I am loving my training plan, for once. Usually training plans ask too much from me too fast and I abandon ship soon after starting. For most of my past races, aside from my first marathon, I have made up my own plan as I went, but not this time. I am on week 6, day 1 of Hal Higdon's intermediate 1 plan and it is progressing slowly enough that I feel strong and capable on most runs and unlike other years, it has not been a struggle keeping up. This weekend I completed a total of 18 miles and the only side affect was a bit of crankiness, and not even the usual soreness the next morning.
For my 2 days off during the week I am totally taking the day off completely, no guilt, no cheating, just rest 100%. Over the years I have grown to value of these days off as essential parts of all training plans. Only with proper rest in between intense training periods is one able to come back stronger each time. Most of my speed PR's we've earned on days I took 1-2 days off running. I tend to liken these days off to pauses in all songs, they are just as essential as the song, yet, any song would not sound right without these gaps of no song; song and no song, they each complement one another just as running days and non-running days; they each make up a part of a whole.
What plans do you use?