I've made a bold decision. As much as the MyAsics Plan gets you fighting fit for a race, I have decided to abandon it. I realised that it was ruining my enjoyment of going for a run. Instead of the "I've got a run tomorrow!" (Happy smiling face) I found that I was beginning to dread the next "Plan" run. At first I grabbed the bull by the horns and relished looking at the Asics Plan "Dashboard" on the website. When it said "PERFECT" for all disciplines I felt like a KING!

Then I got ill. A chest infection which left me bed bound for three weeks and then a further two before I fit enough to try making my lungs work again for a run. I did 1K and nearly collapsed coughing. The next run was better. Followed by slow steady improvement over the weeks until I eventually ran my first ten miles about three weeks ago. I repeated the ten miles a week later and patted myself firmly on the back at the monumental achievement.

Then the rot started to set in. I've still got the cough, though it's not as bad as it was. However, it's still there and hits me like a baseball bat at the beginning of every run. After the second ten miler, my next "Plan" run was 5 miles. OK, no biggie. I'd done this loads of times before work so I set off one morning at 6.30am feeling tired but ready for it. The thing is......I wasn't ready for it. I was still yawning and wiping my eyes on my warm up walk, feeling totally exhausted from the running schedule I was keeping to. I did the run but came home feeling like sh**. Not the "That was a rubbish run" feeling, more the "I really really hated that and don't want to do it ever again" kind of feeling.

Not good!

I took a week off. No running at all. The thought of running was a cloud on my horizon and it no longer held the "this doing me good" vibe. Instead it had been replaced with the "this is doing me bad" vibe. And it was. The weeks break was a good leveller and gave me time and distance to sort my thoughts out.

Two days ago I ran 5K. Then this morning I ran 7K. In my head they were "Dan runs" not "MyAsics Plan" runs, therefore, way more enjoyable.

"But what about your half marathon Dan?"

"What about it?"

"Well if you don't do the plan, you'll never make it"

"I might change my mind about doing it. I might just do my own thing before then and decide later on if it's what I really want to do"

"What? You're making you're own decisions? You're insane! I demand you stick to the plan that is spoiling your enjoyment of running!"

"Er.....pi$* off! My enjoyment of running is PARAMOUNT!"

I think to gain control over my running is what I need. I need to decide when, where and how far - not someone else. After all, I did what Laura told me to do for 9 weeks and she set me up with the skills to be able to do this thing. Do I really want to prove something to myself at the expense of spoiling the love? Not sure I do really. So by reaching this monumental decision I can report a certain weight lifted from my shoulders. It could just be that I'm a control freak and need to make the decisions - not some goddamn plan!!

So I'm off out again this weekend on a longer run. Not sure how long - but I can tell you this. it will NOT be ten miles!

I'm gonna save those for special occasions.

Thanks for reading

yer pal


47 Replies

  • So far I'm sticking to my HM Asics Plan but must admit I have not been struck down with colds, flu or sickness. Totally understand what you are thinking though! My plan "TELLS" me my next runs are 7k and 14k... think I will try my best... perhaps I like the discipline!! Having never run a HM I am hoping that if I do following the plan I will be OK... perhaps with experience I will learn what actually needed with regards to pre-training.

    Whatever you do... enjoy your runs Dan... that's the important thing.

  • Thanks Andy. I'm overwhelmed with the amazing responses from everyone. Cheers!

  • Dan, I know exactly what you mean. After I lost my mojo earlier this year then started to find it again, I decided to download the MyAsics HM, not because I intended to enter a HM but just as something to aim for. I ran 10 miles almost exactly a year ago and it's bothered me ever since that I never attempted the extra few!

    Started out full of good intentions but I'm finding that I hate 'having' to do a certain run...in fact, I don't do what I'm supposed to usually. I'm very much a 'how do I feel today' runner although sometimes I set out to do a short run and end up doing 10k (like last week!) and sometimes just the opposite. Plus, I feel the jump from 5k to 10k then 7 to 14 is too great for me in one go. I know I can run 10k but not necessarily to order.

    I've decided to try and up the kms in my own time and maybe I'll get close to the HM eventually. Going to keep the plan handy and refer to it - but not be a slave to it!

  • Agreed! Thanks for this.

  • Hi Dan

    I get this , I do like the discipline of " A plan " and I know a lot of people swear by them but to me they have their pro's and cons .

    I have started 2 plans now but had to abandon them because even though I stated I wanted to run 3 times a week , some weeks there were 4 runs and I know if I do this , I will end up injured ( which I did ).

    Also I joined a running club on Tuesday nights and I like to do Park runs on a Saturday so I found the plans didn't fit in with my plans ! :-)

    So I totally agree with what you say and I think they are a good idea in their own right but not for everyone , if you see what I mean ! I have confused myself now :-)

    I am sure you will complete the HM with or without the plan and I am glad you've got the love back, baby ! :-D xxx

  • That's a very valid point... can't have plans upsetting other plans as the original planned plan goes out the window :-)

  • Ha ha Andy ! Now I am confused ! Tee Hee :-D xxx

  • Thanks Pops. I knew you'd get it!

