“Jake Bit The Dog” or “The Dog Bit Jake”
These four very simple words result in two very different outcomes in Jake’s life just by switching the order that they are in. Much like Jake’s outcome is dependent upon the order of four words, an endurance training plan also uses fairly simple key elements that are dependent upon the layout to create drastically different outcomes. A monkey can build a program. There is not much to taking workouts, putting them on a calendar and saying (or signing in the case of a monkey) “do X, Y & Z”. The knowledge comes into play when the goal is to make a training plan work to it’s optimal potential. At this point, there is great thought and consideration of an athlete’s goals, rate of recovery, life experiences, past training and mental fortitude to make the simple elements of training most effective for the time that you have available to train. Let’s be honest! Time is a precious commodity that we can never get back and unfortunately, we cannot create more of! If you are a weekend warrior striving for your own personal bests or looking to win championships, the prioritization of workouts is paramount in increasing effectiveness of training. So what does that mean for you? Bite the dog, don’t let the dog bite you! Utilize the resources available to you to make the most of your training time and be sure that your training plan design and layout is best suited for your specific needs and the demands of your event(s). Here are several factors to think about when considering your training plan layout:
- What is your event?
- It might sound silly, but events can have different demands on your body and you need to prepare for what will come at you on race day. A course with long climbs requires a much different approach than something with short hard accelerations and a marathon is much different than a 5k.
- What time do you have available?
- Don’t live in a fantasy land and say you can train 20 hrs a week when you work 60 hrs a week have a family and many other obligations. This will only set you up for frustration and failure.
- What are your strengths?
- Many static plans will not take into consideration what you are strong at or weak at so you might be wasting time doing technique drills when they are not something you need to improve.
- What are your goals?
- Seriously! Set them and write them down, tell your friends and don’t be shy. Accountability is good when things get difficult and a reminder on a piece of paper, on your phone backdrop or written on the bathroom mirror can be a helpful reminder.
- Write the training plan!
- As we said earlier a monkey can put workouts on a schedule. Taking all of these factors into consideration though helps in creating efficiency in your training and helps to lead to better results.