Got Training Plans?

17 02 2011

“Steph, what races are you doing this season?” Chloe has asked me this several times in the past few weeks, and I kept putting off registering for races. Race season is  far away; Tris are so expensive! Could I do a half iron man with Chloe? All these thoughts have been going through my head, but today I registered my first few races of the season, which you can check out on my updated Race Page.  So…now what?

Well, that’s the funny thing. While Chloe has a detailed training schedule, I have never been good at following a training plan. When I ran the Marine Corps Marathon back in 2006, I didn’t have a training plan. I just ran 5-6 times per week, increased my mileage along the way, and ran two long runs, one 15 miles and one 18 miles. BIG MISTAKE. Please, if you ever do a marathon, follow a training plan!! I still finished, but man, was it PAINFUL!          

Since I’ve gotten into triathlons, I’ve tried to be more intentional about my training, but not to the point where I follow a strict training calendar. Last summer, I came up with my own “plan,” which I thought was sufficient: I rode my bike to work a few days a week (20 miles round trip); I went for long rides on the weekend (I think the furthest I went was 50 miles); I swam twice a week (about 3000 meters each swim); And I ran 10-15 miles/week. Despite not having a regimented calendar planned out by people more experienced than I, I found time each week to do what I thought would help me finish the race, and finish strong. This may not be best practices, but it works for me right now.

I think the reason I have avoided training plans was because I don’t want to feel straight jacketed into certain days being for certain activities. Some days I’m in the mood to swim, while others, I’d prefer to spin or run. Like today, it was GORGEOUS outside; it was an “I really want to run outside” kind of day. So, I did, because my calendar didn’t tell me I had to do otherwise:-)

Maybe this year will be different, and I’ll follow a training plan. Suggestions are welcome:-)

In the meantime, I’m going to continue to follow plans like this so I can make tasty things like this:

Question of the day: Do you follow a training plan for your races? Where do you get your training plan?