“Badges? We ain’t got no badges!
We don’t need no badges!
I don’t have to show you any stinking badges!”
— Dude in gold hat
Longtime readers will recall I have an affinity for starting a training plan and then losing interest after a couple of weeks. The last one was a 1983 affinity convertible with fuzzy dice. Lordy, I love fuzzy dice. But I hated the plan.
Which made me think. What do I really WANT in a training plan? Other than, of course, fuzzy dice. I might have mentioned that already.
Mostly, I hate complicated stuff. No, Uncle Hal, I’m not going to do 16 sets of 220 intervals preceded by four 100 intervals bookcased by a warmup and cooldown. In the first place, there will never be a track open again in my lifetime. Also, I’m slow, making 220s moot. Same with tempo. And hill repeats. And long runs. And vegetable medleys. Never trust a vegetable that associates itself with a medley. And no high quality, low quantity stuff. I need my daydreaming.
Which made me think. So what the hell DO I want? Other than a 90-year-old in a cowboy hat with a cat puppet reading quotes from “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre,” of course. Duh.
I basically need back-to-back long runs. But not too long. One faster day a week, and slow runs that allow me enough time to solve all the world’s problems on the first half of the run while forgetting them again on the second. And mileage I can add up for the week in my head without getting a headache. Because running shouldn’t give you a headache. Only monkey butt rash.
Which led me to The Training Plan of the Sierra Madre ©. Which is this.
■ Three 5 mile runs on Monday through Wednesday, with the one in the middle faster. We will call that one the Jan Brady run. Yes, the Wednesday run will be done in curls. The run from here around the gumbo loop is exactly 5.0000000000000000 miles, surely a sign. On the other hand, the sign at the underpass on the course is “slippery when wet,” forcing me to sing “Wanted Dead or Alive” in my head for the rest of the run.
■ 10 mile runs on Thursday and Friday. This might not be quite enough to get me through a marathon, but I lose interest after a while, and that’s all the time I have during Mo’s pottery days anyhow. You don’t want to keep Mo waiting on her pottery days. Hopefully cumulative fatigue will bring about similar results blah blah zzzzzzzzzz. Maybe stretch first one to 15 after a while and hope Mo doesn’t notice I’m missing.
■ Rest day on Saturday because work is 20 hours long. Saturdays suck. Maybe I’ll be laid off soon. One can hope.
■ South Mountain on Sunday, either 5 or 10 miles depending on how my legs feel and whether Weekend Edition is annoying me or not. The road is closed to traffic on Sundays, meaning I will be killed by a road bike hitting gravel at 50 mph going down the hill. Run has to be one of those two distances to ensure required ease in adding up mileage. You likely missed that while obsessing over the fuzzy dice.
■ Repeat as necessary.
That’s it! 40 or 45 miles a week, depending on Lulu Garcia-Navarro. It’s simple, it’s effective, I am unlikely to lose interest because it’s basically the same thing I normally do. No worries about cutback weeks, no complicated formulas, no Uncle Hal pretending to plot out a plan for 36 bucks that’s all gibberish. Intervals? We don’t need no stinking intervals.
So there you have it. The TPotSM©. Whiskey Row, here we come, monkey butt rash and all.
In the words of Bullwinkle the Moose as he attempted to pull a rabbit out of his hat, “This time for sure.”