Q: I am fully committed to my big race (Ironman in early August), but I keep stumbling with little illnesses, fatigue and some niggles here and there. I must admit that I do have a tendency to chase my training (maybe fear of fitness?), and I always seem to cram to get in training around my crazy work life schedule.
A: Good timing! Just what I was talking about this afternoon on Meetings with Matt. With this, read the thoughts below, as this certainly applies to you. In addition, I think you should go back to the basics. Spend 30 minutes tonight thinking about the below, then ask yourself if you are training appropriately. Remember, the lens should not be, “How much training do I need to do?” Instead, I want you to refine “How much time do I truly have?” Then add training into this. It is a subtle but key shift in thinking. So, your homework:
Question 1: Go through your weekly schedule and identify the slots of time you nearly always have to add in training. How much time is this? What time of the day? These are slots that are rarely disrupted by work, family, life, etc.
Question 2: Identify the time slots that you often can train or have to yourself but are more likely to be disrupted.
Question 3: Identify any slots that are typically designated for ‘life’ activities, whether work meetings, commuting, family, or whatever.
Once you have completed this, you now have a clearer picture of where to aim to integrate your KEY sessions of the week. Supporting sessions can be placed in the slots defined in question two. You should now review and look for three more things:
- How much sleep will I typically get?
- Do my sleeping patterns allow me to get 8 hours at least twice weekly?
- Do I have any additional ‘bumper’ time to simply rest, relax, or meditate?
If you are restricted on the above three questions, you need massive awareness, and maybe a refinement of the plan. I would MUCH rather see 12 excellent hours of your training over 16 hours of up and down fatigue-ridden training!
Hope that helps.
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