My training compared to last year is a lot different.  I am running a lot less consitently and a lot lower miles.  That being said I’m also running a lot faster miles.  The last 9 weeks (wow) I’ve been in a one week hard, one week easy (half marathon that week), recovery week and repeat.

It’s easier to explain this way:

Hard and higher mileage week (one rest day)

Easier week leading into a half marathon (normally 2 rest days)

Recovery week out of the half (two rest days)

It seems to have worked out well.  I’ll be honest that when I end up doing lower mileage, I wonder if I’m ready to race.  If I’m ready to run fast and have the endurance.  It’s silly because I know I’m running very high mileage but I do often times find myself unsure of my abilities.

So cold.  Lake Effect 2013
So cold. Lake Effect 2013

I’m not sure what training works best for me.  Last year at the time, I didn’t worry about too many different things.  I worried about going for a run, going to work, coming home and sleeping.  A lot of my miles were done on the treadmill (which meant I was recovering quicker and bouncing back from runs quicker).  With running on the treadmill you also cannot tell if your legs are feeling good or bad.  The belt determines the pace, not you. 

That can be a good or a bad thing.

This year I am running the majority of my runs outside.  New Jersey isn’t bad weather wise. I can get outside 9 out of 10 times.  It’s really nice.  (I haven’t experienced a summer yet).

Last year I was consistently running 10-12 miles daily (with a rest day), a tempo workout and a long run day.  It seemed to work and I PRed in first the Shamrock half marathon and then the Nike Women’s half marathon.

Run for the Dream 2013
Run for the Dream 2013

This year I’m running 11-12 miles daily (with 1-2 rest days), a tempo workout and sometimes a long run. It also seems to have been working and I ran two consistent 1:25.30 half marathons (Lake Effect and Shamrock) and recently PRed at Atlantic City (by recently I mean 2 days ago).

It seems like every year, I tweak my training or find what works for me at the time.  Last year that was worked for me.  This year this is working for me.  I’ve felt great during my training runs.  Next year who knows what will work better for me.  Maybe I’ll have even found a coach.

I guess my point of the post is that your training should never stress you out.  If it does you should find ways to make it better so it doesn’t.   This is all my opinion though and maybe you thrive on a high stress training plan.  I know running will never “rule my life” so I don’t thrive on a stressful training plan.  No one has time for all of that.

Setting my 5k PR this summer.  I believe I'm waving to Ally S.
Setting my 5k PR this summer. I believe I’m waving to Ally S.  (never stressed) 


Questions for you:

Have you changed your training or workout plan lately?

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  1. I haven’t changed my training plan recently but I did change my philosophy about 2 years ago to a less is more mindset and I’m much fresher going into race weeks than in the past

  2. I’ve tweaked my training a bit this year in order to heal my hip. For me more cross-training has helped. It’s definitely important to listen to your body.

  3. Thanks for sharing your training routine! I’m always interested in seeing what works for other people. I don’t put in nearly the mileage that you do, but I have added speed workouts this year which is really making a difference for me. I think the most important thing is just to listen to your body and not be too rigid about a plan.

  4. I find I keep mixing it up, too. For a few years, I was very slowly building mileage and then I started adding in a lot more strength and cross training. And now I’m doing whatever my pregnant body can handle. 🙂 But keep doing what you’re doing- it’s definitely working for you!!

  5. I really think the quality workouts get missed by a lot of people. Just running lots of miles is great, but you need to mix it up with some of those tempo/threshold type workouts. Starting to train for VT100, is definitely going to be interesting trying to mix in quality work with long miles…

  6. I need to put together a training plan, because not having something to follow IS stressing me out. I need it set in stone what I’m supposed to be running, otherwise it’s too easy to blow it off for something else. At least lately it is. I need to be better at time management. I love that last photo!

  7. I really admire you approach to training.
    I’ve moved to a 6 day high mileage training plan for my ultra. So far I think it’s working? I’ve ran the same type of plan for a few years now, so I decided to change it up and so far I’m liking, but time will tell 🙂

  8. It’s cool that you keep things different! I like different or I get bored. My training has changed like crazy this year. Partly because I had no idea what I was doing for a year and then I got a running coach. I now run 5 days a week, 1-2 tempo runs, 1 fartlek run, 1 easy run, and 1 long. I really have enjoyed having the different workouts planned out for me and it keeps things interesting!

  9. I think you’ve touched on something that is very important, but often overlooked as we go through multiple training cycles: we need to acknowledge that as time goes on there may be a need to adapt and for our approach to training to evolve. I definitely have a habit of being stuck in the rut of ‘why isn’t what worked for me in 2010 working for me now?’ both when it comes to training and nutrition. You know yourself better than any pre-written plan – that much is clear from your amazing progress throughout your years of running!


  10. I loosely follow the Run Less Run Faster program. It calls for 3 running days – all quality runs. 1 Tempo, 1 Interval, 1 Long Run. The tempo and interval I think are the key components. You have to run fast to run fast?? 🙂

  11. Also, sorry, I just started following your blog a few months ago. Last year you were running MORE than 80 miles a week??

  12. It is eerily crazy how we’re experiencing the same things with our training. My volume, intensity, and frequency has increased from last year to this year, although I’m still figuring out my “sweet spot” across the disciplines for miles/yardage.

  13. I think changing up the plan for the better is always a good thing! I was just wondering, what are you looking for in a coach? would you use it kindof like you were back in cross country?

  14. I think sometimes what works is just doing something different to expose your body to a new stimulus/challenge. If you run lots of miles all easy, doing fewer miles with speedwork is a new challenge, but so is the reverse. Both have their merits, and I think athletes can benefit from taking a new approach every 1-2 years to experiment and jolt their body into new adaptations.

  15. I like the no plan, plan. So many ppl let a training plan rule them, I don’t get it at all. That doesn’t sound like any fun to me.

  16. It is good that you are learning. That is how training should be! Every year my coach learns a little more about what I need to become the best I can be, so it should be continuously adjusting and improving. I am definitely stronger than I was a year ago, but hopefully not as strong as I will be next year!

    Sounds like you are becoming one hell of a coach Hollie 🙂 Keep up the good work, and keep listening to your body 🙂

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