. I am drinking wine, eating cheese and well, typing on laptop.


I am told it is a rest day by the training plan I am following. The only problem is, yesterday it tells me I should’ve run five miles. By the end of the week, Christmas week, I should’ve run 36 miles.

36 miles in a week filled with three days in the office, mince pies, cake, beer, wine, Mario Kart and merriment aplenty.

In the 2 weeks since it began, I am 49 miles behind in my training. I am giving up now.

Training plans are great and I don’t think I’ve completed an event without either looking one up or following it religiously.

They are the Personal Assistant of running. Where am I supposed to be, what have I missed, what do I need to do next.

But they can also be a bit like your mum*. The nagging voice telling you to do this or that and why haven’t you done this yet.

It can quickly turn from being in your best interest to losing enthusiasm for the event , let alone training.

So your training plan ends up being the reason that you quit and that’s hardly the point.


Giving up seems like the sensible thing to do. Except for a couple of things:

  1. A) I am raising money for Great Ormond Street

And B) I have stupidly told some people that I am running

So it is time to get back on the horse.

I am currently following a 24 week plan from Relentless Forward Progress by Bryon Powell (

The total weekly mileage never goes above 50 but it is pretty incessant in the volume.

It is so incessant that I have quit the gym so that I spend less time faffing around in the sauna and more time out on the streets.

My new year’s resolution is to do more running in the morning and at lunch and in the evening.

For the simple reason that, in nearly every case, your mum is always right. The training plan might be a pain but it has your best interests at heart.

*I would like to point out that my mum is nothing like that. She is more likely to be out making hats from recycled bicycles and playing the ukulele.


7 thoughts on “The ups and downs of following a training plan

  1. Funny post. I’ve really enjoyed Powell’s book, too, and am using the framework of his plan. I wanted a little bit more mileage than his 50 miles/week plan, but not as much as his 70. So I tweaked it somewhere in between… I’ll look forward to seeing how it goes for you!


      1. Ah, I’ve read so much about that race (mostly in The Lore of Running by Noakes. Sounds amazing, best of luck!


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