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Getting serious about training plans...

Ok, so i've done a couple of sprints and have learned a little about race day and how it feels etc.

But what i've learned most about is my level, where i'm at. It hasn't been pretty!

I realise now i need to get more serious about my training. Until now i haven't followed a training plan at all, just got myself down to the pool when i could and put in some runs and rides when i felt like it. I'm not saying i took it easy, no, i trained whenever and wherever i could, but with no real plan, no guide, and now i realise that its just not going to cut it.

Also, i've completely neglected resistance training (i used to do a bit, three times a week, i was never 'big' but had a decent amount of muscle), its pretty much all gone now! All the fitness training has seen it fade to a whimper. I hear a lot about core conditioning, and this is something new to me. But i realise that i'll have to get myself back in the gym!

Anyway, bottom line is this. I'm not hear to be 66th in my local sprint. I'm hear to be top 20 (for now). Yes its a high bar, yes it may seem a little unlikely, but nevertheless, its my goal. Its clear. And i will make it happen.

To get there i need more structured training, more knowledge, better nutrition, more commitment and a small lottery win!


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    diddsdidds Posts: 655
    good for you gary for creating a goal.

    The "issue" I have with training plans (and I can't square the circle with) is that they generally come in a 12-week plan, or maybe 16 week plan ... at least for sprint and Oly which is where i am at the moment.

    Now, that's all very well... but what the proverbial do you do with the other 4 months leading up to the start of the 12 week period, and how do you then fit the next 12 week plan into the 7 weeks you have between one event and another? Notwithstanding the base line for the plans I have looked at is often less than I doing already, and to jump in at a level that is commensurate with the level of training I am doing puts me into about week 5 (say) of a plan... so do I now wait until 7 weeks before the race ... and what do i do with my training levels until that time?

    TTTB seemed to supply the answers (I hoped) but an excellent read that it is, Joe Friel rather (IMO) leaves you high and dry when it comes down to designing your own plan... you can come up with weekly hourage, you can come up with base, build and peak scheduling... but then you are left trying to make sense of trying to get 2+2+3 sessions plus weights into 8 hours for week 2 of base II phase.

    With the TTB base+build+peak phase concepts (others use a micro and macro cycle... same same but different) I then tried to pick and choose between plans to try and "fit" them to the phases... but all I ended up doing was (it seemed) cherry picking from plan and as a result not really having any plan that seemed to have much coherence.

    As a newbie I've ended up shrugging my shoulders somewhat and just thing "base, base, base and when I have done that I'll do some more base". From that approach through stuff like swimplan.com and the RunnersWorld smart coach utility I have devised training plans for individual disciplines and incorporated them into a schedule that I use. It really has little obvious development aside from the 10% rule for the bike.

    By selecting races at periods throughout the year I use those as a focus for training on a very loose system... for example I used a New Year 10K as a winter focus for run, followed by Paris HM for endurance run focus. Swimming technique I've worked on all winter, but the bike suffered. Bike is now my focus, though a 10 mile road race in July gives me run focus at the moment (aided by RW smartcoach). Once the 10 miler is completed I am into straight tri territory with my first Oly at the end of July, but I can't honestly say that I have any particular schedule for that juncture except a bit more of the same (or less for the running in reality).

    And all of this is a bit like floundering in the dark at times, hopefully building base if nothing else. And none of it actually answers the question of what I am supposed to be doing from October-April, given that the 10% rule for that long would see me training at distances for ironman most weeks by march!


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    clarkey30clarkey30 Posts: 270

    Joe Friels training bible is a great start point, once you get your head around it the year is just different phases, where you progress from base building to race preparation. The phases can be as long or short as you want with diarys to keep if you really want to get serious.

    Its well worth picking up, i started to follow it then when i hurt my hip stopped and regret it now as ive gone from looking at some good times this year to another mediocure season.
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    Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    Agree a lot with Didds. Mr Friel's book is good as a background read. But doesn't really get you planning in detail. Jack Daniel's running formula is better for this!

