Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Training that has a plan

Up until 10 months ago, I never followed a training plan. I'd roughly have one in my head but the reality of it was making sure I ran three times a week - with one session focussed on speed work. It sort of worked. It helped me become a strong 5K & 10K runner and I also got up to half marathon distance.

When it came to my triathlon training, that's when I thought it would be best to try building a schedule. I kept it simple, mapping out every month the type of activity I needed to do each day and what I should aim to achieve in that session. I would schedule one week to have a technique focussed swim, with the next week being a distance session. I would alternate Thursday to be either hills or speed work for my running and for the weekend, I would list how many miles I would have to cycle.

This monthly plan took centre stage on my fridge and each day I would tick off the activity, adding in details such as time/pace etc. For days where I didn't commit to the revised plan, I would also make note. It was really interesting to see just how dedicated I was. The best part of these plans was also showing clearly which days were my rest days. These were my days to go out for dinner, meet friends for drinks, or stay in and slob in front of the TV. They were just as important as the training days.

Mid month, I would map out the following months plan. For any days where I knew I had made plans, I would make these rest days and then find time elsewhere in that week to make up for it. Before I knew it, these agendas were becoming my life schedule and I relied on then heavily. I could see what big events I had coming up (such as my duathlon, open water race and the triathlon itself) and it was clear to see how many days/weeks I had until I was due to race. This really helped to shift my mindset into a serious training mode. Never had I been so dedicated to training.

By the time the triathlon came around, I was the fittest I had ever been and I am very confident my forward planning and training timetables are to thank for this. Yes they may not have been some super snazzy template I downloaded from the internet, or built for me by a specialist coach but they gave me guidance and something to visibly work towards. They revealed when I had succeeded and when I had failed, maintaining my focus and motivation.

Even though I am not training for anything now, I still create these monthly plans. They help keep the momentum going when I am not focussed on a race. They aren't as intense as my triathlon plans but they are helping me gradually get up to 13.1 miles by Christmas. This alone is a going to be a huge achievement for me and forward planning my runs is a great way of building up the mileage each week.

Are you someone who likes structure? Or do you like to go with the flow when it comes to your training?

Lipstick Runner.

No comments:

Post a Comment