I love training schedules - not so much dragging myself out of bed and doing the training, but the schedule itself. Deliberating over which RW plan to use. Putting it into a calendar template. Fiddling about with it in Excel. Lovingly picking out the colour-coding (does purple say 'tempo run' to you?).
In the last few years, I've carted around dog-eared bits of paper (right from 'run for ten minutes. rest' to the RW Ultimate Marathon Schedule), dowloaded all kinds of apps and now? Now I have a beast of a spreadsheet that'll take me right through to November. The Training Spreadsheet of Dreams. In an attempt to kick start my training after a knee injury and months of mojo-less apathy, I have booked myself in for the following:
- Two open water swims in August (750m at the Hyde Park Triathlon Relay with the rest of Team TW, then 1500m at the Marlow Swim)
- Two 10Ks in July
- An autumn half-marathon (I am dithering between Bristol, Cardiff and Birmingham - advice appreciated!)
- The epic Cyprus International 4-Day Challenge in November (a 6K run, an 11K trail hill run, a hilly trail half-marathon and a 10K road race).
Before now, I've trained for one race at a time, with shorter races designed as build-up races to the big event. I've never before had so many competing demands on my fitness. The task ahead of me: to improve my swim speed and fitness, while maintaining my running so I can pick it up again ready for my autumn races. This is all new to me - and I'd love your advice.
I would like some shiny new PBs, but I'm realistic that with my current fitness levels my racing this year might be more about completing than competing.
I've based my initial training plan on the Triathlete's World Ten-Week Olympic Distance Schedule (as used by TW's Fab Four London Triathlon contenders). I'm doing the swim and run sessions, and swapping the bike sessions for more swimming, running or cross-training.
So far, I'm really enjoying the variety - I liked the novelty of ticking off two quality training sessions without running a step, and I really enjoyed the feeling that my long run felt like something different rather than more of the same.