Hello Tuesday, good to see you again. Not only is it just Tuesday, but it’s the first Tuesday of the month, which means it’s Tri Talk Tuesday!
So I’m still only registered for one race for 2015 at this point. One. Normally by now my schedule is exploding at the seams and I’m chomping at the bit to get racing. But this year I’m forcing myself to slow down. And, ya know, I’ve got some pesky injury issues.
That being said, our topic is training plans and I don’t have diddly squat yet in terms of a training plan for my single duathlon that I’m registered for. In all fairness it’s a race I can finish as long as I’m at my base level of fitness. But I’m not. That whole not running thing is really throwing a wrench into my ability to start training. I do plan to actually sit down and write myself out a training plan for this race sometime this week that I will put into place hopefully the following week, assuming my calves can handle running by then. And from there I plan to spring into 70.3 training for IM Syracuse and Musselman, both of which I haven’t actually registered for yet, but intend to start training for with the intent to do so.
Notice I mentioned that I would be sitting down to write my own training plan. As a USAT certified triathlon coach I am completely comfortable writing my own custom training plan, but it’s not for everyone. There’s a lot more that goes into writing a training plan then just filling workouts into everyday. So if writing your own isn’t something you’re up to, where do you turn to find one?
First things first, there’s free ones available online. You can find some at beginnertriathlete.com as a starting place, then branch out to other tri websites. Garmin Connect also has free training plans that you can download to you watch if you have one fancy enough to track a workout calendar. But remember, free training plans are going to be very cookie cutter and make assumptions about your current level of fitness. They are one size fits all which does not work for a lot of people.
If those cookie cutter plans don’t cut it for you, you can buy a plan. Buying a plan usually means it has more tailoring, sometimes. You can buy plans on Training Peaks that are created to prep you for certain races. Racing Ironman 70.3 Syracuse with me? Buy a IM Cuse plan off TP and you can guarantee there’s going to be a crap load of hill training built into it. But this will still make some assumptions about your fitness level and different plans are created to get certain results. Looking to just finish your first 70.3? Something that promises high volume and intensity to help you nail a sub-6 hour finish won’t be what you want, so read plan descriptions carefully before biting the bullet here.
Finally, if you really want a training plan that meets all your needs, doesn’t make assumptions about your fitness and goals, and is dynamic, flexible, and perfectly crafted just for you, it’s time to hire out. A coach can write you a training plan that utilizes all of your current fitness levels, access to pools/open water/gyms/everything under the sun. If you have vacations or other interruptions planned they can write workouts that will fit the altered needs there. A coach can write you something that 100% meets all of your specific, personal needs to get you to that finish line successfully and confidently. Don’t have the budget for a full on coach? Most coaches will, for a small one time fee, write you that custom plan, you just won’t get the extra coaching to go with it. But the plan will still provided to you, meeting everything you need and require to be successful.
There are a lot of options for training plans out there and it can get overwhelming to find one that works for you. Take a deep breath, figure out what you need and want out of your race, and start from there. Most of all though, enjoy the journey. The finish line feels amazing, but only after you’ve put in all those month of hard work, so revel in it, appreciate it, love it!
How do you select a training plan?
Tri Talk Tuesday will be back on March 3rd where we’ll be running a three part series breaking down each individual discipline and talking about how to improve, gear, drills, or anything else you’d like about improving the disciplines on an individual basis. Our March theme will be How to Improve Your Swim. Don’t forget to come link up!