Is there a right time, place and reason to switch around your workouts, AND do you have the flexibility to do that!?Pretty much every athlete I have coached or prospected to coach asks this question. What if I can't do the workouts in the order you planned them?
I've never said to any athlete that "these workouts and order are set in stone, miss one or do them out of order and you're hosed!" But, that's the feeling I get when asked questions about deviating from the plan.
There's a method to my madness, but I'm not an inflexible drill sergeant.
Worst is when someone finds a plan online and tries to shoehorn it into their life. Add work, travel, spouse, kids, significant others, friends, family and all life in general in there... you HAVE to have flexibility.
What if you are out for work and only staying in a hotel with a treadmill? Or worse, no workout area and it's too cold, dark or unsafe to workout outside?
Those canned training plans are a good start, but if you're not working with someone that understands how to get you to point A to point B on your race journey, you'll stress out missing workouts or burn yourself out trying to make them up.
Here's a few blurbs of what I've told my athletes in the past:
- Avoid doing a run and run, bike and bike or swim and swim in the same day.
- I would try and keep them in order per discipline, but the days can be shuffled if needed or spaced out. For example, Running - strides on Tuesday, AT on Wednesday and GRP on Thursday then LSR on Saturday. They can move up or back, but keep them in the same order - strides, AT, GRP then LSR. If they are in a certain order in the week, they need to stay in that order as much as possible.
- I prefer to have an off day of running before the long slow run, but sometimes the schedule just doesn't work. Make sure to stay on top of getting rest and proper sleep to prep your body. I lay out what I think will work based on your schedule (races, work, travel, etc). I'm not rigid that each workout needs to happen on the exact day it's placed on. But, I hate to see people overload themselves with 10 hours in 2 days.
- It also depends on the distance you are going towards. Obviously the longer the course, the more training is required. I also don't believe in higher volume to get better results. Some of the best results can come from workouts that only take 45 minutes and adjusting to what your schedule will allow can yield just as good of results.
Thanks for reading!