Here is how to start planning your running schedule


Dan Donohue, of Fitness Formation, writes about his love of running and why it is important to plan it.

Over the past 18 months, I’ve come to fall in love with running, long distance running to be exact.
Prior to that, it was more like a love-hate thing.

Over the last 18 months, I’ve come to the realisation as to why that was.
I was running (when I did run) for running’s sake, albeit very inconsistently, just to burn some calories here and there.
Idling along with no plan in place.

During the last year and a half, things have been structured.
The 34th President of the United States of America, Dwight D. Eisenhower, famously said “‘plans are nothing, planning is everything”.

We also used to have a saying in the Royal Marines that can’t really be written in a family friendly newspaper, but it was along the same lines.
In the past 18 months, I have taken part in a 32-mile adventure marathon and 70-mile ultra-marathon.

I signed up at the earliest opportunity for both of them, so I was accountable to myself and to others who I made it known to.
Over the next couple of weeks in our column, I’ll give you some thoughts on why planning got me from the start to the finish line, and how we can apply it to all aspects of our life.

Taking part in a 70-mile event wasn’t even on my radar 18 months ago but, once I’d signed up for it, the planning began.
In all honesty, the planning never stops.

There’s a lot to think about when you take on something like this.
Training, nutrition, recovery, sleep, hydration. God knows how people train for an Ironman and still have a life.
The most important thing when it comes to this kind of thing is getting the miles in the legs.

That’s where the planning really begins.
As a father of two and husband, things can’t be dropped just so I can get out and go and run.
And, working in this industry, means unsociable hours that start early and finish late over each seven-day period.

Planning is everything. I’d sit down, grab my wife’s diary (we all live by our wife’s diaries, right?), work rota and I’d plan at least two to three weeks ahead.
This was crucial in the planning, ensuring the miles could be done.

All it took was ten to 15 minutes on a Sunday evening, every couple of weeks or so, to get it done.
So many of us complain we don’t have the time to do X, Y and Z yet we often don’t even sit down to look at whether, with some planning, we actually could.

When I first looked at the training plan, and the miles I’d need to get in the bag to be ready for event day, I thought about how on earth I’d do it.
But, with some planning, I got it done. Sit down, plan your training, get it done.
Why? Because it can be done.