Sticking to the Plan

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.


An in-depth, 4-week reverse dieting course for women who feel like their metabolism has slowed down, think they might have hormonal imbalance and can’t lose weight no matter what they do.

Happy Saturday!

I’m only a week into my training for the Run to Remember Half Marathon, and I’m already struggling to fit in my runs. I know I should just go to CrossFit less, but I like it too much! It’s so fun! I realize I probably need to cut back on CrossFit at least until after the race, so I’m thinking about changing my membership to two or three times a week (instead of unlimited). I’m kind of bummed I can’t CrossFit as much as I’d like, but I really want to PR at the Run to Remember, and I know I need to stick to my training plan if I want to make it happen.

Since I’m really trying to stick with my plan, I tried to motivate myself by writing it down on a piece of paper and hanging it up on the bulletin board right next to my computer where I will see it everyday as a reminder to get my run on!

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I also started checking off the runs that I’ve completed as a visual reminder of what I’ve accomplished to keep the ball rolling with my training. Maybe some colorful smiley stickers would be fun on there too?

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Weekly Workouts

Speaking of training plans, here’s how my current one fits into this week’s workouts!

  • Sunday: Off
  • Monday: CrossFit
  • Tuesday: 35 min tempo
  • Wednesday: 3 miles
  • Thursday: Off
  • Friday: CrossFit
  • Saturday: CrossFit


This morning’s breakfast was two waffles with peanut butter spread on top and a glass of iced coffee with almond milk. Sadly, we were out of bananas this morning.

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Lunch was a tad on the boring side today, but only because I hadn’t gone grocery shopping for the week yet. There were slim pickings in our kitchen!

I started lunch with an English muffin pizza.

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And finish with a piece of toast with peanut butter and butterscotch chips on top.

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I should probably eat something colorful today. Maybe some fruit or veggies? I need to get on that ASAP.

Question of the Day

When it comes to training plans, are you strict or flexible? How do you motivate yourself to stick with it?



  1. I understand how loving crossfit makes it difficult to get your runs in. I’m kind Of the opposite though. I focus all my time and energy running and then scimp on weight training. I’ve decided that running is my priority and as important as weight training is it will only happen if I’m done with my running and have time left. Makes it hard to train though. I’m sure you’ll manage and pr!

  2. I’m pretty flexible. The way I see it if I do a different workout from what I have planned, it’s not the end of the world. I have my whole life to workout 6 days per week. Might as well do what makes that bearable rather than what I planned to do at the beginning of the week! Sometimes you just have off days!

  3. I love using Daily Mile to keep track of running and it’s so motivating, I love putting in my runs! Also, I know what you mean about wanting to keep up strength training and run. I’ve had a really hard time doing that with my half marathon next week and I feel like I ended up doing both halfway, rather than fulling committing myself.

  4. Why force it, though? If you aren’t really into running…go to CrossFit! It’s not like you’d be quitting running to eat chips on the couch–you just found another healthy activity you like better. I had the same struggle when I started CrossFit, and finally just quit running and I’m so much happier. It doesn’t sound like your heart is in it anymore, and that’s okay.

    1. I’m not forcing it. I WANT to run, get faster, and PR at the half. Sadly, my body just can’t handle so much CrossFit and running at once, and I know I need to get my run on if I want to PR, so CF might need to happen less– at least for now.

      1. @Tina: I have to say, I agree with Brie’s reaction above. It’s obviously hard to tell just through reading your blog posts what you’re truly thinking/feeling – but it seems as though you just don’t enjoy running long distances in the same way you enjoy CrossFit. Many of us would LIKE to do a lot of things – but why force something that you’re clearly not feeling? (Especially, since, working out (however you define working out) is something you do as a hobby and for health/pleasure/etc – it’s not like your career is dependent on it, you know?) Just my two cents!

      2. @Tina: I also agree with Brie… If you enjoy Cross Fit more why would you make needing to PR for a race (which you seem to prefer less) a priority? Which would you rather excel at and spend your time doing? What makes you happier? It seems like you don’t feel tethered when it comes to Cross Fit work-outs but you do when it comes to running…. and that is totally okay like Brie said 😀 If right now you are struggling to fit running in because you enjoy Cross it so much right now… why not just listen to your body/heart and hold off on running now instead of Cross Fit? It’s difficult to be intuitive about this stuff… and I know you want to run but won’t you be wanting to do Cross Fit the whole time you are training for the Half? And while you do Cross Fit it seems like you’re probably not thinking about running?

        1. PRing at the half is a priority for me now! The RNR USA Half lit a fire under my butt, so now I want to improve. I like CrossFit and running for different reasons, so I want to do them both. If my body could handle it, I’d probably do them both everyday! 🙂

  5. I’m strict with wiggle room, if that makes sense. I’m not going to be so strict that I don’t enjoy life if something comes up … or if I notice something in my body is hurting. But I do try to stick to a schedule, especially when it comes to training for a race. 🙂

    Good luck to you with your training!!

