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Training programmes

I've decided (as I do every year but haven't yet) to set out a pukka training programme for next year. I'd be interested to hear from anyone who may have noticed a change (for better or worse) in their performance after following a programme. I've had reasonable results but know I'm capable of more. Did you make your programme too strict? Too time consuming? Thanks


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    Hi Tony B

    I found a site with variouse free programms for different distances etc and used them as a base for my own plan on an excell spread sheet for my Ironman last year.

    It did work to a point but I found it hard to stick to with work and other commitments and only ended up doing about two thirds of the planned hours.

    The moral of the storey is that a plan is only as good as the commitment you can give it. I still achieved my goal at the Ironman and seem to go better anyway with the more relaxed approach to my traing.
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    mike_trimike_tri Posts: 60
    Hi tony

    I've tried loads of different programs, I used to change my program after almost every session for one reason or another. My golden rule for training is to just enjoy it and make sure that it dosen't take all of your time. Hope this helps.

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    rpopper65rpopper65 Posts: 171
    Tony, I've been training to be a triathlon coach this year, and I was curious as to just how effective following a training plan could be for "casual" athletes, like myself and others I have met and worked with. So, I took all the BTF coaching materials, bought a copy of "The Triathletes' Training Bible" by Joe Friel, and decided to try out the whole training plan approach on myself. I found it very effective and very helpful, and I have achieved 2 of my 3 training goals this year, so far (got my individual split times below my individual target times and did London in less than 2:30).

    For me, it helped to look at my whole training year in the big picture, see the periods of different types of work that could be done to improve my training, break it down into week-by-week and day-by-day sessions, and avoid some of the common mistakes I used to make a lot (over-training, doing the wrong type of training before a race or right after a race, etc). It also helps to have a plan that you can refer to from time to time and remind yourself of the importance of certain basic principles in training (periodisation, specificity, etc). I was not super-fastidious about my training plan and I had to adapt certain things to my own time constraints (some days are easier for me to go swimming than others, regardless of what the plan is telling me to do when), and I didn't get too hard on myself for the occasional missed training session. But, I did try to stick to the plan as much as I could.

    Anyway, I am very satisfied with the results, it has given me great confidence in my future training, and also in recommending to my clients and training friends that they go out right away and draw up a training plan for next year.
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    I only follow my own programmes. I'm one of those people that has to do things my way, or I don't feel like doing them at all.
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    Thanks all for your replies. I think I'm going to put together something for end of this year/next year. When you don't have a program it's easy to skip a session or, what I find even more frustrating, begin a session with no clear objective. Will take a look at Joe Friel's book, although to be honest, I've got quite a few back-issues of 220 from which I could extract quite a bit of useful info.

    Thanks again
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    Just in case you are interested Tony, here is a link to the site I used as a guide to my own plan.


    Select the FREE Plan option and the distance your training for, theres only one for Ironman distance but a few options for the other distances.
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    tony b wrote:

    When you don't have a program it's easy to skip a session or, what I find even more frustrating, begin a session with no clear objective.

    I think you hit the nail right on the head there, Tony, with what you said about "no clear objective". For me, that's been the biggest, most satisfying, single factor in working to a training plan this year, even as loosely and flexibly as I have worked to it: reminding myself of the objectives of certain work-outs at certain times.

    For example, when I ignored most of what was in my training plan in the lead-up to the Windsor Triathlon and just did "what worked for me" (a mixture of different work-outs, putting in the miles and making sure I could just go the distance), I did not do nearly as well as I had hoped (2:46, and I had hoped to get it down below 2:40, maybe closer to 2:30). Then, when I paid closer attention to the training plan in the lead-up to the London Triathlon and reminded myself of the objectives of the work-outs as I got closer, it all clicked into place and I did much, much better than I had hoped (2:28).

    For me, it's got to be a balance between doing what feels right for me and trusting in the training plans that have been devised by people who know a lot more than I do about the sport and competitive training.
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