What's Your Plan?

BIG goals deserve GOOD plans!

BIG goals deserve GOOD plans!

Goals, dreams, passion, energy, excitement...all key ingredients in creation of performance and success!  But...what is the best recipe?  What are the steps to take, the moves to make and the cues of when to make them?  A training plan is like a recipe for your goals.  Without one, you are left flying by the seat of your pants, with a loaf of bread that didn't rise and wondering where it all went wrong;)

  • Have you started training for a goal with enthusiasm, only to quickly feel the wheels come off and lose your focus and motivation?

  • Are you unsure if you are doing the right training type, amount, intensity and frequency to reach your goal?

  • Do you bounce around between ideas and plans, making things up as you go?

  • Do you get injured, burnt out or frustrated with lack of results?

These are all very common symptoms of training without a sound plan.  They are also, very easily overcome.  Read on!

Let me begin by saying: there are no perfect training plans.  Nuh - uh. Don't let the super insta gurus try and convince you otherwise.  There are, in fact, many different ways to get you from where you are now to where you want to be.  The best plan, however, is one that meets your needs, fits your lifestyle and gets you to your goal feeling strong, happy, healthy and stoked.

While there are a variety of approaches and plans that will get you the results you seek, there are a few key components that an effective training plan should include, to ensure you are on the right path to reach your goals safely and efficiently.  A professional training plan is one that is based on the science of exercise physiology and incorporates key training principles.  The ultimate training plan is, of course, completely customized, personalized and adapted to your personal, preferences, abilities and lifestyle.  Working one on one with a professional coach that you connect well with is the gold standard for slaying your goals, but you can also achieve greatness by following a training plan that is built by a professional and based on sound training principles.  Here are my suggestions for what to look for in a solid training plan to make sure that you are making the most of your time with the lowest risk of overtraining and injury:

1.  Progressive Overload - a training plan should build gradually, with no huge jumps in volume, intensity or  frequency.  Variety, yes, but within the framework of big picture it must be designed with progressive overload to avoid 'too much too soon' and 'staleness'.
2.  Periodized Training - peaks and valleys should be included to allow for recovery, progressive overload, recovery and phases of training.  These are designed to ensure you are peaking for your event feeling health, happy and as strong as possible, while decreasing the risk ofovertraining.
3. Recovery - Weekly, monthly and seasonal recovery time must be incorporated to allow the body to adapt and grow stronger.  Without sufficient recovery, the body will not be able to adapt and the risk of injury, illness and burnout is great.  We don't get stronger during training.  We need recovery for that.
4. Options for Personalization- Of course, a Customized Plan is tailored exactly for you, but a Self Directed Training Plan should also give you options for adapting the plan to meet your personal needs.  Your plan should teach you how to adjust the starting point, which key workouts to prioritize, how to know if it is time to back off or increase, etc.
5.  Specialized - your plan should include specificity/workouts that are designed to build your fitness for your specific goal.  Run, hike, bike, specific distances, disciplines etc - your plan should include specialized workouts and exercises that are designed to help you prepare for your goal as specifically as possible.
6.  Support - having the expertise of a professional coach is an invaluable service for anyone training for a goal.  The opportunity to ask questions and bounce ideas off a coach is a powerful tool for making the most of your training time and reaching your goal efficiently and safely.  Training plans that offer the option of support- being able to connect with the person who created the plan, allow you to relax and focus on your training, knowing you are on the right track and doing everything you need to be doing.

Watch for my next post - Are you ready for a Coach?  to learn more about the benefits of working with your very own Coach for your next big goal!  

And so...
What is YOUR plan??
Be sure to check out all of my Self Directed Training plans or send me a note if you are looking for ideas!

Cheers and Happy Trails!