  6. I’m pretty strict when it comes to training plans. If it says 10 miles, I’m running 10 miles. The only thing that is flexible are my long runs. I usually do them on Sunday. But if the weather will be better on Saturday or we have plans, then I’ll change it to Saturday. I do much better with a set plan.

  7. In the past, I was VERY strict with sticking to a training plan. Now that I have a few races under my belt (and have come to actually enjoy strength training) I’m a little more flexible, but I do stick to the plan when it comes to the long runs and speed work.

  8. Yummy. Never thought to put butterscotch chips on toast. hmmmm maybe i should do that tonight for desert? 😀 I would love to start running. A co-worker of my was a newbie and after a month she looks great. I guess I’m letting fear get in the way. She also trained for our annual Gaspiralla (aka- Pirate Festival in my hometown) 5k. As for fruit or veggies- I’m thinking tropical: mangos, peaches, avocados, coconut, pineapple.

  9. I don’t really have a training plan right now, but I do like to keep tracks of my workouts using a sticker board – it’s just so fun to put up a bright colourful sticker and then look at all the workouts I’ve completed that month!

  10. I’m pretty strict with myself when it comes to my training plans—if only because I fear that, with too much wiggle room, I won’t actually get anything accomplished!

  11. I totally use stickers! I went to a teacher supply store where they had those “way to go”, “you did it” and “awesome job” type inexpensive stickers. I create calendars with my runs on them then I get a sticker! When I first started my friends asked what the calendar was for and I simply replied, “will run for stickers”.

  12. I do not have trouble sticking to my training plans because I love the races I’m signed up for.

    I also use training peaks to schedule my workouts and being able to log what I’ve done is like going through a to-do list.

  13. Why don’t you do double days? With CFE they program Crossfit and tr endurance sport on the same day, 3 hrs apart. That’s how I manage to fit everything in, by doing 2 workouts in a day a few days a week.

  14. Im flexible with my training plans. I really really LOVE HOT YOGA and Circuit Workouts!! Sometimes I do more hot yoga than I run. *for shame*. I think if you want to PR you should stick to your training program, but make sure its fun. Im training for my very first half marathon and I’m uber nervous that I will fall off my training plan.

  15. I am oooobbber flexible with training plans. I totally listen to my body, make sure I have 2-3x weight training per week, and I’ve never been injured. Just sayin’ 😉

    Love the idea of butterscotch chips melted on bread. YUMM!

  16. I’m super flexible! Life happens, so I just stick to 3 main rules: (1) get in the assigned long run for the week at some point; (2) never go more than two days in a row without running; and (3) never run more than three consecutive days without resting. If I stick to that, then it’s a successful training week for me!

  17. I also have a weekly checklist. I make myself do 3 cardio sessions, 2 NRWL sessions, and one ‘other’. If I miss one, I have to fit it in the next week.

    As a long time racer, my tastes and enthusiasms have changed over the years. Maybe if what you want to do is Cross-Fit, then you should do more Cross-Fit and less races. I found that I enjoy shorter races and I really like tris, but long races don’t appeal to me anymore. I don’t train well for them, so I do poorly and then I don’t want to exercise at all. Just a thought.

  18. I’ve been having the same problem with my training plan. I love spin class, and used to go three times a week, but I’ve had to cut back in order to get in more runs. The only thing that is helping me stick to it is knowing that after my 1/2 marathon I’ll be right back on the spin bike! 🙂

  19. I do best following a plan! I like to print out a calendar and write down what I need to do. That way I know if I cant workout one day I have to find another day to do it. I have a similar problem with Hot Yoga. I LOVE it! But it is hard to fit into triathlon training. Makes me so sad!

  20. Do you use google calendar or iCal? I put my training plan in a spreadsheet and merge it into my google cal but I know it’s possible to do the same with iCal. (Oh I just sounded super OCD.) Then it always shows up on my phone too and helps me keep track when I’m not at home.

    Really enjoy your blog Tina!

  21. I’m struggling with my half training too between work stress and crazy weather. I tend to be more flexible with my training, either doing the long run on Saturday or Sunday depending on weather and how I’m feeling.

  22. Yeah, I hear ya. I am really not a fan of doing all one type of exercise, so when training for races I find it hard to run so much. And yes, get on those smiley face stickers! 🙂 How did you make it to lunch with no fruits or veggies? I couldn’t make it!

  23. I love body pump and sculpt classes as well as spin but I cut back on them to once/twice a week the month before a race and two weeks prior to I focus strictly on running. And I think it worked because I had my first half of the season today and PR’d 🙂
    But have to say I already can’t wait to hit the gym and the weights this week I miss it! And now I just have to figure out training with multiple races since I have 4 more half’s a few 10K’s and 4/5M’s on the calendar between now and the middle of June. Hefty load but I’m excited!

