The importance of having a training plan on hand, by K.N.*
Time flies and day after day you clock km after km in running, or cycling with no apparent structure or understanding where you are going, with no clue about ever getting the desired result. Sounds familiar? For some recreational athletes this is the weekly regime, giving them some activity per week, but when evaluated by a professional eye, the outcome does not make sense. There is little structure and time-off, no care has been given in the progressive overload principle of the human body, just km after km is registered in the respective activity.
Investigating the option to train with a written training plan designed by a reputable coach or sports physiologist, is gaining ground and delivering results. After all a plan on paper follows some basic textbook principles that 8 times out of 10 they work. Sticking to it will make sense, when you hesitate to take time off and feel that you will be losing fitness, however making the effort to back down, relax and follow along the volumes of training prescribed, is by far superior. The thinking of a coach transferred on paper might not be exactly tailor made for all but at least for the big chunk of recreational athletes out there it makes sense, because it is supported by evidence based data that sports physiology is explaining. For a few it might not work, and those are the people who need a more tailor made approach, a personal coach to design and customize further based on detailed and specific needs. But that has a premium value, and for most folks out there the budget seems high. The cost benefit analysis for most regular people into recreational sports, reveals that a well-designed plan on paper, is very efficient and adequate for it’s purpose. A free-downloadable, or paid-for training plan, makes sense only if you match sincerely your abilities and status with what the plan is expected to deliver, what are it’s fundamental characteristics, and who is it for.
Bottom line is that, if you are just entering or been “out there” for a short while, and need some guidance, then you are the perfect match with a written plan waiting for you. There are some chances that you might be the exception to the rule, and not fit the plan, but there are a lot more possibilities that the plan will match you and help you in the long run. So what are you waiting for, give it a go, success will be imminent.
*K.N. is an Exercise Physiologist, graduate of the University of Alabama, an ACSM certified Health & Fitness Instructor, holds an ITU Level II Certification as a Triathlon Coach, and is a multiple Ironman & Half Ironman Triathlon finisher. He is coaching Triathletes online, teaches Functional Training at f/3dfts, and performs Exercise Physiology assessments at the Cyprus Sports & Research Center. e –firstname.lastname@example.org