The Training Plan - Part 1

Here I go, I'm now starting to put together my training plan for IMOz 2008. This is the first in a planned series of posts explaining the process I go through to develop the plan. It should be noted that I have a strong background in exercise physiology, coaching and lots of stuff to do with the human body, so it is very easy for me to ramble on about hormone levels, muscle fibre types, energy pathways and like. But, this will come later. First of all I need take stock of my strengths and weaknesses in all areas of life so I can develop a realistic overview of how training will fit into my life.

I'll use the following categories:

I'm an Ambulance Paramedic. This involves rotating shift work and often includes long night shifts (14 hours straight if I finish on time). Roster cycles are for periods of 4 weeks and usually are available 6 weeks out, which provides a good time frame for planning the specific sessions. The roster pattern varies. I will be starting on a 3 on/3 off cycle, on days being 12 hours. The more common format is the 10/14 which is 2x10hr days, 2x14hr nights and 4 days off. The advantage is I get some full days off in a row, which will allow for those long training sets, but training will be limited on days with long shifts. Another disadvantage of my work is there is a good chance that I won't finish on time, late jobs are common and can take me 2 hours past my scheduled finish time. If I am working night shifts, then I have to be very careful of my fatigue levels. Therefore, I will have to maintain a certain flexibility, and sometimes accept some sessions will have to be missed.

I find it very easy to focus on training and pursue a single goal, sometimes to the point of fault. I have the tendency to put a lot of effort into training, but neglect other things, including house work and other similar commitments. I will also happily read up on physiology instead of mowing the lawn. Therefore I will have to make sure I don't neglect these other tasks. Maybe scheduling in time for these will work. I also seem to butt heads with anyone who has tried to coach me in the past, so while I will ask plenty of questions, I need to design my program myself. Most importantly, I have to enjoy what I'm doing.

I like my social life of catching up with friends and family. Big, big nights are now a thing of the past, my partying usually consists of a few drinks at bbqs or similar. This all fits in quite well with the training lifestyle. The only changes I see would be holding back on the drinks every now and then so I can complete the next day's training.

No kids (yet), but I love spending quality time with my wife and want to make a point of continuing this. She also works shift work and sometimes depending on our rosters it seems like we only see each other in passing. Therefore, I don't want training to take away the time we do have together.

No health problems. The only issues are when I let myself get run down, then the mild infections begin to attack. My weight is spot on, its not something I've ever had to really concentrate on, since I consistently eat well and exercise. It's not rocket science. Injury-wise, I'm pretty good. Generally I seem to handle large increases in training better than most, and have been injury free (apart from some minor strains) for about 3 years. The only area of concern is I've noticed I've lost a lot of flexibility in my back-hamstring chain.

No issue here. This is a strong point. I studied in this area, coached many athletes in all age groups and fitness levels and have quite a number of years training myself. I tried a number of different approaches and believe I now have good feel of how I respond to different training methods.

The above points are the main areas that will influence my training apart from my physical state. While it will often mean some less than ideal training situations, if I think ahead, then I should be able to maintain an appropriate balance (I hope).


  1. well mate - you're leaving no stone unturned, and you've certainly given yourself enough time!

    Best of luck with the following 12 months - nice bling in that photo from a couple of posts back btw ;)

  2. You seem pretty sorted to me.

    Love yesterday's quote by the way, spot on :-)


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