Rule #2. Rock, paper, scissors.

I love working on a training plan. I can spend weeks reading plans online, I get books from the library, I have regular deliveries from Amazon, I discuss strategies with anyone that will listen. I sit down at my computer and block out months of my life on spreadsheets, colouring in blocks for different activities and entering details of upcoming events. I print them off and scribble all over them in pencil, cross-referencing with family commitments and my work schedule. I fiddle and twiddle till my training plan is perfect.

Then it gets stuck on the fridge.

Let me tell you this, there are no plans for Iso. This is a new event, triathlon equalised, 7 mile swim, 61 bike then a mere marathon; you’ve got to wing it. So I’ve combined stuff from my Ironman training and lessons learned from ultra running with bits and bobs that I’ve made up along the way. I’m determined to enjoy the journey so there’s more long – distance running than last year, less cycling and a hell of a lot more swimming.

This was week 1, (and this is where the rock, paper, scissors bit comes in,) when after the anticipation of the planning, I finally get to do something. The crux of it is that however dedicated you are to a training plan; it’s not carved in stone. Even, no, especially, on week 1 you need to be flexible. You assess what works, what you are physically capable of and importantly, the impact on family life. If it doesn’t all work now, it’s not going to be sustainable for the next 6 months.

Despite all my fiddle – faffing I leave my plan as vague as I can. I have the key sessions blocked in where I think they’ll work and leave the rest blank. Each week/each day I look at what I need to achieve and decide how it’s best to go about it. If it’s raining and blowing a gale perhaps I’ll swap a ride for a swim. If there a group going for a ride I can switch my run day. If my legs are wasted move my rest day.

With a busy family life there has got to be compromise and flexibility. There are 6 of us in this house and I cannot absent myself whenever I want. This week I’ve run with the dog, swum in the lanes whilst hubby plays in the pool with kids and done a spin class with my eldest daughter.

So yes, the training plan is done but it is not set in stone. The plan is on paper and I’m happy to take the scissors to it to make it work.

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