Ticking over another 365 day mark leads to many cliches. One cliche may actually be trying to avoid cliches. So I will simply refrain from doing a 2010 in review or a what 2011 will bring or even a new year = new me. Whatever people think about the change on the calendar, it is still an excuse to take a look at yourself.

Onto training. I have tried to set up some guidelines to develop consistency from week to week. Within that I have tried to accomodate for the natural randomness that comes from kids and rotating shift work, that has plenty of unplanned over time. In short, I am still not happy with how things have gone. There has still been some good training, but the problem are the gaps. These gaps aren't just sessions missed, but they are also training sessions that probably don't hit the desired goals. There have been a couple of bike interval sessions, where I just went too hard, and ripped my legs too early into the session.

As a result of finding what works, or more accurately the best fit, the weekly structure has morphed slightly. Even the way I am thinking about the set up has altered.

I toyed for a few months with the working with a priority system for sessions. Splitting my 8-day week into 2x4 days where I simply aimed to complete half the sessions in the first four days, and the second half of sessions in days 5-8, with whatever way they seemed to fit. The theory looks fine, unfortunately it doesn't quite work for me. It means I am session focussed, and the importance placed too much on the individual session, rather than the overall goal training collectively. It may seem semantics, but it can be important.

Secrets of Training

For success it can all be brought back to the simple Meat & Potatoes concept. The basics have to be right, there has to be plenty of hard work, and there needs to be consistency with progression. It isn't always so easy to achieve this.

When I have put all the above together in the past, it has always led to my best races. Now my life is different and I have struggled to put the training plan together for most of it. I've tried drawing from previous success, but have probably taken many of the wrong elements to apply in my current environment.


When I have gotten in many of the attributable elements to fast racing (consistency, high volume, long steady sets, strength-endurance sets) there has always been an overlay. That overlay is definite structure to the training. It could be considered boring, but there was a lot of predictability to the training. Each day almost without fail had certain types of training assigned to them. For example:
  • Monday - Swim: easy-> Paddles/buoy, Bike/Run transition reps
  • Tuesday - Steady- bike, Run - track/hill repeats
  • Wednesday - Moderate to long bike and/or run
  • Thursday - Bike WT repeats, Swim (squad)
  • Friday - Bike/Run, tempo style work, with maybe some build efforts
  • Saturday - Bike - long, mix of solo & group, maybe a transition run, Swim
  • Sunday - Run - long
That was my Ironman typical week. Obviously there were plenty of hours devoted. If a session had to be missed, then it was usually just missed. Hardly ever was there the ability to catch up. Instead a missed session usually meant I able to add a little bit more effort or time to the next few days worth of training.

New Structure

I now want to create better structure for my training. Instead of trying to find a so-called best fit for each block of days as they come along, I will now be assigning a weekly structure, where each day has its definite goal. This structure will be repeated each week. As a result I will have to work at creating a slightly more predictable environment and make the most out of other opportunities. It involves more planning and performing a few tasks early to allow for training 3-5 days later. The next few posts will explore this in detail.

The magic isn't in a training session. It is how everything is put together.


  1. haha! Your "meat and potatoes" is my "back to basics".

    Good luck this year Jason!


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