A Running Plan that Works

Visions, goals, and hopes come second to systems, routines, and habits.

During my long run I remembered an exercise principle that helps me in deciding on a workout program.

The only workout that works is the one that you will do.

It’s simple and true. If someone hates cardio, then the best cardio workout program is not going to be the solution for that person, no mater how great the class teacher is. If you hate eating broccoli, more than likely you’re not going to enjoy it even at a high end restaurant, prepared by an experienced chef.

As a real life example, I have been wanting to make running a consistent workout for years. A few weeks ago, I decided to come up with a simple system to make running a priority: Run 2-3 miles twice during the weekdays and on Saturday run further and increase my mileage each week. (I decided to specifically name Saturday versus saying the weekend because I know how much of a procrastinator I can be).

There have been a couple of weeks where I’ve only run once during the week and then cringe when I think of my long runs. Most Saturdays, I make a light breakfast, check the weather, and decide on the warmest time of the day for my run. I give myself a pep talk before and during my runs to remind me how far I’ve come already.

Systems trump Vision. Routines trump Goals.Habits trump hopes.

My vision for running hasn’t drifted far beyond being able to run a 10k. However, now that I have a system in place, I have been looking at The Hot Chocolate 15k and now am considering half marathons. The craziest thing about this is that winter is coming, which means I’ll need to keep up my system through cold weather (I dislike cold weather very much).

The goal of running further has now been replaced with a weekly routine that is becoming a habit. I’m taking my running habit one day at a time. If nothing else, the last few weeks have taught me that I can do something challenging and succeed when I have the right system in place.

I’m not sure what your goals are for 2016, but I do know to succeed you need the right system that you will do.

What are your goals? If you would like help coming up with a system, comment below.



  • Goal mileage 6 miles
  • Actual mileage 6.94
  • Average pace 10’12”
  • Time 1:10:53


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s