Weekly Training Plans?

Do you have a weekly training routine? For the last month or so after the Barrathon I’ve not really had much of a training routine. I’ve been playing about, doing what I want, when I want and taking rest days whenever I want. No structure – just do as I feel. I’m not training for anything in particular, but I must admit that without a weekly or 6 weekly training plan, I do feel a bit lost. :-/

I wrote this the other day (Weekly plans…), so it’s obviously in my head, but I haven’t nailed it yet. Mondays workout/s made me sore so on Wednesday I didn’t swim and I’m probably going to have Thursday as a rest day too this week.

Without a weekly plan I’m not sure if I’m taking enough rest (I am, Thursday, Friday, Saturday of last week was rest, with an easy run on Sunday)… as it’s not planned into my week. And I can hardly remember what I’ve done or what’s best to do next. Since I started training for my triathlon in 2008/9 I’ve always seemed to have a weekly or monthly training plan set up for myself so that I know I’m going in the right direction and training towards my goals.

It’s suggested that if you do weights (upper) one day, you should do cardio or rest the next, then weights (lower) the next and so on. The idea is that you give the muscles you’ve used at least a days rest before using them again. I definitely get this as I’m usually sore the day after doing a weights workout, and I really feel like I need the rest from it.

Some people think I go into too much detail and I should be able to just do what I want when I want, but I like the structure. Even down to what I do each time I go to the gym, I like to know that I’m doing this that and the other and have it on a small bit of paper so I don’t forget. Weirdly, I don’t know anyone else who does this, so perhaps it’s not so normal after all?

Keeps you on track for particular training or event goals.
Makes sure you get plenty of rest.
Is subject to change depending on how you feel.
Helps get a good work life training balance.
Allows you to build your body and mind up for an event.
Can keep you motivated instead of coming up with excuses not to do whatever it is you had planned.
The list goes on…

I’m fit enough that I can do just about anything I fancy doing, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like a bit of structure in my training. It’s just what I’m used to.

Fit Girl doesn’t have a training plan, but she does book into classes (metafit, spinfit, circuits) on set days which means she doesn’t really have to think about what she does. She trains 4 days a week and knows what she has on those days. And if she fancies a lie in instead of a Saturday she takes it – no guilt. She still has a theme to her training (strength & cardio), but no goals as such, apart from to stay fit and get good workouts. And no workouts specific to body parts, she just lets the gym instructors set up her circuits and metafit for her and she gets an all over workout from that.

If I don’t have a set training plan, then I like to have a theme around my monthly / 6 weekly training. Training for long runs is easy – focus on running, and include one long run a week which progresses in distance over the training period. Like this one. Or Swimming – more swimming, less of everything else. Strength training – more weights, metafit and circuit than other activities. Fat burn – more HIIT and strength training. Simples. 🙂

As I’m not training for any particular running distance or specific goal just now, I set up my 6 week fat and tabata programme here. And I haven’t started it yet. :-/ I just felt like I was enjoying being random with my training, but I am starting to feel a bit lost. Anyway, a good excuse to put off starting it is that I’m giving blood next Thursday, then I’ve got three weeks before I go on holiday. So I might reduce it down to a 3 week plan from the 13th August. And I’ll dabble with it up to then.

After I come back from holiday, it will just be a case of maintaining a healthy balance between all of my jobs, exercise and rest. 🙂

What I have learned from NOT doing set things on set days is that I feel less of a need to do things when I’m tired or worn out. I’m taking more rest when I need it and not feeling guilty. Now if I’m sore or tired the day or two after a workout, I take a rest day (or two) to recover. No guilt, no pressure to keep going and do what I set myself to do.

Just now my running is taking care of itself as I have Kaizen Runners twice a week and I run with a client I’m coaching to run once a week. I just need to include any other things I want to do (rest, bike, strength work, swimming).

Here’s what I’m thinking:

Rest MON: Rest
Cardio / Rest TUE: AM Rest, PM Kaizen Runners
Strength WED: AM Bike Tabatas 45, PM Metafit & Circuits
Cardio THU: AM Rest, PM Personal Training Run
Strength FRI: AM Weights & Bike Tabatas 25, PM Rest
Strength / Cardio SAT: AM Circuits & Bike Tabatas 25 or Long Run
Cardio / Rest SUN: AM Kaizen Runners, PM Swim Teaching

It all looks a bit busy, but all of the running is very easy running for me (Tuesday and Sunday will effectively be like active rest days). And if I am tired, then I’ll miss some stuff out, as it’s more important for me to get my rest and recover, than it is to work myself into an early grave. 😉 And I might throw a swim instead of a workout in one morning maybe.

So what’s your verdict? Am I strange to feel like I need a training plan? Do you use a training plan? Or do you just do it by chance?

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