Winter training

Looking back over my training journal, I’ve been saying that I need to make a training plan for about 2 months. Between the triathlon club and the bike club, there are loads of training sessions that I could attend; plus my weekly Pilates class; plus I was toying with the idea of joining the local Masters swimming club.

In reality, what was happening was each week I would feel guilty for the things I hadn’t done, rather than feeling good about the things I had done. I was feeling that I should be training the way I trained when I first got into triathlon – up to 10 sessions a week, aiming to improve all three disciplines, as well as strength and conditioning work. But after gaining a temporary promotion I’m needing to be in school reasonably early (so I can’t use the gym next to the school, which doesn’t open till 8, any more). And I usually leave school between 5.30 and 6, after having had no real break all day (on one occasion recently I ate my sandwich as quickly as humanly possible while standing up, hiding behind a door because so many people were looking for me). I just can’t commit to training as much as I was before. 

Recently I’ve been reading Joe Friel’s “The Cyclist’s Training Bible.” I’ve used his “Triathlete’s Training Bible” before and really liked his methodical, scientific approach. I finished reading it last week and had a bit of an epiphany. I came to a conclusion about my focus for next season.

Rather than signing up for the biggest, scariest multi sport race I can find (Braveheart Triathlon, I’m looking at you) and worrying about simply finishing, I’ve decided to race shorter distances next session, and really race them. I’m also going to focus the bulk of my training specifically on cycling. Most of the races on my “definite” list for next season are, in fact, bike races. I’ll probably do a few Standard tris, and Craggy Island is definitely on my wish-list, but next season I’m all about the crits and the road races.

It was a weight off my mind when I worked that out. I think I’m ready for a change in focus – I’m just loving cycling at the moment. I’m still enjoying swimming, and I do want to improve, but rather than beat myself up about not going to the club’s early morning sessions I’m going to accept that I need my sleep and that, while the session itself is great, if it’s only Sunday night and I’m already dreading getting up at 5.20 on Tuesday then I probably need a break. 

So I’ve made a plan to take me through to Spring, based mostly on cycling, and with a reduction in the annual hours I was aiming for (and not managing) before. It’s realistic, I think it’s achievable, and I’m excited about it. Bring on the winter training!


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