High Definition

My training structure needs more definition. My week is eight days, mainly dictated by my work roster. Moving away from just fitting a collection of sessions into a group of days, I am making the training plan more concrete. Here is my day-by-day weekly plan:

NOTES (to add that little extra): Only work shifts and training is listed here. Other considerations not specifically listed are in the area of you can't go for a 4-5hour bike ride, when you are meant to look after 2 young kids. The times for my work shifts, are the rostered hours. It is more than common the shifts can go way beyond this. In the sort-of 4 days off work, I am likely to do an extra shift, or have a day devoted to family. The majority of training sessions will fit around the kids sleeping. Either performed early in the morning, or into the evening after they go to bed.

DAY 1: Work: 0630-1630

Running: To & from work. Strap on the back pack and make the most of a commute by foot. No heart rate monitor, or stop watch. The aim is to get into a good feel for running. For the morning it is just shy of 5km, over which I should wake up prior to arriving at work. The return home will be as much as I can cover while still being home by 1715. Naturally if I finish late, the distance will be limited to 5km. Nothing crazy about the run, just an aerobic day, putting a few kilometres into the legs.

Extra: If possible, I'll get in a comfortable bike ride. Likely to be on the trainer.

DAY 2: Work: 0730-1730

Bike: On the mag-trainer. The focus is on developing race specific power/speed/stamina. Usually in the form of moderate to longer intervals with short rest periods. The intensity would be from threshold to around VO2 level. At times may be a sustained time trial style effort. This is my get-stronger-to-go faster session for the bike. Will take 45-70min.

Strength: The ins and outs could take a few thousand words. Simplified, I perform some relatively heavy lifts, add a bit of faster stuff and maintain full body, integration of the core. In this, the first of 2 strength workouts for the week, I focus more on the heavier lifts. It takes about 40-50min.

DAY 3: Work: 0900-2100

Long Run: Out early on the trails by 0515, I aim to get in 105-120 minutes worth of steady running. The pace and heart rate zones aren't too important, I will record them to keep track of progress over time, but the session won't be guided by them. During the session I will be guided by how my body responds. I am aiming to a achieve a pace that is sustainable, but does require some degree of concentration to keep up. I should be tired over the last few kilometres.

DAY 4: Work: 1630-0630 night shift.

Swim: Heading into night shift I will stop at the pool. The goal is to develop my sustained race speed. Currently my race distances look like being 750m, so this means a set totalling about 1000m, of repeats with short rests aiming for the fastest possible average speed. Continuing from there I will move into either some strength endurance work or some shorter repeats faster than the main set pace. All up I hope to spend about 60min in the water.

Extra: This will be dependant on my sleep status and other commitments. I hope to get in a comfortable ride and/or run earlier in the day.

DAY 5: Sleep (coming off night shift)

Easy: Catching up on sleep and dealing with a body clock that's been thrown against the wall means today is either a day completely off training or at the most should be an easy session. Exactly what I choose will be decided on the day. The most likely option is an easy run with the kids in the pram.

DAY 6: work: OFF

Run: The get faster session. Intervals of 3-10 minutes, with rest periods of 30-90 seconds. The intensity is above anaerobic threshold, maybe 5 or 10km race pace. The speed isn't over the top, but is very specific to the realities of triathlon (plus 10km/half marathon racing).

Swim: The endurance session. Here I build the basic ability to just keep going. Long intervals or continuous swims, where the over load is created by just holding on for the distance. The pace I choose shouldn't be too limiting, comfortable for the main part. I hope to get 75-90min in the water, but reality will usually hold it back to the hour. Therefore, another way off looking at it, is to get in as many metres as possible in the time I have available.

DAY 7: work: OFF

Long Bike: 2.5-3 hours. I want to push the levels beyond the fat/carbohydrate crossover point. I am aiming to increase my sustainable power output (and therefore speed) in line with an efficient use of substrates. This will involve holding a moderate to high steady-state effort throughout. Typically this would be a bit below my anaerobic threshold, but is influenced by other factors such as local muscular endurance, terrain, fuel state and recent training. In short, a steady effort, that becomes reasonably difficult to hold over the last hour without any crazy jumps into high anaerobic territory.

Transition Run: Straight off the bike will be a run of 10-45min. How hard I push this will be influenced by how my training for the week is going. The main goal is to find a good, natural rhythm that is reasonably close to upcoming race paces.

Strength: Similar to the first strength session, but with a shift in emphasis on strength-endurance. Often achieved by combining 2 or 3 exercises and going for multiple reps and sets without any rest periods. Similar to old-school circuit training, but maybe with higher loading.

DAY 8: work: OFF
Catch Up/Extra: Dependant on how the week has gone. Any key session , especially the longer/endurance ones should be completed today if they have been missed. Otherwise it is what else I can fit in. Ideally I would like to get in an extra swim plus a steady ride/run brick. If I get called for an extra shift at work today or the previous few days, then any extra session will almost certainly have to be dropped.


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