  24. I’m a combination of strict and flexible. When I start training for a race, I create a training plan in an excel spreadsheet and hang it on my fridge. I actually assign specific runs and cross-training to each day. But, once I start training, I only use the spreadsheet as a guide. At this point, I know I need to run three shorter runs and a long run, but I still like to have it somewhat mapped out. So, I use the spreadsheet to determine the basic distances I need to do each week, and then I end up switching the days around based on my work/family schedule for the week. Since I’m training for my third half marathon, I feel comfortable missing a run or changing my distance slightly for the week. I have a solid running foundation built up because I run regularly, so the training plan just helps me stay on track and build up my distance. When I train for a full marathon next year, I’ll probably be more strict because I have never done that distance before.

  25. I think you need to have some flexibility when it comes to training, listen to your body but at the same time you need to keep going.

    Biggest thing is just get there, if you make it to the gym or put on your workout clothes if you train at home the rest will fall into place.

    I don’t drink or smoke and actually enjoy working out (most of the time) it keeps me sane!

    Nicole 🙂
    PS> I love your blog!!

  26. First off, is that Udi’s bread you’ve gt there with PB and butterscotch chips?? I LOVE that bread…. it has such a buttery taste. My boyfriend doesn’t need t eat gluten free but he asks for it all the time. So awesome with mashed avocado 😀

    My issue with training plans is that I struggle with taking rest days. I do not like being tethered to something on paper. I know this doesn’t work for everyone, but instead of strict training plans, I practice ‘intuitive training’. I use running for more than just the competitive sport and for more than just maintaining fitness… it is incredibly meditative for me and I use it largely for stress relief. When I am ‘training’ I really struggle taking rest days because nothing else quite compares to the feeling I get after a run. I tried swimming and it was okay… I swim if I am am injured, but it is just such a process! I have yet to find something that I can do that will allow me to rest my legs while maintaining cardiovascular fitness aannnd functions as a stress reliever.

    Nonetheless, not sticking to a plan has worked tremendously for me. I run consistently through the week so as long as I get at least one speedy run in a week, 2 long runs (8-10 miles) within the month of the half, and plenty of ‘zen’ running, I am good to go for the half. I feel like for regular runners you get to a point where super strict training for a half is unnecessary unless you are trying to PR by like 10 minutes or something haha I have learned what works for me is going with how I feel on a day to day basis. If you at well, sleep enough, and maintain cardiovascular fitness on a regular basis, distance running become way more mind of matter than anything else.

    I just read an AWESOME article in the journal ‘Marathon and Beyond’ called, ‘The effects of Mental Preparation for Distance Runners’ Fabulous article. It addresses just how important mental preparation plays a role in training. You can be in the BEST shape of your life and if you are not mentally prepared on race day, it is doubtful you will run a great race. I found this journal at the COOP in Harvard Square. I highly recommend it if you can find it. So many awesome articles.

    I might run the Run to Remember as well! I have heard it is really a great race! 😀

  27. I’m pretty flexible I just try to do workouts that I like to do. Group fitness class helps me stay motivated as well as working out with a friend. I don’t want to be that girl that only makes it through half of the class.

    I’m just getting in to running but actually signing up for a race I think will really help me stay motivated!

  28. I ask myself “what’s my goal? What do I really want to accomplish?” Then I take some time to set that goal. If running a great time at a half marathon is your goal, then you have to seriously train for that. If crossfit is jeopardising your goal for your marathon, one of them has to give.

  29. I like to have a goal with my training plan but I’m not too strict. To stay motivated I just remember my goals and why I want them so badly/how important they are to me and how good I will feel when I get them done. But I also make sure to rest when necessary. I learned the hard way that if you don’t, your body will eventually MAKE you rest by getting sick or run-down.

  30. I’ve been reading your website for a while, and love it! I understand your conflict between wanting to do Crossfit AND running! I signed up for my first triathlon this July, and am struggling on getting in running, biking, swimming, and some strength workouts while not over-stressing my body at the same time. Similar to you, I’ve was an avid runner first, but have started biking a lot more because I also like it. It’s hard to plan workouts, but I know you can do it and PR this May!

  31. Oh my! I am the WORST at following training plans and I’ve run 4 very crappy half marathons! I am signed up for my first full marathon in the fall which will require me to follow my training plan almost to a T. My problem right now is finding one I like! I want to fit in maybe some Insanity workouts and also strength training on top of all that running. Having trouble finding that balance!

  32. I try to keep my workouts as flexible & balanced as I can. If I schedule myself too much I get bored and start to rebel. I think what’s made a difference is that with the FIRST program the 5 workouts (3 runs, 2 bootcamps) I do each week are extremely intentional. They are to make me faster and stronger and not just to “get the miles in.” I have a goal for each workout which makes me “hungry” every workout to succeed and that makes more of a difference than how many workouts I get in and on what days.

  33. I try to be strict with my training plans. Fortunately, I’m a self-motivated person, so all I have to think about is me not meeting my goals or the horrible feeling/how hard it is to catch up to, say, a run I skipped.

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