When I owned my yarn store, often I would be questioned by newer knitters about patterns.  Lots of knitters read the pattern in its entirety before even casting on their first stitch.  I am not one of those knitters.  From the get-go I figured that if there was a written pattern, then obviously someone took the time to knit the thing, then write the pattern accordingly, so that when the next knitter came along, it would come out the same (more or less).

Anyway, these newish knitters would point to some instruction way way into the pattern, and remark–I don’t get it. Or I don’t understand this.  Explain it to me.  Honestly, at this point, my eyes would glass over because knitting patterns are full of teeny tiny text and lots of words, but since it was my shop, I would struggle through the pattern, trying to picture in my head what exactly it was the designer intended.  Nine times out of ten, I would say to my customer–you have to trust the pattern.  Do as it says, and it will work out.  And nine times out of ten, unless the pattern was egregiously wrong, it did.

This is my very long way of saying “what goes around, comes around” now I’m that newish runner, and now I have a coach.  Last week was my first full week of a coached plan.  And I have to say, I was skeptical.  I read ahead.  On Monday (which was my rest day–always excellent to start of a plan with rest!!!), I was reading ahead to Wednesday and Thursday and Saturday and Sunday.  I justified it with “oh, I’ve got to schedule my runs, I need to see what’s expected.” And it’s not like the rest of the week was secret–the plan came with a long and detailed explanation of what I was supposed to be doing, and why.

But like Thomas, I doubted.  Typically my morning runs are in the 3 mile range.  As in exactly 3 miles.  Because exactly three miles lets me do my run and get back in time for the morning crunch of breakfasts, lunches, kisses goodbye, homework signed, and getting myself ready for work.  But my plan had me running those 3 miles at a pace slower than I usually go, which meant some extra planning (to make sure I didn’t derail our mornings). And one of the mornings was for 5 miles, again at a slower than normal pace for me.

And how’s this all going to work out, I was thinking as I started adding some hills or strides into these slower than my average runs.  This slower than my average running pace was throwing me off.   How is this going to help, I was thinking.

And on Sunday, it all came clear.  Sunday was an 8 mile long, slow run.  Again, at a pace slower than I typically go.  (I think I have one speed: 10-10:30 m/m).  I didn’t quite hit the target pace (11:45m/m), but I got close.  And the run was closer to 9 miles than 8 (couldn’t quite figure out a short-cut), but I finished those 9 and felt like I could do 9 more.  And although I was a bit stiff in the typical hammy and hip spots, today I felt as right as rain–better than I’ve felt in a long time.

Now I’m on week two of this plan, and I’m not reading ahead (well, just for the next day so I know when to set my alarm).  I’m just going to do what it says and see how it all plays out.  I have a feeling that it’s going to work.

Oh, and here’s a photo of my latest WIP (work in progress).  I’m eager to finish this, and figure maybe by the weekend?  I’m not reading ahead on this one either.




  1. Thanks for keeping the faith for week one. Easy running is a broad concept, but your biggest aerobic gains come from running silly-easy. This will allow you to build the mileage (actually, build the time on your feet – more important) with reduced injury risk. In fact, I’m debating even canning the strides I’ve called for for now. I’m taking this same approach myself, even though I have a half-marathon coming up in 5 weeks, just going to easy-train right through it and build a solid base for the summer and fall racing season.

    • Helen, I did. And loved it. The store itself still exists (we sold it to a customer when we decided we needed to take a break), and I think I’ll probably open one again in the far future.

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