It wasn’t really my coach’s fault, and I knew better myself. In retrospect, I think that unconsciously I treated my plan as gospel partly as one final test of whether creating training plans is worth the bother. The final conclusion I drew from this experience was that conventional training plansthat is, written schedules consisting of many weeks of workouts articulated in detailare totally unnecessary for the experienced competitive runner. They are not inherently useless, though. Creating a formal training plan will do no harm as long as the runner treats each scheduled workout as provisional and is willing and able to depart from the plan whenever necessary, as it is sooner or later bound to be. Planning out the next training cycle is for many runners an exercise that generates confidence and motivation. It enables them to get their heads around what it will take to achieve their race goals and gives comfort in presenting a visible path forward. I would never try to convince a runner who draws such benefits from planning that she should abandon the practice. However, even the best training plans offer nothing close to a guarantee of successful fitness development and racing. Execution is half the battle, and successful training execution depends on the runner’s ability to improvise based on information her mind receives from her body regarding its status (e.g., fatigue level) and its needs (e.g., recovery). Effective training execution can be done only by feel, and even most competitive runners are not very good at training by feel, largely because they are never encouraged to do so. For every 10 runners who devise great training plans, there is perhaps one who demonstrates a highly developed capacity to improvise.