    My problem is 1) Having to fit training round work - I don't mean 9 to 5, but my job takes me away from home a lot - so Mornings/Evenings are often spent travelling. Then a lot of evenings you find yourself in a hotel in a strange town, so cycling/swimming is a part hard to do. 2) getting injured - which means that I keep trying to do too much too soon.

    My advice to Gary - get a coach. As Conehead seems to be all over you, then just go with that.

    If you can't get a coach, then join a club... there are usually coaches available in some form - a bit cheaper, and with the benefit of training buddies.
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    willieverfinishwillieverfinish Posts: 1,381
    See, Conehead - that's why you seem to be so well respected here. You understasnd that we have full time jobs, some of us of shift work, kids in tow, other commitments that we can't avoid etc etc.

    Thats what makes you so approachable and so grass roots in your approach and long may it continue.

    People can relate to you and your success and can see they can achieve the same with a few hours a week and some grit and determination. ( or at least give it a good go)

    From all of the hopefuls who need guidance, advice, moral support, encouragement and a kick up the arse every now and then - Cheers.

    ****Conehead for trainer of the year - I want to see him dressed in pink doing an OD*****
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    jonEjonE Posts: 1,113
    Conehead wrote:

    Real information for real people who live in the real world.

    If Mr C, fails to win the Coach of the year,(I voted for Pullmans last time),maybe he should enter politics as Minister for Common Sense and Decency.
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    diddsdidds Posts: 655
    conehead is of course spot on with his comments wrt time available and fitting training to the hours available rather than the other way around.

    So - we have between us (?) agreed that in effect the training plans available are all well and good but actually don't address the real world (at least for sprint and oly distances). In an attempt to find gary some sort of answer (and answer some of my won questions ;-) maybe we should investigate what the more ... experienced... trathletes here "do" for training for sprint and oly distances? I suspect however much of the answers are skewed a bit as those with a couple of years experience are probably lookig at 70.3 as a focus and not the shorter stuff.

    Anyway,. the sort of stuff I cazn think of to ask is...

    1) what does one do between (say) October and March (12-16 weeks before 1st event anyway) ?

    2) what does one do when week 1 of a plan is already below one's training effort?

    3) are published plans even worth bothering with versus an individual's own thought through focuses and goals?


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    diddsdidds Posts: 655
    Conehead wrote:

    great questions Didds - all answered on my training days, obviously......

    is that a 100% cast iron guarantee conehead? ;-)

    I would be interested in the long distance training days - barton marina is close to my parents in law ... but I'm unemployed and its not looking likely to change currently :-( JSA (aka the dole) provides a heady £60 a week...

    next year hopefully.


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    diddsdidds Posts: 655
    Conehead wrote:

    Hope things change for you soon.

    Thanks mate - that's really appreciated. I'm not alone in this boat of course, but its getting a bit boring now after 2 months of absolutely nothing to even apply for. First time I have signed on in 15 years since I got back from playing rugby down under :-(

    If you happen to be around Heron Lake around 7am weds drop by and I'll stash you up with Red Bull/Rego/Go gels.

    If it wasn't a 90 minute drive away I'd be there bud [:D] But again - thanks for the thoughts.

    I could bike over from central wilts but I'd use all the gels etc up on the way back [:D]



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    BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    So, 12 week programmes no good eh? Know why they are 12 weeks long ?

    That would be the length of college semesters where most research is done with a captive college athlete. So clearly that 12 week mark is arbritary..& like any pre written prog a good start point, which will need adapting to your life/time/availabilty of facilities etc etc.

    As for the Oct to April conumdrum...& not wanting to steal Coneheads thunder...enjoy yourself! no real pressure to perform for a few weeks/months then do some different stuff....mountain biking will improve bike handling skillls & work on acceleration, off road running will strengthen ankles, tendons ligaments, reaction times & lateral movements, balance co ordination etc, get some gym time in when the weather is really rubbish..the possibilities are endless, but do not get too far from your fightimg weight & do not stop altogether for more than a couple of weeks.
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