Plan, execute, reward!
So the triathlon, running and cycling seasons are looming large in the distance and now is the time to have a long hard look at your goals for the year and decide on what you want to achieve. There are some people who just saunter into the season and achieve everything they'd hope for, but those people are just annoying and can read something else.
Planning for success
Now's the time to decide on your goals for the year. Do you have one or two events that you're looking to smash? Have you signed up already? There's nothing quite like paying for an event to solidify your resolve and it gives you something to put in the calendar - you are best planning for an event that you know the date for.
Now work back from then. Most plans that you find online are of the 12 to 16 week variety and so you'll be able to work back from then and see what time you have until then.
For example, I've got two main events this year - the Jersey Triathlon (Olympic) and the Immortal Full (Long Distance) Triathlon. The first is mid-July and the second is early August, so that gives me about 20 weeks until the Jersey Tri. With a 16 week training block to the first event I've got 4 weeks to play with until that starts so what to do?
What to do until the training block starts
Hopefully you've already sorted yourself out after your Christmas over-indulgence and you're ready to have a focused month of foundation laying, but you shouldn't do so without a clear goal in mind. So choose your target wisely. Are you losing a few pounds? How about hill repeats and strength building? Perhaps prioritising endurance with a lot of zone 1 miles? Whatever you decide you should stick to it. For February and early March I'll be focusing on shedding a few pounds and building endurance - so that when the main block starts it isn't a shock to the system.
Now write it in the diary!
Execution is everything
Writing your plan won't get you over the finish line so now you have to put your plan into practice! A recent straw poll on UKTriChat on Twitter found that there are many different approaches to execution, from coach-led, through to no plan, but most people like to write a plan and then adjust as they go along to deal with injury, necessary rest and life in general.
So whilst execution is everything - and it is true that if you don't put in the work, you won't get the result - it is also true that there are sometimes more important things in life that get in the way of planned training. The important thing is to not chuck in the towel if things need adjusting.
What tips do you have for a well executed training plan? Leave them in the comments below.
For some people a reward is simply the satisfaction of a complete race, a PB, a medal, a t-shirt or the huge slap up burger-fest that you're going to indulge in afterwards. Whatever your reward, make it conditional! You earn the reward - you don't deserve it yet! Sport can be hard and it can also be a lot of fun, so whatever outlook you have on it, stick to it and be true to yourself.
Here's a very rough outline of my training schedule for a sub-2hr30min Olympic Jersey Tri and a complete first long distance triathlon.
"Pre-plan": I'm looking to lose about 4lb and build endurance. Not even looking at times for runs, just keeping it easy and going long. I usually do a half marathon on Saturdays so I'm looking to build on this to get about 30 - 40 miles in the second week of march.
Phased plan towards Jersey: Lose the other 6lb and go through the phases of an Olympic plan whilst also adding endurance to some rides and runs.
Final 4 weeks to The Immortal Full: No weight loss - focussing on endurance - practising nutrition and making focusing on the swim distance. The sea should be warm enough to do some long ones.
Got the gear?
As always - if you need a trisuit then you've come to the right place. We do sleeveless and short sleeve trisuits for all distances. The Short Sleeve Heart Sports Trisuit is our best seller and is up against the main players in the 220 Triathlon Trisuit Group Test in the edition of the magazine coming out at the end of March. Look out for it there.
Also, if you're doing your first triathlon and you're doing it for charity then let us lend you a trisuit for the event. Head over to the charity trisuit loan page and read up on how we can help.
All the best in your endeavours!