The physics of planning training
And as quickly as that, the training year has started again! The old kicked out and the new welcomed in again. January is a splendid month to start up new habits properly, and this time we thought we’d put our back into it and stop skipping training days. Five days of running and one day of strength combined with a job that keeps very irregular hours is pretty demanding. So we asked the coach in charge of our running, Christian the Dane, to cut a day of running without making the quality suffer. “Easiest thing in the world, lads”, he cheerfully answered, “you just need to put in the time I cut as extra time divided on each of the other four weekly runs.” I’ve never had trouble with maths. It’s actually pretty easy:
What you expect to get out of training is more or less like the most basic of mathematical skills: addition. What you put into it, is what you get out of it.
Christian keeps our training progressive and periodic in a way that’s built up around four-week blocks, where you steadily build both strength and distance during three weeks in order to rest during the fourth one (No, not complete rest – are you crazy? Only marginally less training…), starting the cycle all over again, albeit at a higher level, during week number five. We’re currently at week number two in one of our cycles, meaning next week will be the meanest before we get a chance to rest for a bit. Last week, we logged a total of 7 hours 24 minutes of running (Excluding the newly introduced fifteen minutes of core every – yes EVERY – single day! Come on! You can do it too!), adding up to 75,9 km. This week we’re supposed to up the dose to 7h 50min and next week we top out at 8h 10min before winding down for a week. Already, the legs are feeling stronger and getting back into the shape of yesteryear. Have you ever seen the video Sunscreen by Baz Luhrmann? “In 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself […] how fabulous you really looked” This is something we fight with every day, but it’s true. It’s not meant to be narcissistic, only as reflection and inspiration, as those of you that know us know.
For anyone interested in how to plan your training properly, we can recommend reading Joe Friel’s book The Triathlete’s Training Bible where you can read about periodization and the like to your heart’s content. It certainly helped us a lot training for Forestman 18 months ago.