Make A Plan And Stick With It

Sometimes, when it comes to training, education and/or work, we forget to stick the plan and stay confident that the plan will work. We sit at our desk or kitchen table and we put this grand plan together to support the goals that we spent a month making. Sometimes we build the plan by ourselves or someone else helps or builds it for us. No matter who builds the plan or if it is for sport, work, and/or our education we push it to the side.

With saying the above, I am not saying you cannot add stuff or events to your calendar. You just have to remember your goals and plans for the year. I have added things in the past because I got a call, email, and Facebook post, or during a face to face conversation with someone and agree to something without thinking it through. I have learned that if I add something it becomes a “C” or training event not a primary event. For example last year I added a half marathon a month before my “A” race which was the Toughman Indiana event. So, I did not change my training greatly, I moved my long run day from Wednesday to Sunday, the day of the event. I continued to do all my other training as scheduled. My legs were tired and I did not “PR” that day, but I maintained my training as plan.

No matter who built the plan, the plan should have been built to support our goals. Sometimes this is where we screw up the plan. At the beginning, for this illustration we will use December as the month we sit down and set our goals for the up-coming year in endurance sports, whether it is triathlon, running or cycling. We decide on doing an event in August and that is it, before long we are sitting at a dinner or some event and a friend or two says hey I am doing this why don’t you do it as well. Then our goal(s) for the year have just been thrown away. So, our plan no longer works, and all the time that was spent on the goal setting and plan making were for nothing.

Trust in the plan is key in producing the outcomes which you wanted from the start. Sometimes, when the plan seems easy we want to push harder and faster, but if the plan calls for a zone 1(active recovery) run, swim or bike for the day, then do actually that. The zone 1 training is in the plan for a recovery or endurance training, it is there for another reason and that reason is set you up for the next hard training day. When we go harder than plan, we actually take away from the planned training effect for the hard training session. An easy week schedule between two training weeks or two training cycles is there so your body can recover and rebuild.

When we think the week is too hard or the training session is too hard, these are the days we really need to dig in and do exactly what the coach or training plan calls for. The hard days or weeks are in place to activate and cause adaptation to the muscular and cardiovascular systems of the body. The hard days are necessary for this adaptation in the body. Whether you or your coach builds the plan the hard days is are a must for challenging the body, not only physically, but mentally as well.

Some days, when sitting around the house and reading Facebook pages, Slowtwich forums, or some other social media, we start thinking our training is not correct, not enough, or too much. Sometimes it may be at a friend’s house or a club meeting, when we hear all the talk around the table and the same thing happens, we begin to second guess our training. It does not matter how it happens, the same results occurs, we question our plan. It is so important not to question the plan, especially now, in the middle of it. In the middle of the plan is not the time to panic and start making adjustments. I do understand that when an athlete or coach analyzes data from week to week some changes will and can be made. What I am talking about changing the plan in a whim because you just read something on social media or heard in a face to face meeting with someone. These types of changes can led to failure, not because the athlete is not training, but because of the failure to follow and execute the original plan.

In closing, what I am saying is follow the plan that is built to accomplish the goals you have put in place for the year. I personally do not care if you are self-coached, coached by a friend, buy just a plan or have a coach, the plan that has been put in place needs to be followed

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