Finding the flow…..

As anyone who reads this blog will know, competitive sports has been a big part of my life. After 10 years of cycle racing, I transitioned to running in 2017, but the way we approach training for both sports is similar.

Most people will follow what’s called a periodised training programme. At a macro level, this typically involves training ‘hard’ for 3 weeks, followed by a lighter ‘recovery’ week. It’s a rhythm that you fall into; it becomes the natural flow of your life.

At a micro level, those training weeks are also a mix of ‘on’ and ‘off’ time, which allows the body to recover from hard sessions. Here’s how my typical training week looks:

  • Monday – Rest day. This allows me to recover from the weekend’s efforts
  • Tuesday – Intervals. This will be a hard session that stresses the body. The specific content will depend upon what ‘period’ of training we’re in. My coach will lay down what the session entails and what physiological system we’re training.
  • Wednesday – Easy run, usually around 30-40 minutes followed by 15-30 minutes strength & conditioning gym work
  • Thursday – Intervals (as Tuesday)
  • Friday – Easy 30 minute shakeout. I used to quite often skip this day, but I’ve found that doing a really easy shakeout helps my body recover from the efforts on Tuesday & Thursday
  • Saturday – Easy run plus strength & conditioning work (as Wednesday)
  • Sunday – Long run or race. The Long Run is a staple of the runner’s programme, and will typically be anywhere from 90 minutes up to 3 hours depending on the events you’re training for. The long run is usually done at an easy pace, however there may be sections where you’ll do a specific training effort. For instance, this morning I ran 45 mins at an easy pace (around 8:50/mile), then the next 45 at 30 seconds faster.

By Monday I need my rest day! Also, because my weekday training is typically done before work, which means getting up around 5am, Monday is a chance for a lie in – well, if 6.30am counts as a lie in! It’s also the day where I try to avoid carbs and eat mainly fats & protein, so it’s a chance to eat something different for breakfast other than porridge….

This is the rhythm that my life follows, week after week; month after month; season after season. It stops being a thing you do, and just becomes you.

Do you follow any kind of training plan? At a macro & micro level? What does your training look like? Let me know!

5 thoughts on “Finding the flow…..

  1. It’s good to get into a rhythm. I follow a cycle of 3 weeks of good training followed by a cut back week so the intensity remains the same in my sessions but the mileage is less. I go for a walk, do some light training on Mondays to help recover quicker, do run training Tuesdays and Thursdays, day off Friday and run Saturday and Sunday so I tend to race parkrun on Saturdays (sometimes with an extra couple of miles either side) then do long slow run on Sundays. I also like getting out first thing to train and do a lot of mobility work every day. I’ve been working a lot on my form so do an interval session on Thursdays that is based around form and run at 80% of my top pace rather than flat out. This has been massive for me in marathon training 🙂

      1. I cycle to and from work on the days where I don’t need the car then do a brick session on Sundays. I’m trying to squeeze in a short ride to parkrun then cycle home again after. The swimming’s been harder as the only time I can realistically get to the pool is between 3-4pm weekdays but that’s not always possible. I try to get a swim in on Saturday afternoons though. Not consistent but getting there

  2. Right now, it looks something like this for me:

    Monday – Rest
    Tuesday – Club Hill or Track Session
    Wednesday – Rest or Easy Run (low intensity, 5-10 miles)
    Thursday – Club Social Run (easy to moderate intensity, 6 miles)
    Friday – Rest or Easy Run (low intensity, 5-10 miles)
    Saturday – parkrun 5K (intensity varies)
    Sunday – Long Run (10-16 miles)

    I’ve just signed up for my first ultra distance event (a 50K in April 2019) so the goal is to gradually transition to add mileage at lower intensities. I also walk a lot, and will look to make use of that more for warm ups, cool downs and recovery.

    I really agree when you say it stops becoming a thing and starts becoming you, it kind of just switches before you realise 😀

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