How do you decide how far/long to run when you aren' t following a predetermined training plan? I have a few short races (5Ks and 8Ks) coming up but I' m not planning to follow a training plan for them. I just finished my most recent half-marathon on July 19th and now I' m at a loss as what to do now in terms of distances, etc. I almost always run with a training plan but I' m not sure if I should now or not. Or, if I should be, what I should be looking for in one.
I’m lucky enough to live in area that has lots of options for running. I can run laps around my neighborhood for 5K distances. I can do out and backs through my town for runs between 3 and 6 miles. I can drive to the 7 mile-long bike path that starts a few miles from my house if I want to get in a long run with minimal stops. I can run along the lakefront path in downtown Chicago after work or at lunch for any distance I want. I can do speedwork on the track near my house. Or I can stick to the treadmill in my basement.
So, not only do I have the difficulty of choosing what distance to run, I have the challenge of deciding where to run. And, really, they’re all such great places, how would I ever decide? Here’s a sample:
Which leads me to what I want to know from you: How do you decide how far to run? Do you base it on a training plan? On the route? Or on something else entirely?