Monday, 15 October 2012

Wanted: a training plan!

In my last post I wrote in a bit more detail about the events I’ll be doing and why. Now my immediate concern, aside from how to raise my target of £3000, is how to train for them.

I’m not very good with training plans. I get a bit daunted by them, question my ability to improve at the rate they prescribe and generally get all of a fluster. I am just coming to the end of a training plan that I decided to try and follow for the Great South Run which I’m running on the 28th and actually it’s been ok. I’ve skipped a few runs and run slower than prescribed in some cases but I’ve stuck to it for the most part and to the frustration of my boyfriend (who doesn’t understand how a run can take priority over anything else).

I’ve rooted around in my “Training” file on my laptop and found a sprint distance triathlon training plan from Sportsister and Tough Mudder have their own suggested plan so that’s helpful. I figure the triathlon training will get me most of the way towards the mile distance for the Great London Swim so that just leaves the running. There are any number of marathon training plans out there for all sorts of abilities and desired finishing times but the thing that I was struggling with was the amount of time these require from you. Because of the proximity of my events to each other I will have to start training for the Tri, swim and Tough Mudder before I finish training for the marathon and I just couldn’t see a way of fitting that around 5 runs a week with a regular training plan. I put out a bit of a call on twitter a while ago, asking if anyone could help me draw up a plan and MorningOfMagicians pointed me to the Finish With FIRST training plan which trains you for a marathon on 3 quality sessions a week. This is perfect as it leaves me time to fit in other disciplines.

So I’ve been proactive and amalgamated these three plans into one. The plan covers 24 weeks starting in December. It’s a little daunting when I look at it all in one go so I’m trying not to. I’m easing in with just one “Tuff” circuit a week (as I’ve dubbed them) for the first 10 weeks then introducing swimming and cycling about a month before the marathon (by which point I should be well into my stride).  The upside is that I’ll be doing a lot of brick sessions (two disciplines back to back) so transitions should be second nature by the time I get to triathlon day.

From December at the end of each week I’ll be posting what I should have done and what I actually did in terms of training.

Do you think I’m taking the right approach? How would you tackle this training challenge? Got any tips to see me through the winter months?


  1. i have been following the "first to the finish 10k" plan for about two weeks now (the same concept as "finish with first" but just focused on 10K) and it's going great. the important thing is that there is cross training about three times a week as well. this should be perfect for you seeing as you are doing others sports. i am currently on 3x runs and 3x swims per week and 1 rest day. perfect at the moment.

    also, if you combine sessions like you say, then you save time by doing two sports in the same day.

    there is also this in terms of minimal triathlon training (if available time is an issue):

  2. Thanks for the feedback on the plan, I'm feeling optimistic. I'll check out the triathlon plan too, but for now I think I'm pretty happy with the one I found on sportsister. I probably won't be doing full on cross training 3 times a week from the start but introducing it over the first few week. I'm hoping that won't be an issue.

    Not letting this take over my life completely is a really priority so combining sports on the same day seems to be the answer... for now at least!

    Thanks again.