  • Oh I really am with you there!!

    I have decided that from now I will use the Myasics as a template to make my own plan... After all I already managed a HM following and tweaking my own plan quite a lot, and training only for 8 weeks - and still finished it.

    Then I started a 10k myasics - and - did not go to the 10 k ! But I do have to admit it did bring results - so I started a new one, but due to its total lack of flexibility I am going to super-tweak it and train for a real or imaginary 10 miler

    The best thing that happen to my pace was going to Parkrun :)

  • Surely the myAsics plans are flexible, though - you can reschedule, skip or substitute runs and it'll monitor your overall progress for you. I'm currently following a Garmin HM plan, and entering the runs into a myAsics HM plan. Doesn't match directly, but I can see I'm keeping up with the performance schedule. I also don't follow the Garmin plan 100% - I do Parkrun instead of the planned Saturday runs.

  • Oh yes Steve you can reschedule , skip etc but the problem I had was that I started suffering with my hips, and had to take a lot of time out and ended up with more holes in my plan than Jocky Wilsons dartboard ha ha :-)

    It was really hard to pick it up again after that , I then started another plan, but then ended up joining my running club and then doing Parkrun so I ended up abandoning that one . Ah well , best laid plans and all that ! :-) xxx

  • Excellent reply. Thanks Pigivi.

  • Dan, you sure you haven't got whooping cough? Wee trip to the GP with that hanging around a long time cough maybe?

    IKWYM about these set plans. I've only ever done one (apart from C25K things of course) and I need something a little more flexible. C25K is fine of course as you can really repeat, go back, postpone, whatever without ever 'getting behind' But I was constantly feeling as though I was behind.

    I got to 10k without a 'plan' (well, I did some longer and longer runs but eventually it was more a case of "'Oo eck, if I want to do this by the date I planned, I need to, well, do it" And I did.

  • Doc reckons it isn;t whooping cough - I've seen the doc 4 times now....

    You're right about the C25K plan - somehow that seemed to work for all of us on here. But you're right about the correct mental attitude being the main thing.

  • Good on you, I get where you're coming from. I checked out the different plans after graduating as I needed some kind of structure, but ended up deciding to do it my own way in the time it takes me - taking up the plans looked too much like setting myself up for disaster. We have enough stress in life as it is, and having made a previous bane of my teenaged years into a pleasure, I don't want to put myself off it by a too stringent training plan. Now off you go to get that cough taken care of, doesn't sound good.

  • Thanks mfamilias. Appreciate that.

  • SNAP!!!! I feel exactly the same way about plans and frankly think that most are based on those devised for elite or serious club runners, whereas we recreational runners don't need the degree of preparation if our only intention is to finish the distance. I have not yet done a HM and will probably never bother, because I prefer to run on my own, but I do intend to do the distance, in the near future. Once you have a few 10 milers under the belt, Dan, I don't think that pushing up to 13 is going to be that difficult, once the fuelling and hydration is sorted. All my running mates say if you can do 10 miles then the extra distance is a doddle when in a formal race the adrenaline and atmosphere will get you there.

    I would do the distance at least once before the race and also leave a longer taper than is generally suggested, but otherwise just keep up the regular mixed distance enjoyment.

  • Here here !!

  • Yeah good idea. Thanks man. I totally get the "day of the race" vibe dragging you over the line!

  • You will inspire others by telling us the plan is gone. I have struggled to follow mine, due to club runs, the odd race, but tried to do the long runs on a weekend to match the plan - and boy were they difficult.

    I shall just keep doing a little more on my distance and see where it leads. Incredibly the ladies captain at the running club has admitted that she wants to race and this is not possible if she pushes herself to HM and the FullM so is going back to the shorter 10ks for the moment.

    Really hope you can get the chest sorted, this has been going on too long.

  • Thanks C.

  • Thanks for the post Dan, I've never done a "plan" (not even graduated yet) but it's good to know that a seasoned pro like yourself isn't religiously sticking to plans as I suspect my tolerance for them will be limited too.

    And the most important thing of all is for running to make you happy (surely). So well done, and get that cough seen to!

  • I've never been called a seasoned pro before!! Thank you. But the main thing is to embrace the massive hurdle we've already jumped in getting to enjoy running, and not letting Soviet styled plans ruin the fun!

  • A lovely honest blog Dan... And you have articulated so well why I have never followed a plan... I may not be very fast or good at running but I always maintain that It's always been about enjoyment... I hate being put into a tidy box- mine is a dirty one!! But that is part of the freedom that running gives me. You stick to your guns on this and get the love back.. And get well...you are still recovering from an awful chest infection 😎

  • Tidy boxes and dirty boxes. Now THERE'S a subject to discuss.....

  • Good stuff Dan. Enjoying your runs has to be the major factor. I've always thought the pressure of having to a do a certain distance on a certain day wouldn't work for me and am sure you can adapt something to suit your aims. Happy running!!

  • Thanks AM.

