Winging It

Yesterday while doing my strength work-out I started thinking about how I was going to get ready for the Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour on June 7/8 and the Ultimate XC trail race (21 km) on June 28…. In typical fashion I let my brain race with ideas of how to get the fitness I need to enjoy these two events (rather than suffer through them).

I’m used to have structured training plans designed by a cycling coach – these training plans basically told me what I would do each and every day. At times I felt “ruled” by the training plan and craved spontaneity but more days than most, I was content to have my work-outs planned out for me. If it was written down I did it. It’s amazing how used to this mode of training I became.

And now here I sit with two big events on the horizon without a plan… the type A in me is starting to get a bit anxious about this. But the other slightly relaxed side of me is really trying to enjoy not being ruled by a plan… and this is where my brain starts to go a bit crazy, trying to determine how I can best get ready for these two events, while still being able to do everything I want (mountain biking, long road rides. and trail running).

In early May I’m planning on doing the MEC trail race at Camp Fortune – this will be a good event to build on towards the Ultimate XC at the end of June. But, typically I had a more (or so I thought) brilliant idea – how about I ride my bike to Camp Fortune (90 minute or so ride), run the 12 km trail race, and then ride home! This would be a great training day – I get to ride my bike and trail run and I get “load” my body with a really big day. I mentioned this idea to my friend last night – she kind of choked – and then I mentioned it to Marc, and he responded with “Are you well?”. So I guess this idea is not one of my better ones.

This is what happens when I don’t have a plan: I go through waves of intense training/activity counterbalanced by too many easy days or complete rest days. I’m starting to realize that I’m not really a “winging it” type  of person but I also know I don’t want to go back to the hard-line training plan. So what to do? What do you do? Are you the type of person who likes to have a training plan or do you do your own thing or do you have a loose training guide? I’m trying to find the happy and successful middle ground.

This happy middle ground will ensure that I don’t get too stressed out about being prepared for these two big events on my summer calendar. There is nothing worse than going into an event and not feeling prepared. I definitely don’t want to do this but I know that if left to my own devices, I can easily do too much and then ironically not be ready either… (Yes, crazy brain is starting to creep back in…)

6 thoughts on “Winging It

  1. hmmm, hard to train for both. I suggest that you get your long run in each week, and do the Tuesday run,then maybe do your cycling on some of the other days?

    • Thanks for the suggestions. I think that I’ll aim to run three – four times a week and do two long rides on the weekends and add in some harder tempo work on the bike as well. I can run at lunch and I’m fortunate to work in an office only three days a week so I have some extra flexibility on my Mondays and Fridays. I expect I’ll do some double days as well – easy ride to work (22 km each way) then a run in the evening or a run in the morning on the trails and a mountain bike ride in the evening. Now we just need the snow to melt!

  2. How about if you make yourself a (loose) plan from now ’til the end of June? You can plan a few intensities a week, running or cycling, some endurance and some rest days to keep you motivated, and within some type of periodisation (3/4 weeks, or whatever works for you). You can always shift things around depending on how you feel, with the goal of doing most of the workouts every week. I think having some kind of plan would probably reduce your stress. Short term goals help too – 3 intensities this week, good sleep all week etc… Just an idea :-)

    • Thanks Sophie! I really appreciate your suggestions. Yes, I think three intensity sessions a week is spot on. I’ve always done well with this and some longer rides. I’m thinking that I’ll be definitely running on Tuesdays and Sundays – need to add in another day and likely a recover run as well. Back-to-back long rides with some tempo and sweet spot tempo added in will help as well. I have to get myself fit so I can ride Rideau Lakes with you!

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