Racing in a 400m dash has a simple plan. Go out and sprint as fast as you can for the whole 400 meters. Racing a 10,000m race is harder. You have to test the field and see how everyone is running, play to your strengths, and use your energy wisely for each lap. Running a marathon is even harder. Your training teaches you how fast to run, but you also need some sort of plan to figure out when you're going to eat the gel packs and drink water or gatorade. You need to prepare for the wall that could hit you, and make sure that you go out and run at a constant pace, because you can only run your hardest when you race your best, and you can only race your best if you run at that constant pace throughout the race. Running a 12 hour race is different... it requires a lot more planning.
Planning is really important, especially for races that take a lot of time. Right now, the next race that I will be doing will be the 12 hour race. Running that race will definitely wear me out and work my mind. Planning the race helps me plan my training. In 12 hours, I can cover a lot of miles, but in order to win, I need a plan... a pretty darn good one. I won't be able to wing it and run forever because there is so much that goes into running for 12 hours. I'm still working on my plan, but maybe in a couple of weeks, I'll be able to let everyone know how the plan is going, and how the training is going. As for today, I took another break so that my legs would be fully recovered from the run and I would be able to restart my training and take it up a notch.
Having a plan is like having a map. Without it, you're in trouble. With it, you can get to your destination.
Thus far, my plan for the race is... run 10 min/mile for 12 hours. Might need to work on that plan a little more.