SUCCESSFUL EXECUTION Whether you employ the seasonal method or the single-race method of improvisational trainingthat is, whether your planning is limited to choosing a standard weekly workout format, peak workouts, and a peak load or it also includes a training cycle durationlimited planning is only half the battle. Execution is the other half. When you wing it in training, your approach to execution is necessarily quite different than it is if you train with a conventional plan. When you train by plan, you always do the workout you planned unless your immediate circumstances give you cause to change it. But when you wing it, you wait for a specific idea for each workout to come to you. Most times you know in advance generally what kind of run you will perform, thanks to your standard weekly workout schedule. You’re just waiting to fill in the details, except when intuition tells you another kind of workout would be better on that day. Waiting for specific workout ideas to come to you does not necessarily mean waiting until the very last minute to decide on a workout format each day, and in fact in my practice of improvisational training, it seldom means that. These ideas can come at any time. Usually, I think about next week’s workouts while performing this week’s workouts. Affective and performance feedback from my most recent workouts tells me where I am in my training. My conscious knowledge of my race goals, my planned peak training, and how much time remains before that peak training and my peak race allow me to contextualize my assessment of where I am in my training. Through this process I naturally come up with ideas for the next step or two in my training. Seldom do I have to put much thought into the matter or even consciously set aside time for such short-term planning. It is something that I let happen instead of something I do. It’s more like growing a beard than chopping wood.