I'm squarely in the "fixed schedule" camp. I learned that from my first trainer who gave me my start in running almost four years ago. When he handed off a schedule it was with the understanding that there were very few legitimate reasons to move, or worse, skip a run. I'm grateful for that influence and abide by it still.
One caveat -- I will adjust a schedule (or resort to a treadmill) to avoid dangerous icy conditions.
This morning I woke up to a downpour and temps in the mid-30's. I drove down the interstate to the New River Trail, as planned, to give these legs some time off the asphalt and on a flat grade for a 14-miler. Flat is hard to come by around here. It was wet, boggy going especially on the way out. At the turnaround, the rain subsided and I was able to shed my jacket and pick up the pace.
|Yes it's in the 30's but I have on arm sleeves and gloves.|
I prefer the fixed approach for the following reasons:
- Race day, I have no say in the weather so I want to know how to adjust my run and have confidence in a wide variety of conditions
- The experience helps me to figure out how to dress, hydrate, and fuel for various weather so I can be comfortable.
- It's empowering to run in weather that others would opt out of. Weather 0; Cortney 1.
- Taking the decision-making out of it keeps it simple and unfettered. There's no thinking, I just GO!
- I haven't had to use a treadmill in two years.
- It prevents the possibility that sliding runs a day or two becomes skipping runs.
- It's fun to get a little wet and dirty and to jump around and through puddles!
The fixed approach requires having a pair of shoes that I don't mind getting dirty!! By the end of today's run, the shoes were filthy, my white socks had turned black, and I had to scrub my feet with a brush! Ahhhhh.......all in good fun!!
I am kind of curious about the dirty scuff marks up the insides of my calves. At least they are equal on both sides, but I wasn't aware of dragging my shoes along my legs. Hmmm. That can't be good! (Any thoughts on that, feel free to share!)