Planning is Key

After my not so epic race comeback, I was a little bummed.  I spent a few days waffling back and forth between two mindsets: from “I did the best I could, today!” to feeling like I would never get back into running shape.


I’ve been running for about 4 years now, and I have come to figure out what works best for me in terms of improving:

  • Specific Goals
  • Training Plan
  • Upcoming Race
  • Focus on Speed workouts


Before heading to bed last night, I set my alarm for 6:00am. I was determined to get a workout in before work, because I haven’t been able to do so in almost three weeks!


Before setting off to the gym, I grabbed an english muffin with a large smear of PB in the middle.




I’ve never been a huge treadmill fan, but I find that it is easiest for me to get a speed workout done when I can control the pace. Here’s what I was aiming for:


  • 1.0 mile warm up
  • 2.0 miles of intervals
    • 400m (0.25 mi) @ 8:00 min/mile pace
    • 400m recovery interval (any pace below 10:00 min/mile)
  • 1.0 mile cool down


Total of 4.0 miles!


Even though I was indoors in air conditioning, I was a sweaty mess by the time I was finished. I forgot how tough they could be, especially so early in the morning.


I wrapped up my workout with a quick lower body strength training session:

  • 2 x 20 walking lunges with 5lb weights in each hand
  • 20 Squats
  • Hip abductor/adductor machines (50-75 lb range)
  • Hamstring Curls


In the past, I have greatly scoffed off strength training, but I’m starting to rethink that. It was difficult to move my legs after I was done!


For post-gym fuel, I made myself a green smoothie. I can’t remember the last time I had one! It was a basic combination of ice, vanilla soy milk, banana, and spinach. Drinking this gave me an instant pick-me up, even more so than coffee!




I dug into lunch early today, I was pretty hungry after my speed workout! I brought leftover chili and cornbread from dinner last night. Something about leftover chili is always better than the first time you eat it!




I think the biggest challenge so far of the October Grocery Budget Challenge has been planning ahead. I HATE meal planning, but I think the pay offs (saving money) will be worth it.


Planning ahead, weather it be a workout or meals for the day, can be a pain in the neck! I prefer to go by how I feel or what I’m craving, but that ends up costing me time and money, or in the case of running, missing a run completely.


I have come home from work (usually after 8:00pm) countless nights, so ravenous for dinner, that I completely skip my semi-planned-kind-of-thought-about-it run and opt for the quickest meal possible.


Lesson Learned: Planning is Key.


Do you plan your meals and workouts ahead of time? What is your motivation: time, money, or simply getting the most out of your day?


❤ MegaNerd


14 Responses

  1. I’ve definitely learned that I slack off on my workouts if I don’t have a plan for each one. Usually, this is pretty easy when I am training for a race, but it’s during those lulls that my fitness level drops.

    I am trying to become better about planning my meals, but I am such an impulsive eater (I usually eat whatever sounds good at the time). I’ve seen other people plan out meals for the week, and I have never been able to stick to one. Maybe I should just try again?

  2. It’s a tie between time and money – I hate having to pack food in the morning for lunch. I also hate thinking about the house I want to buy some day – every time I am planning meals, I think of the house I will live in. Someday. Motivation enough!

  3. I really don’t enjoy meal planning. I would rather eat what I’m craving when I’m craving it. But it saves time and probably money to plan ahead. Oh, and I definitely eat healthier if I plan ahead! Otherwise I run for the carton of ice cream…

  4. I plan so that I can save money and make the most of my day! I hate, hate, hate wasting time!

  5. I used to do all of my speed workouts on the treadmill so I could control the pace but now I really, really love the track. Though I think once it starts getting cold/snowy, I’m going to have to head back inside. I’m so bad at planning ahead too. I always just stop at the grocery store when I walk by and head home with random things in my bag. But then seem to never have anything to actually eat for dinner.

  6. I could not agree more 🙂 With such busy lifestyles – planning is CERTAINLY THE KEY TO SUCCESS 🙂

  7. You are right, planning is the key to many things in life. I feel that if I don’t have a plan going into any day, I am a complete mess. Running is no different. I have to have at least some kind of idea before I even start or else I’m a mess.

  8. Planning takes time too! If only there were more hours in the day, no? I hate multitasking enough as it is!

  9. AMEN to that!! I am SUCH a planner!!! I have to plan my days in order to relieve anxiety! Haha. especially in college!

  10. Leftover chili is ALWAYS better!!!

    And yes mam, leg workouts will kick your bootay! But once I started doing them, I became a faster runner and had much better endurance!

  11. Hey Megan, my husband and I started a grocery challenge for ourselves last month – $60 a week. It was hard, but fun, and it COMPLETELY changed our budget for the month of September. We ended up with $70 leftover – even after putting stuff in savings, paying off loans, unexpected things, etc.! Keep at it!

  12. i hate meal planning too! and i never do it. then i feel bad when stuff goes to waste in the fridge. and yet, i still dont do anything about it.

  13. Planning for dinner is tough, but I find that having at least two “go-to” meals a week takes at least some of the guesswork out. I have like 7 meals that I know are delicious and it’s easy to stock up on ingredients so I just pick two to make every week.

    As for workouts, I find that having a routine works best. Like everyday after work, I immediately change, grab my dog and head out the door for at least a few miles. It’s tougher on weekends, but then I just try to get the workouts out of the way early. My body literally refuses to run in mornings (unless I have race adrenaline) so I stick to afternoon workouts.

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