QT: The Value of Consistency in Your Running Routine (Best Of-ish)

This post/episode was originally published in November of 2017. The following post/show notes are basically copy/pasted from the orignal post, but the audio is a new take on the subject.

Every Monday morning, I sit down at the computer and update the training plans for each of the athletes that I coach.

For whatever reason, this week it really struck how repetitive most of the plans end up being.

While I pride myself on creating unique plans for each client, once a client finds the routine that works for him or her things start to look pretty much the same week in and week out.

Too Much Change Isn’t Necessarily Good

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, but most human beings thrive on routine.

There may be a few free spirits that actually do perform better with a total lack of structure, but for the most part, we do better when we know what to expect.

By keeping your training schedule consistent from one week to the next, you create the routine that allows you to steadily improve your fitness and reach your running goals.

To be clear, keeping your training schedule consistent from one week to the next doesn’t mean that you’re literally copying and pasting one week to the next forever.

We Fear Change

That much consistency can easily result in boredom and loss of interest in running altogether. And clearly that isn’t the goal.

Instead, build routine into your schedule based on what type of runs you do on which days.

As an example, check out my training schedule for myself (from 2017). I know exactly what workout I’m doing every day of the week, and that seldom changes.

Rigid Consistency Isn’t the Answer Either

If you look at my training schedule, it looks like I’m doing the same thing on the same day every week.

My training schedule is nothing if not consistent, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for variety within my schedule.

Look at Monday and Friday, for example. Those are two days where the schedule rarely changes. Both are easy days of running, and both have the same distance range each week.

So those workouts are the same every week, right?

Within the confines of my training plan, there is still plenty of room for variety.

Each of those days I have a mileage range that I’m aiming for. So if I’m pressed for time or not feeling very good, I can keep the mileage on the shorter end of the window. If I’m feeling great, I can push to the longer end.

I can also add variety by running different routes in the neighborhood, hitting the trails, or driving somewhere and grabbing a few miles somewhere other than my usual route.

The only thing that doesn’t change on those days is my level effort. As long as I’m running easy, everything else can be switched up as needed/desired.

Find Freedom Within a Consistent Structure

When you’re putting together your training plan/schedule, one of the biggest tips I can give you is to get into a routine as quickly as possible.

Once you establish a routine, you’ll find that you have more freedom to change up your workouts, switch locations, and add/subtract miles than you realize.

And the other thing that you’ll come to learn from having a structure to your training (and sticking to said structure!)?

It fucking works.

How Consistent is Your Training Schedule?

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