In part 1 of this topic (www.getfastergofurther.com/wordpress/looking-ahead) I discussed the importance of taking a proper break from structured training at the end of the season, and a few of the things I think about as I plan my next season (key races and addressing weaknesses).
This is a continuation of the theme of planning for an even better 2013 season.
I like to set two different types of goals. Most people think about setting goals for their races, whether that is to complete a certain race distance or finish in a certain amount of time, or finish in a certain placing for their age group or overall. Without a doubt these are important goals and will provide some motivation, however at this time of year those races are a long way away. I think it is also important to set more short-term training goals. As an example, one of my current goals is to be on my bike 4 times per week, from November to April, not including recovery weeks. The specifics of those workouts are somewhat important but I also know that being on my bike 4 times a week will bring me improvement on the bike regardless. Another thing about this particular training goal is that it is addressing an area of weakness which is my bike split.
I know that this goal will keep me motivated to get those workouts done, even when I don’t feel like it, or when I have to squeeze a ride into my schedule.
Do you have specific training goals and that will keep you motivated from week to week over the winter?
BUILDING A WEEKLY SCHEDULE
Something that goes hand in hand with setting training goals is building your weekly schedule. Why are the two related? Well, if your weekly schedule only allows for you to ride 3 times, there isn’t much point in setting a goal to ride 4 times per week. The two are absolutely inter-connected.
At a high level, as I start to plan my winter training, I look at what a normal weekly schedule will look like to see how training will fit. This inevitably becomes a balance of how much training I want to do, and how much training I can actually fit in. I decide how many sessions of each sport I will do and I tentatively schedule those sessions into my week, to see how they will fit around the rest of my life. You can see how this can have a significant impact on the training goals that you set. Writing the schedule out makes it very real and really makes me think about it thoroughly. It is absolutely critical to be realistic and honest with yourself when you do this.
On a weekly basis (Sunday night or Monday morning) I then plan out the coming week. Sometimes it is a normal week, like I had initially planned around and training can fit easily. Other times it isn’t so straight forward and I have to re-arrange things.
One last comment about this scheduling…make sure you have your family on board; that’s part of being realistic. Otherwise your plan might not last very long.
One last installment on this topic in a few weeks, and at that time I’ll discuss changing bad habits, new equipment and addressing injuries.
I hope you are enjoying your training and being fit!