Friday, April 18, 2014

Picking a Training Plan

This is one of the toughest things for me to do. I am talking about deciding on a plan to train with. I am the first person that would tell any new triathlete to "Trust the Plan", but how do you know? What do you look for in a plan? When you simply Google "HIM training plan" I get 145,000,000 results. That's alot. So how does one narrow it down? Here's how I roll when I chose my plan for my HIM in Sept.

First thing I looked at was the length of the plan. One thing I learned from my IM training was that you CAN train to long for a race and get mentally burned out. For me, about 16 weeks is perfect for me to get ready for a HIM, especially since I have not been consistent with my training. If I was in better triathlon shape, I might consider a shorter plan.

Second thing I look at is the balance. Is it run heavy, swim heavy or bike heavy? Is it a balanced plan? Personally with me, I feel good about the swim, decent about the bike and hate the run. As you know that is normally where I lose the most time, so I want to make sure I am using a plan that focus on my weakness oppurtunity.

Third thing I want to see is how is the plan laid out? Is it even possible for me to hit the designed workouts with my family schedule and my work schedule? Is their some flexibility in it? Are there scheduled rest days? Nothing is more frustrating than to get a plan together and then find out there is now way to execute it. So I want to make sure it is a plan I can actually follow.

Lastly, I want to look at the detail of the plan. Is Monday a swim 40 minutes, bike 60 minutes day? Or is is broken down for me. Does that 40 minuite swim come with a workout designed and explained to me? that is what I like. I admit, I get bored going to the pool knowing I have to swim 40 laps. I would much rather have it broekn down for me with a warmup, main set and cooldown (plus I honestly believe that is how you get faster, not by simply swimming a bunch of laps)

Normally I would just get a plan off of, but the ones they had for HIM did not really work for me, so I searched elsewhere and found a plan that I think will work. It comes from a site called Now the fact that the website is called trinewbies does not bother me at all (well a little, but I am getting over it) It is an 18 week plan, is the right balance of S/B/R. I actually like the way it is laid out (which means I don't always have to stay up late to get workouts done like I did for IM) and it has detailed plans for the S/B/R.

The only other issue I have is that sometimes I will think I decided on a plan until I run across another plan, and then I see another plan. So I am taking a few days to really dive into this plan and make sure this is what I want and that it will work for me.

So how do you decide what training plans you use? Did I miss anything on the decision factor?


  1. Here you are picking a HIM plan and me...

    It took me three weeks to pick a Couch to 5k plan. The whole thing was just an excuse not to get started though.

    1. I got plenty of excuses as well! But I feel so much better AFTER a good run that it irks me when I don't! When is your 5K?

  2. I am finishing up that plan from trinewbies and I liked it. I was flexible with it, but I overall have really liked it. My race is IM StG in two weeks, so we'll see how it goes. With some of the warm up races I have done as part of training I have felt really good and strong, so if that is any indicator, I'll be in good shape.


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