You may have noticed how much I was impressed by ZappoMan’s 5,000 bike miles (like here, here, here, and here ), and Adrian Finch stepping up for the same kind of punishment this year.
Well as I’m in the mood for doing my training planing for this year (yeah, I know - nine days late already. Never mind). As well as dusting off my copy of Joe Friel’s excellent Triathlete’s Training Bible (re-recommended by the monster-triathlete-build-like-a-brick-outhouse-bloke I met while getting my new shoes at SheRunsHeRuns on Saturday), I thought it would be good to set a nice big mileage target for my own time in the saddle.
Of course, this is the time of year when people traditionally make resolutions on how they’re going to be better, fitter, stronger people in the next 12 months. But it’s a fact that most resolutions don’t last past the fourth week in January.
The reason is that most resolutions are too vague, don’t have a plan to achieve them, and don’t have a set of measures behind them, so that you can know you’re on track.
Now I’ve already set out what I want to do this year in terms of races, so what I need now is a set of plans and measures to make sure these actually happen. So looking at the cycling first, I’m going to set myself the goal of 3,000 miles this year (only just over half of 5,000 miles, but Zappoman’s into Iron Man, but I’m only at Sprint level, eying Olympic as the next distance).
So let’s break that down:
- 3,000 miles a year
- 750 miles a quarter
- 250 miles a month
- 125 a fortnight, which is only FOUR long-way-round trips into Newcastle
See what I did there? I now have a set of targets that’ll let me measure progress through the year. I’ve also approximated a month to four weeks, while in reality it’s 4.6 weeks, so there’s a margin that allows me to take time off. This means that I can actually go on holiday without the bike (but why would I . . . ?), and taper off the mileage in the week immediately before a race.
Also I could have broken the target down to weekly, or even daily measures. There are three good reasons for doing this:
- I don’t ride every day, so that’d be pretty meaningless (3,000 / 365 = 8.2 miles: So what?).
- If the measure is too fine, it won’t allow for any variation before I’m under / over target - very dispiriting.
- I’m not actually a total anorak.
The next thing to do is the wall-chart. Yeah, I know - sounds a bit like all those people at college who spent all their revision time drawing up revision time tables. But if used properly, these things really can work. More later.