The Power of the Vague Plan

WELL, DAMN. I went through all of the trouble of writing this Tuesday night and it turns out the scheduler was set to the wrong date so it didn’t publish this morning like I intended. That’s okay because that allowed me to add a few sentences about today.

This has been a good week. I’ve stuck to a good workout plan and a good eating plan. And it seems that the secret to me is: Make Vague Plans

Soccer season finally ended so our schedules are a little more flexible this week. This meant I could possibly squeeze some workouts in, and if I’m going to be squeezing workouts in, I might as well make an attempt at reigning in my stress eating, right?

So I made some plans. Some vague plans.

First I needed to know Donnie’s workout schedule because this is his training season so he gets first dibs on training times. That means that if he has the morning off, or if he’s on the bike trainer (the device that basically turns your road bike into a stationary bike) then I can go run. If he’s running or on the bike on the road, I have to either plan a workout at night, or something in the house in the morning. The trick is – I’m supposed to be triathlon training right now. So, in theory, I am supposed to run 3 days, swim 3 days, and bike 3 days. If you do the math you see that means there are some double-days so I really have to be smart with how I plan.

The problem with me is that – like with any really restrictive diet (like Paleo or Gluten-Free, not Vegan because that’s more of a spiritual thing) – if I have a restrictive schedule/plan – I’m going to break it. Just because. It’s the same part of me that, if I break my diet once – I binge the rest of the day. If my schedule says “15 miles on the bike” and I only have time for 10, I’ll just skip the workout. If I’m supposed to do a run for 5 miles at a tempo pace but only feel like running a moderate pace, I’ll skip the workout all together.

IMG_7701So, I’ve been making vague plans. For example: Monday was Donnie’s off day so I knew I’d go for a run. I didn’t plan exactly when or how far or at what speed because I knew I needed to do house work in the morning. I left that part a little flexible but just knew that I needed at least 4 miles so I couldn’t start any later than 5:20.

And I stuck with that plan.

I wanted more miles on Tuesday but had the same basic guidelines and ended up getting out a little early so I got in 5 miles.

When I saw that Tuesday night was free on our schedule, I thought I’d try for a swim. Again…I kept it vague. Pool closes at 9pm, try to go swimming before then. We took our time with dinner, I did some errands, and we headed out about 6:45pm. I took Nikki with me as she needs some lap time too. I had no specific distance planned or workout planned, just “get a good swim” so, I stuck with the plan.

I knew Donnie had to run this morning so last night I got his bike off of his trainer and put mine on so it would be ready in the morning. I knew I wanted to ride it while watching one of my Tuesday night shows. So I did! I didn’t have a specific time or workout planned, just to say on the bike during the show. When commercials aired, I sped up until it was over. When Flash ran? I pushed harder. I just basically pushed when I felt like it but sat back and relaxed when I needed a break.

I’ve also been applying the same idea to my eating. I have a vague meal plan but know I’ll need snacks throughout the day and basically just go for it based on my options when I’m hungry. When I let Sweetie out after work yesterday I heated up some leftover brussel sprouts for a snack. On Tuesday I grabbed a Larabar. I’m just keeping the plan vague enough to allow some flexibility, like the periodic piece of candy from the bowl at the office.

I need a plan. Without one I don’t workout and I eat like crap. But I can’t keep a rigid plan of a certain number of calories and specific workouts because if I can’t do the EXACT thing I’m supposed to do, I just throw it all out the window.

So, the key this week (and all 3 days) has been to find the magic spot of enough of a plan to keep me in line, but not too much of a plan that I’ll toss in the garbage if I can’t do it exactly.

So far. So good.

Tonight’s vague plan is speedwork. I might do hills. I might do the track. I might do it with the kids, I might do it without. Maybe before dinner. Maybe after. We’ll see.

1 thought on “The Power of the Vague Plan”

  1. I never strictly adhere to the prescribed tri workout plan either. It is all dependent on how my body feels and the available time I have. Yesterday I had time to swim, so I did the swim workout on the training schedule, but did not bike. So like you said, I use it as a vague plan. I like that phrase. 🙂

Leave a Reply