Last weekend the schedule said: Fri swim 3 k and a gym session, Sat 4 h bike followed by 30 min brick run. Sun 28 k run.
This weekend the schedule said: Fri swim 3.5 k and 15 km run, Sat 4 h bike followed by a 45 min brick run. Sun 30 k run.
As you can see I’m building up to IM SA April 15th with a few key long distance sessions in end of Feb and beginning of March. Since it’s winter I do all biking inside on my Kickr, and brick runs are also done inside on a treadmill (due to minus 1-10 degrees outside…)
With 6/7 weeks to Ironman South Africa I’m of course keen to stick to the plan. Especially on weekends since that’s when these crucial long sessions are possible.
So, how did I do regarding training these two quite similar weekends? Very well! …In two totally different ways:
Last weekend started strong with a perfect early swim session Friday morning before a full day workshop (covering change management…), but in the evening I felt tired and decided to skip the gym. Saturday morning I still felt tired and not entirely well. After breakfast I decided to cancel the bike & run session, even though it was one of these key long distance brick sessions I so desperately need in order to prepare for Ironman SA. Come Sunday and I’m still not feeling ok. I.e. the 28 k run is converted into a 20 min easy walk (completely Lycra free!)
This weekend started of just as good with a 3.8 k swim (300 m extra yes, and 1.30/100) and a strong 15 k run in the evening (IM pace: 4.30/km). Saturday gave the opportunity to start the brick session in great company at O2 Konditionscenter, even though I was alone the last part of the 4-hour of biking and for the 10 k treadmill run… (4.25/km). The Sunday 30 k run was scheduled as “easy”, but I’d lie if I said it felt easy to get going. However, 2 hours and 27 min later I’ve covered the distance and I had done it as planned in zone 2.
I would summarize the training these two weekends as optimal. Not the planned or preferred last weekend, but optimal taken into account the circumstances. And if I have a good race in SA I will use these two weekends as a reference for future situations when I, or someone else, should realize that the planned sessions will serve their purpose best by being cancelled.
(But I would argue that if I don’t succeed in SA we couldn’t say that it’s because last weekends cancelled training. That’s simply a misinterpretation of casual relationship)
So – to get to the conclusion of this post:
Effective – when I adjust to reality and execute the right thing. The sessions that will serve my long-term goals best (which sometimes means the planned sessions, sometimes something totally different).
Efficient – when I focus and execute the session in the right way.
Optimizing my training would be a combination of adjusting to reality and execute the sessions focused and with good form. I.e. execute the right session in the right way.
I would say I did that – both weekends!
I hope you can find the strength to cancel the right session for you – and thus optimize your training and achieve the goals you’re striving for.
All the best