The coach, this week, did something that she hadn’t done since before her last big race in June last year and started to put a plan together for the coming season.
When planning for the season, whether with a coach or on your own, the first thing you need to decide is what your major race goals and performance targets are and also think about why they are your goals. Without an adequate reason, sometimes the motivation to train and challenge yourself is lacking.
The next thing to do is to write a list of your current strengths and weaknesses. Be honest with yourself, if you aren’t then you will only do yourself a disservice when it comes to planning your training.
Now comes the time to make a decision… Do you want to improve your strengths, develop your weaknesses or a combination of both? Many athletes are time poor, this decision is a necessary evil. More often that not, however, it is an athlete choice limitation rather than a time driven one. How many athletes do you know, who given a choice between their least favourite session and their favourite session will train their favourite and will have every excuse under the sun for missing the session that they like the least… I am sitting here with my hand well and truly up!! 🙂
Once you know what your goals are and are aware of your strengths and weaknesses & where you would like to focus your training then you can start to plot your calendar with sessions structured around achieving your goals.
As a coach, I will sit down with athletes and go through this process and from there and based on the athletes time availability, I will begin to plan the season, firstly on a long term basis with types of sessions planned out and then on a short term basis, I plan specific sessions tailored to current fitness and ability.
The long term plan unless something drastic happens, more or less stays the same but the short term sessions are planned around the athletes progress. Things happen, so it is pointless to have a plan set in stone too far in advance. Athletes may progress more quickly, or less so and short term adjustments may need to be made to account for this. Something random may come up which may also mean making adjustments to the short term plan. Athletes shouldn’t think this is a disaster, sometimes all is needed is a bit of flexibility and creativity to ensure they stay on, or get back on track!
Adequate planning sets expectations, a timeline and keeps athletes on track but with contingency for life and all the things life throw at you! Be organised, realistic, accountable and adaptable and there is no reason that you can’t meet those season goals…
Peta from Energise Coaching is a Triathlon Australia Development Coach and an Athletics Australia Recreational Running Coach. She offers personalised training programs for triathlon/swimming/running, generic training plans and structured run sessions for all levels and abilities. Contact Peta and ask what she can do for you!