I am in the office right now and have a few free moments in between tasks so here are some random thoughts about how success can be achieved through proper planning. Please excuse any typos as I am writing quickly and not re-reading before i post 🙂
Success is born from hard work and desire. Their is simply no way around actual down and dirty work if you want to get where you know you can be. I would wager to say that 99% and maybe 100% of people who you think of as successful have obtained this perceived “success” because they had a plan. Whether they knew it or not, they had a vision of what they wanted right from the beginning. Some people are more visual than others so writing notes down and putting something tangible in front of them is the best way to get something to become real. Others can think up their plan, and then execute it purely based on their thoughts. For me, being a visual person I love to write things down and get it on paper. It is this simple process that allows me to for the most part execute a regimented triathlon training plan on a weekly basis. When things get written down and placed in their proper time slots you can visualize having the required time to do everything that you want to.
My advice to those who seem to never have enough time to get the training in that they want is to sit down every Sunday night and write out how they can accomplish the upcoming weeks workouts. Personally, I take out a notebook and start filling out timeslots. 8:30AM – 5:30PM most every week gets filled with work hours as these are set in stone. I then begin with my free morning hours which are usually 4:30 – 8:00AM. 4:30 – 5:00 is allocated for waking up, getting something to eat, and having coffee. This leaves me with between 2-3 hours to make something happen. If I don’t have to commute anywhere I am able to either sleep in a bit more and then go to the pool at 6 or I can run before I swim and then go to the pool after, if I got to bed earlier. So after the morning hours and work hours I am left with a time slot of about 6-9PM. Lately this has been partly a commute back home of an hour and then a trainer ride on the bike at night. Even with the commute I can execute a 1:45 bike ride with a ton of focused work and still be in bed by 9PM with a dinner/post workout meal in my stomach. For those who do not have such a lengthly commute, then all the better…I’d tell you to get to bed earlier!
I guess the main point I want to emphasize is that most everyone can execute a training plan when it is properly laid out in advance and tailored to the person’s individual needs. It’s extremely important that the triathlete be realistic about how many hours they can devote to training. If you are married, with children, and have a time-sucking job well then your schedule should look a lot different than mine…that’s just how it is. However, I honestly believe that a person who is consistent in their training whether that be 10, 12, 14, or 20 hours per week will succeed. The key is to do this week in and week out and to not get caught up in any bumps that may happen along the way. If a workout is missed it needs to be put behind you and forgotten, usually the only thing that can come about when trying to “fit it in later” is that you overwork yourself and put your body into an overloaded state that can cause a decrease in progression because you can’t execute the training as it was planned. Instead of worrying about a missed workout, capitalize on it and get to bed 30 minutes earlier if you can, or spend an extra few minutes with the family, or put the extra effort into the project at work. This are all honorable non-training tasks and should not be looked down upon. Live in the present and pour yourself totally into what your doing, once that is accomplished you can then move on to the next task. I struggle with this as much as the next person, however for the most part I am able to succeed on a weekly basis because of two big things:
1. I plan out ahead of time and make it visually possible to complete all my workouts.
2. When I am working out I totally focus on the training and zone out from what’s “next”, doing so allows me to complete my training in its entirety without the external stess of work or other such things. Use the training time as your own personal meditation, its not supposed to be a “chore”.