It has been 3 weeks since I started my formal training plan. And things are going well. Slowly but surely, I’m feeling stronger and looking thinner than before.
There’s something about formal structured training that really works for me. Maybe it’s the fact that there is a clear purpose to each session, whether it is to build strength, aerobic capacity, or to provide some a chance for recovery. I’m also on maternity leave, so it gives me something very clear to look forward to that day especially whenever you’re never too sure what the day will bring. It also provides me that one to two hour break where I don’t have to think about crying, feeding or nappy changing. And what with having a coach involved, I don’t have to think about what session I should do or why.
Eamonn, my coach, uses a shared spreadsheet on Google docs to chart training progress. What training I’m meant to do each day is marked down on separate rows. Against it I record things like:
- The distance and average heart rate for the session, and give the session a “Feel Good Factor” score.
- The link to the session’s Garmin recorded data.
- My heart rate in the morning and how sore my muscles are.
- How I slept the night before and how I generally feel.
Every day or two, Eamonn then goes in to review the data and gives general comments. These thus far have primarily been around the heart rates I’ve recorded. Too high and too erratic has been the norm. It has been hard getting back into the discipline of slow, steady endurance training that I need to build my base.
Then once a week, Eamonn and I schedule a call. It’s a chance to ask any questions I have around the sessions, or anything else from nutrition to equipment. We then look at the week ahead and agree on what sessions need to be done. This is useful seeing that a race might be coming up or if there’s a family weekend away planned.
It’s good to be back training again and seeing the improvement. And it’s nice to learning something new about fitness and racing, like about how to train on the bike and what to do in the gym. It’s also great to know that a professional is looking after this training, especially when I gave birth less than 3 months ago.