Schedules are Good … Until They Aren’t
To accomplish projects or goals, we usually need some type of schedule, otherwise days go by and we don’t get closer to our goal. Charting our expectations on a schedule is good … until it isn’t.
That switch from good to not good happens when the schedule moves from being a healthy structure to a source of stress. Stress is unhealthy and most of it is unnecessary. Most of what we stress about on any given day will not matter in a year from now.
I run for my health and because it balances me. (Plus it’s healthier then other vices I could resort to) For motivation and fun, I’ve zeroed in on some goals that I want to achieve with running … a few half-marathons this year, a full marathon next year and then who knows what’s next. I’ve found putting a race on the calendar a few months out and then constructing a schedule to train for it helps me stay on track.
I’ve also found that holding my schedule with a tight fist is a sure recipe for discouragement and stress.
When the temps are reasonable, like between 70 and 80, I love summer. But we’ve been in a heat dome for the past zillion days with temps around 90 or 100. Obviously, this has affected my running. I despise the dreadmill, so I’m still running outside, but I’m going out earlier, slowing down and shortening my distance. And since walking is the new cool, somedays I’ve walked instead of running.
With a September half-marathon on my calendar, I found myself getting anxious about my lack of long runs.
Then I paused and looked at the big picture. I’m not going to turn into a couch potato with some adjustments to my schedule for a week or two. Walking briskly is not near as hard in high temps as running, but it is still a good workout. With some adjustments, I won’t be exhausted from the heat and my legs will be more rested and therefore stronger when I again do a long run at my normal pace.
As Jeff Galloway says in Running Until You’re 100,
Some runners get too obsessed about getting their run in or running at a specific pace. This adds stress to your life. Relax and let your run diffuse some of the other tensions in your life … take an easy jog! You should be in charge – not some training schedule.
This morning’s temps were slightly better than last week … instead of high 80s at 6AM it was a comfortable 75. A running buddy and I headed out and ending up doing* almost 8 miles (which is the long run distance on my schedule this week.) I felt great through all of it and could have gone farther.
A few adjustments last week didn’t kill my running, but instead I felt rested and strong today. This made me pause and wonder if there’s other areas of life where I’m holding my expectations with a tight fist and therefore causing myself stress.
So this week I plan to …
Pause, breathe, look at the big picture, because ….
Schedules are good … until they aren’t.
Do you make schedules? Has a schedule ever changed from being good for you to not being good for you?
*I do Jeff Galloway’s walking break plan … I alternate running 4 or 5 minutes with walking 1 minute.