Your workout scheduled calls for an easy run. Nothing fancy or crazy. Just a nice and smooth run. You feel great and decide to set a personal best today for this workout.
Or, your workout for the day is going to be a tempo run. You feel great and decide to make this a time trial to see how you are doing so far with your training and fitness.
Or, your workout calls for repeats at 5k pace and you decide to run them at marathon or tempo pace.
All of the above sound fine in theory but in actuality are poor decisions. In the end, you will be doing more harm than good to yourself and future self.
The title of this post is: Follow the instructions provided. In basic terms, stick to the script. Most, if not all, training programs are laid out with the end goal in mind. There is a process. Yes, you can move things around due to your personal life occurrences. However, don’t go off course (pun intended) if you want to ultimately succeed.
The above scenarios are just a few that I have come across with my athletes and student athletes.
Post workout, typically the conversation will go like this…
ME: So why did you go faster then called for?
Athlete: I understand what you were calling for but…..
There is always a but. Always.
Let’s explain what’s up with the above workouts:
Easy Run: As I tell my clients, EASY means EASY. To hammer an easy run is pointless. Recovery is one of the most important things you can do in any training program you are involved with. Easy runs are meant to do just that.
Tempo Run: A time trial run versus a tempo run are two completely different workouts. While it might make sense to test yourself with a time trial, the timing of one over the other is very important. When you do one and how is also part of that decision to add this or change from a tempo run. Conducting tempo runs are a very efficient way to see how you are progressing and can provide great feedback. They also will be less stressful on the body.
Pace Runs: Pacing runs are just that. It’s simply stated and easy to follow. If you are doing anything that calls for this method of training, you are best off by (again) following the instructions provided. By doing so, it will provide you with great feedback, guidance and feel. If done correctly, it will not be long till you will know your pace without looking at your watch.
When you are given a specific workout, you will be better off following what is posted as your guide versus not. Remember, EASY means EASY. TEMPO means TEMPO. PACING is good for you when done correctly.
Listen to your coach.