Choose a Training Plan

There are hundreds of books and websites available which provide detailed daily workouts as part of a comprehensive training program, and I won’t attempt to replicate or improve on those plans here. Find one and use it. You can always modify it later to fit your needs and personal progress, but the one thing you cannot do is wing it every day. “I’m going to swim today” is not a plan. “I’m going to swim 10 sets of 200 yard repeats at a 1:50 pace, with 30 seconds rest between each one” is a plan. Hiring a coach is, of course, the easiest way to get a plan tailored to your needs, but it is possible to create one on your own. Don’t get too caught up in paralysis by analysis at first. You are committing to a few workouts, not a life partner. As General Patton said, “A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.”

Whatever plan you pick, you should make sure that it is structured around the two most important weekly workouts: a long run and a brick. Bricks are covered in more detail in Chapter 9, but just know that they consist of a long bike ride followed immediately by a run. These are essential to teach your legs how to run smoothly and strongly off the bike.

Next: Training Principles