When you decide to compete in an endurance event, you typically find a plan or build a plan. Paula and I remove this stress and responsibly from our team members. However, instead of laying out the entire training cycle, we focus on one or two weeks at a time. The benefit of this method is that the plan will evolve based on the athlete’s fitness, health, and life events.
Endurance athletes are committed individuals. As you know, our hobby is far from easy and that’s one of the reasons we enjoy it so much. Being committed to a training plan can cause problems. We encourage our athletes to “get to the starting line healthy”. We need to see how you respond to training in order to map out the next set of workouts to maximize potential with a priority on getting to the starting line healthy. Some athletes may determine that if they can’t break a certain time, they prefer not to even try. That is a counter-productive approach. To be an endurance athlete is a blessing. We will all have good days and bad. Future workouts should be based on your performance of previous workouts, availability, and necessary recovery.
An athlete recently commented on a 20-mile run he struggled through. He had travelled to Florida for a one week vacation. He was off his normal routine, the weather was different, and his nutrition was different. He woke up at 3 AM and drove ten hours back to his home. Then he started his 20-mile run. Needless to say, it was a struggle and he cut the run a little short. Tackling this workout was risky. When I heard, we discussed. A coach provides insight that the athlete sometimes can’t see because of their own determination. In hindsight, the athlete would have changed his schedule, so he had both quality recovery and a quality run.
When an athlete downloads a 16-week "canned" plan, they feel nothing but failure if they skip a canned workout. Many athletes are highly type A and need to check off ALL THE BOXES. Don’t get caught up in a plan. Be flexible. If you can’t make it to the starting line, you certainly can’t reach your goals. Enjoy the journey. Take what you are given and be thankful to be able to do what you love.
We are here to help. Let us guide you in making good training and racing decisions. Together we will help you enjoy training and competing even more.