  • Funnily enough I've ditched my Asics HM plan too and for much of the same reasons you articulate. I just wanted to train hard and get a good (read unrealistic) time. Life and health have intervened and I've decided to go my own way. I know I can do the distance, already have officially and unofficially, so I'll enjoy the run up to the HM and take what time comes.

  • Well done Annie. Thanks for that stirring post!

  • You'll be fine Dan. Once you give up the tyranny of "the plan" you will feel more relaxed about your running and can probably dash off a half marathon should the need arise. You have the 10 miles under your belt, and if you keep running, your fitness should be fine (aside from the cough)

    Yeah hang loose Dan, just chill and take each run as it comes.

    Have fun!

  • I like hanging loose. It's the only way to hang in my view....

  • Yep i'm with you Dan! cos i do parkrun some weeks and club on a tues, i can't really work round a plan! and you don't want to lose the enjoyment. i'm sure TT will come knocking on your door to make sure you get another 10 miler in with lemonade lollies! my pal was trying to get me to enter the hilly IW half marathon in 2 weeks time , but i think getting to the 10 mile mark is enough for now, i need a flatter one first of all! and maybe in a few months not weeks!! well done on that decision, celebrate with a G and T ?! x :X :)

  • See how busy our lives are Ali. It;s a NIGHTMARE daaaahlliiing!!

  • it just SUCH a social whirlwind !!!!!!!!! :)

    (oops, that might just be you!!)

  • Dan pet! Aaah totaleeee get this like!!! That's why I have never done a plan!!! If I knew I had to do a long run those pesky gremlins would be out in force!!! Instead I try to just do what I feel like but still push myself a bit!!! That's how I ended up doing over 7.5 in the pouring rain! Was just loving it so kept going. If id known I had to run that I would have hated it!!! So well done on a good decision. Got to do what's best for you and keep happy!!!! Look forward to your next mad rambling!!!! Xx

  • Aww thanks ToonLouLou.

  • Good for you, Dan - the enjoyment of running has to come first. And the thing about plans is that real life interferes. You have a run planned, and someone says, 'Hey, fancy coming on the river with champagne and strawberries?' Do you consult your board and say, 'Oh, no, sorry, I can't do that, I have to go and do a 7.5 mile run at x speed'? Do you hell! Champers and strawberries it is! (well, for this girl, anyway ;) ) So you enjoy your running and that HM will happen all in its own good time. And get your cough sorted too!

  • I LOVE CHAMPAGNE AND STRAWBERRIES!! And will always put them far and away above going for a run!! Hahahah!

  • There are certainly people who will pass up the champagne (or rose lemonade) and strawberries :-(

    All of that said, plans have their place, even if it is for the empowering joy of them being kicked into touch when they no longer serve us.

  • I gave up on my Asics plan after a few weeks, I know they're not all the same, but mine started with 3 weeks of 3.5K at 9 mins 45 per K, then upped the ante to 7 or more K at 7 mins... the first was so slow I would have had to have hopped, the second was way too fast for me at that stage...I felt a bit guilty if I missed a run too. Much more fun to just go and run...

  • Yes, you're right. I did start to feel guilty as well! Ridiculous when you're supposed to be enjoying yourself.

  • I was feeling much the same about following a plan and I just added 1/2km a week to my long run until I got up to 10km. Then I entered a 10km race - then I entered another 10km race for 2 weeks after the first one. THEN I had a panic. I know I can do the 10km but I'm slow. So, I started a plan to try and get my pace up a bit. So far it's going OK but then I saw a running club has just started locally and I'm thinking I might want to have a go at that but if I do that then it will mean the plan goes out the window!!!!

  • Well done Sharon. Thanks for this. Nice to know a lot of people agree with my view!

  • Dan runs have got to be the best runs! If you have done two 10 milers then a half marathon is gonna be no problem for you in my opinion, if you decide to do it. You're in charge of your runs Dan, sometimes a plan is there so we can poke our tongue out at it and go off and enjoy ourselves regardless. x :-)

  • I'm sure I'd replied to this before (and on two of Miss Wobble's posts) but they all seem to have disappeared into the ether. Just encouraging waffle... and an inspirational Pirates of the Caribbean quote: 'The MyAsics Plan is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules'.

  • Yes - the last couple of days I've had posts disappearing and then reappearing and then going again!@! Sometimes I can see them on the news feed but not against the post 😕

  • I modified my MyAsics plan from the outset to add a bit of variety to what looked like a very repetitive regimen. With that said, the left side of my brain is very dominant and I tend to be very process driven and rigidly following a plan is in my nature. Not surprisingly therefore, I am thoroughly enjoying my training plan.

    I totally get that this is not for everyone though and for you, it is best to do your own thing if you are/were not enjoying the plan.

    One observation I would make is that you weren't actually following the plan in that pretty much all of the runs you did were of the "Fast" variety even when the plan called for a "Comfortable" or "Jog" pace. For me the slow/easy runs make the training much more bearable and I would really struggle for motivation if every run was a fast one.

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