No One-Size-Fits All

bonesize

Google training plans or eating plans and you’ll have enough choices to choose from to make your head spin. The problem? You are the only you there ever will be, and who knows who those training plans or diets were created for?

Fairytales and Fitness

Free training plans found on the Internet might work for you, but they’re not going to work for every runner and every runner would have to tweak the same plan to meet their needs.

No one size in training plans
That’s why I highly recommend working with a coach, even if it’s only for a short while. A good coach will ask you a lot of questions, and then tailor a training plan to meet your needs. They’ll update it on the fly, because a training plan is a living thing, and it should change as your needs change.

Even if a coach is not in the cards, if you decide to follow a training plan you find online, or in a book, or from a friend, you need to tailor it to your own needs.

Some people do great with high mileage, and that same mileage, for another runner training for the same race, will result in injury. Some runners can run almost every day, and others will benefit from more rest days and cross training. Some runners do best running by time, some by perceived effort, others by pace.

I could go on and on, but you get the idea.

bone2
Ayurveda is tailoring your diet to you

No one size in diet
Your best friend gushes about her latest diet, how great she feels, how much weight she’s lost or muscle she’s put on. A trusted coach has a plan that works for all their athletes. That Facebook group you belong to is all atwitter with their newest plan.

No doubt all examples work for those people, but will it work for you? Maybe. Maybe not. No doubt you get frustrated when it seems to work for everyone but you.

That’s the beauty of trying an elimination diet, like the one I followed in Eat, Live Thrive (read the review here), or following the guidelines of Ayurveda (which I talked about a little in this post here).

Both these methods can teach you so much about your body, but they will require more time, effort, and paying attention to your body than you’re probably used to. The payoff is finding what works for your body, at this time. The only thing sure in life is that everything changes, and any woman in her 40s and beyond will probably tell you what  used to work for her no longer does.

Ayurveda is a fascinating and difficult subject, and next week I’ll be reviewing another book about it. The good news about Ayurveda is that there are more and more books lately that try to bring that ancient wisdom into our modern lifestyles.

Final Thoughts
Mr. Judy often complains about health science: that what was good to eat yesterday is demonized today. It’s a valid complaint.

On the flip side, there’s a certain beauty to knowing you can create a plan that is tailored to your specific needs. You just have to pay attention to your body.

Does change bother you, or do you embrace it?

Do you follow training plans from the Internet to the letter, or adapt them to your needs?

Have you found that you continually have to change up what you eat?

21 thoughts on “No One-Size-Fits All

  1. Love change. Don’t like to run on the same route often. Love new races. New friends etc.

    Never follow a plan exactly. Life gets in the way which is more important than mileage.

    Diet? I avoid junk food. Otherwise I eat whatever I want. The thing is to never gain too much weight. I know easier said than done. If you don’t you, don’t have to worry about food.

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  2. I have followed plans from books when I first started running. Some worked better than others for me. I do better on lower running mileage so I do have to modify plans that I find. Working with a coach or a trainer to reach goals has been more successful for me. I am a person who needs the feedback.

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    1. There are a lot of different theories about Max HR & I am definitely no expert – and trying to figure that out at the moment, too! I just haven’t had a lot of time to devote to it, so I just went with the defaults on my Garmin for now.

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  3. I was nodding my head in agreement as I was going through your post. I’m a prime example of this. For my first 3 marathons I followed a training plan designed by my coach. Nothing was wrong with it at all, but I’ve tweaked thinks to fit my likes/dislikes/lifestyle for my current training cycle and it’s been a wonderful change.

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  4. Such a great topic!! It may be my artsy-fartsy brain, but I seldom follow things exactly as written. I’m always tweaking and (hopefully) perfecting my training, organizing (debatable LOL), cooking, etc. Of course, that involves a lot of trial and error, but but it’s through errors that (I believe) we learn what works best (and what does not) for whatever situation.Every marathon I’ve trained for, I have done a bit differently… but I have also been at different stages in my fitness for all of them. Knock wood…it’s been working for me…

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  5. I used a Hal Higdon training plan for my first marathon and it was such a disaster! That’s when I hired a coach. Best thing I ever did. I don’t mind change if it makes sense. You have to understand that I work in health care and there seems to be a lot of nonsensical change.

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  6. Does change bother you, or do you embrace it? Embrace. Love trying new things.

    Do you follow training plans from the Internet to the letter, or adapt them to your needs? Use as a template but definitely adapt to my needs.

    Have you found that you continually have to change up what you eat? Yes. I have evolved quite a bit over the years. Vegetarian, macrobiotic, McDougall, 21 Day Elimination to name a few. I am now eating as wholesome (least processed) mostly plants, limited grains & fruit. The older I get the more conscious I have become with what I put in my mouth.

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  7. One of my colleagues says it best — the only “best” diet is the one you can stick with. Part of why I dropped Weight Watchers is their incessant tinkering. But the old WW Points masquerading as calorie counting in My Fitness Pal works for me. Aside from general tracking, I don’t really need to avoid any foods. Should eat less of some of course, but nothing I’ve eliminated except for most dairy for other reasons.
    This training cycle has been interesting . I won’t use Rogue for my spring Halfs (too expensive) but it was so worth it for my first full. I’ve learned so much even if I’m no faster

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    1. I know a lot of people who don’t like WW’s tinkering. Never bothered me, in fact, I truly think that’s a good thing, because most of us can too easily get stuck in a rut. And I’ve been a member for almost 30 years. Yikes! Believe me, I’ve seen some changes!

      However, I no longer track food at all. So far it’s working for me. I stopped after I got sick last Spring. I have been working hard towards a more intuitive way of eating, which has always eluded me in the past, but seems to be working for the moment. Winters are always hard for me.

      I still go to meetings (which is the most important part of WW, IMHO) mostly for the support & accountability. Or at least I do when I’m here . . . I don’t have to pay, though, since I’m at my GW.

      I’m glad Rogue has paid off so well for you! Most people don’t get faster training for a full. But you never know, you really never know until race day. Which is gonna be a PR anyway. 🙂

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      1. I haven’t done meetings since early 2011. They got rid of the ones closest to home (as well as the leader I loved) and work, so it just became impossible. I did meet up with a friend this summer that I “met” via Swarm at a WW meeting .
        Winters are hard too – I like warm food and warm comfort food isn’t always healthy, although I can ake smart choices.
        I am an obsessive food tracker, but it owrks for me

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      2. I tracked my food for a very, very long time. So never say never, I really never thought I would get to a place where I wouldn’t, but for now, that’s exactly where I am.

        OTOH, stress (and having to be insanely busy due to said stress) usually leaves me so busy I don’t have much time to really think about eating at all. I tend to lose weight during such times. Which is exactly what’s going on at the moment — mostly because I just don’t have as much time to eat most days (cause I don’t really like to eat in the car & I’m spending a lot of time in it for the next few weeks).

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