Scheduling Weekly Workouts Without a Training Plan

I mentioned yesterday that I came up with a loose schedule for my workouts this week. Without a full training plan, it can be challenging to figure out how my week will look. When I don’t go into the week with a plan I often get frustrated about not setting up my workouts appropriately. For example, if I do a hard strength training session the day before a speed workout I feel like my legs are heavy during the workout. I thought I would share some of the things I take into consideration when developing a weekly schedule. 

Here are some ways to schedule workouts for the week even when you're not following an official training plan!

Even without a full training plan, it’s still important to look at the “bigger picture” of training-not just that one particular week. This means taking into consideration the mileage and intensity of the past few weeks and any upcoming goals or races. For me, I have been running about 20-30 miles per week with one tempo run for about 5 weeks now, and I have a 10k in about a month. 

After I develop a general sense of where I am in my training, I think about what I want to accomplish that week. For this week, I hoped to do the following:

  • One “longer” run of 8-10 miles
  • One tempo run at 10k pace
  • One full body strength training session/one short strength training session
  • One yoga session focused on recovery
  • Core and hip exercises
  • Foam rolling

From there I think about what days would be better to run based on the weather and my schedule. If I see that it’s supposed to be really windy or storming on a certain day, I will try to make that a rest day or strength training day. Luckily, this upcoming week looks ok so far. 

Some weeks I have days that I need to leave earlier or later for work, so I consider than when planning my workouts. Also, if I have plans one night I will probably not schedule a tough workout for the next day.


It’s also important to “sandwich” hard workouts between rest days or recovery runs. I usually do my tempo run during the earlier part of the week so I can do my longer run over the weekend. 

Once I have a general workout planned for each day, I add in the “extras” like core work, foam rolling, and yoga.

Here is how I planned out this week:


As you may know from my meal prep posts, I am a planner by nature. I get more stressed out when I don’t have things planned out so doing this helps provide me with structure for the week. I know many runners function best by just doing whatever workout they feel like each day. This has always been hard for me, especially because I work out as soon as I wake up and usually have no idea what I feel like doing. Without a plan I would probably end up running every day and leaving out all the other stuff!

Do you schedule your workouts when you’re not following a training plan?

How do you decide what workouts you will do on each day?

Tuesdays on the Run

I’m linking up with PattyErika, and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run!


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