I am part of a 24 month project at work that is working on changing how Human Resources delivers services. If you are in HR, I will bet you a dollar that you are part of something similar, have been or soon will be. It's just that time in HR's life to improve or get out of the way.
Since this is a big effort, our project manager had us embark on a SPRINT methodology which just means that we break down this big thing into manageable chunks and complete each of them in a set box of time (about 3-4 weeks). (There is a reason for this explanation - stay with me...) At the end of each box of time, we take a breather and ask, what did we learn and what still puzzles us. And then we ADAPT and IMPROVE. The mantra of this project is ADAPT and IMPROVE. It's a long haul, so don't keep the course with things that don't work. Stop, think, keep what worked and throw out what didn't.
After about a month ofDessert Training, it occured to me that this approach might make sense in my running as well. Stop, think, keep what worked and throw out what didn't.
What has worked:
I have changed things up - broke out of my routine of past years. It has been hard to transition, what I have actually seen improvements in my running ( thanks to those hills ) and not feeling stressed about my training.
I have tried new runs. The last 8 years, I have run about the same courses at the same times at the same paces. It was all about the training schedule. With this approach, I have experienced some pretty neat runs - the runs with my dog, the sunset runs, and even a run with family and friends.
Things to throw out:
This notion that I can make it through the summer without long bike rides or a tiny little triathlon. It was a noble thought, but I need to face the fact I will lose my sanity if I don't indulge in some long rides and runs. It is a demand of my body and mind.
I still need to run more than short and less than long. I can't run consistently at 3 miles and below (even though it is easier to accomodate in my schedule), but I don't have time for the true long runs of 10 or more. I need to find some for a run between 3-10 miles once a week or 2-3 times a month.
I think I have it. The Dessert training plan left me a little hungry. I still can't go for the full meal - my schedule would be overstuffed. I think I will keep the different types of training, but add in a bit of bike, a dash of bricks, and maybe just one race. I think I will call this one An Appetizer and Dessert training plan - which is about my favorite way to eat out. Gives me a taste of the meal - but without all that heavy guilt. Ahhh...I feel better.
You gotta' experiment in order to get the mix just right. As Dennis Fisher put it in his post last week on Complete Running Network, there is nothing wrong with "Failing up". I need to keep adapting to improve.