Monday, December 9, 2013



The difference between the cookie cutter training plans I’ve been following recently and the custom training plan I just received from’s Derrick Spafford is something like the difference between store bought cookies out of a bag and the homemade kind straight out of the oven. Sure, you think the first kind taste good enough, until you try the others, and realize just how much better they are with all of their warm, ooey gooey deliciousness.

When I first received my plan from Derrick I immediately began reading through it and was struck by how much more detailed it was as compared to my previous one. Derrick's plan was like a thick, hot juicy pastrami and corned beef sandwich with Swiss cheese and Dijon mustard on rye bread with a side of coleslaw and a pickle too in contrast to the simple "slap it together" processed cheese and white bread sandwiches I had been dining on. It was complex but not overly so. Each ingredient seemed perfectly chosen to complement the others and my mouth simply watered spontaneously at the thought of biting in to it. 

The plan was obviously custom made with consideration to what I have done recently and in my past. The transition from the old to the new appeared seamless and natural. Derrick's plan for me not only addressed the distance of the race I am training for but he has also taken into consideration the terrain I will be racing on and the weather I will be encountering. I don't believe I could find a training plan anywhere so perfectly suited to my own specific needs that would include instructions for me to pull a tire on a trail on Monday, churn out tempo hill repeats on a treadmill set to varying degrees of incline on Wednesday and to perform the middle portion of a 4 hour long run in snowshoes on Saturday.

As I delved deeper into my 3 month plan each workout brought about a salivary response like one might expected happened when Gretel came upon the Gingerbread house in the forest. Like her I felt famished and wanted nothing more then to dive in and begin eating everything in sight. The descriptions of my long runs were like the spicy gingerbread shapes which alone seem simple but when fit together create a perfect foundation to build upon. The tempo workouts were the icing mortar holding everything together and giving strength, the tire pulling and snowshoeing sessions I likened to the meticulous icing details which add depth and character and the intervals were the candy decorations and the delicious finishing touch to a masterful and tasty design.

Unfortunately the one and only thing I did find distasteful about my new plan was that it doesn’t kick in until tomorrow. I am now like a kid on Christmas Eve night waiting for Santa and morning to come, a horse kicking inside his stall waiting for his door to open to be put out to be pasture. I am a runner with a new training plan who must sit and must not run and may do anything other than the one thing I want to do, and by now perhaps you've figure out what that one thing is... I WANT TO EAT MY TRAINING PLAN!!"

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