Saturday, December 6, 2008

Plan? What Plan?

From some of the comments I have had posted, my lack of "a plan" would drive some of you crazy. It's not that I don't have a plan, I just don't see the point of starting on something so far out from the race. Anything more that 16 to 18 weeks for an IM is going to be way too long for me, because I have the attention span of a gnat. Plus there are some inherent things in these long plans, that although scientifically prove, don't sit well with me. The other interesting thing I would like to note about plans, especially in the triathlon world, is the total absence of plans with names. You won't hear of the Dave Scott 12 week plan, or Simon Whitfield plan, because they don't exist. I think this is largely due to the recognition that no one-size-fits-all plan makes sense. It has to be adapted to your schedule, goals, resources and weaknesses. All too often people embark on these ambitious plans they have read about by some Olympic racer or what not and fail to recognize that outside of the recommended workouts there is a whole other support mechanism that allows the athlete to perform. Nutritionists, physiotherapists, massagers, and a gamut of other resources are in place to allow the athlete to do 6 or 8 hours sessions. Where the rest of us poor schmucks have to work, raise kids, and work some more, all the while trying to fit in our workouts. That is why I generally take a look at a basic generic plan and make it work for me. I try and key in on the important workouts for the week and find a way to make those ones happen. I'm also not a big fan of spending a lot of time on the base training phase of any program. While I know this will make some of you gasp and say, "The audacity!!", that is my humble opinion. For God's sake it is not like I am just getting off the couch and jumping into a program to do an IM! After 30 years as an endurance athlete I am sure I have a pretty well developed aerobic system that needs minimal work to bring it up to snuff. The real work needs to be done in continued skill development and replicating race conditions as often as possible. But again that is my humble opinion and I leave it at that.
Having said all this after the holidays it will be time to cobble together a plan of sorts. As previously mentioned I have a pretty good idea of what I want to do, but it will need a few shuffles since near the end of the program and close to the race, Nicholas and Nicole will be getting married and I can assure you there will be minimal opportunities for training. But that's what it is all about, finding ways to fit things in and doing the best with what you are faced with.
On vacation I only managed to finish one book, which was a biography of Neil Young, "Shakey", by Jimmy McDonough. It was a long book (over 700 pages), but was very good with lots of insight into life in the rock world. Currently I am reading the "Spiritual Brain", which is a book about whether or not there is neurological evidence of "the mind". Interesting but you know it will be slightly biased as the research is sponsored by the Templeton Institute.
Music wise, it's CHRISTMAS TIME, so I have been hauling all the old Christmas tunes over into my iTunes library!
Yesterday I swam 2,200 metres focusing on 5o metre repeats with good form. Then last night I did a brisk spin session for 40 minutes with an average RPM of 95. I am still not running due to the tight calf but after some massaging today I will decide whether or not to try.
Have a great weekend!


Grellan said...

My hubmle opinion is the same as yours. Base training will get you most of the way - no point in getting excited this far out (receipt for overtraining).

Love2Run said...

You seem to have things down pretty well knowing what works for you. Having something written down keeps me honest even if I don't always follow it to the letter.