The Perfect Plan…is one that you deviate from regularly

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So you have spent hours planning out your triathlon training plan for every month and every week and every day from here until your goal race and you are going to execute every single workout on the day it is planned without a single deviation…and then you will have the race of your life, right? Or, maybe you are doing P90X and you are sure that you aren’t going to miss a single day of the program and you are going to do every workout on the scheduled day just like Tony says, right? WRONG! There are very few people that have the opportunity to do that. Life often gets in the way of your plans. It could be that unexpected weather, kid’s activities, work, home repairs, family visits, or other things keep you from getting your planned workout completed. It could mean that you don’t get to do a workout at all or it could mean that you have to do a different type of workout instead of the one on your plan. So is this always a bad thing? NO!…at least not for the most part. When this happens, it is important not to feel as though you are a failure because you are not executing your plan perfectly. Do your best and forget the rest!

I have a very detailed workout plan that shows what workouts I am supposed to do every day and it even includes level of exertion, duration, etc. The workouts are specifically placed in the schedule to maximize my results by doing long workouts on certain days, speed work on certain days, recovery on certain days, strength training on certain days, etc. I do my best to keep the workouts where they are in the schedule and execute them just like the plan because I like to follow my plan…it makes me feel good to execute the plan as written. However, it rarely happens exactly like I plan…especially these days with twin girls, a full-time job, a Beachbody business, church, other hobbies, etc. So what do I do?…I roll with it. Example: Last night was supposed to be a 45 minute run (pushing my girls in the BOB stroller) and this morning I was supposed to do Yoga. When I got home from work last night, it was raining outside (imagine that…I live in Washington near Seattle). So, instead of just skipping my workout, I just switched the two workouts and did yoga last night and took the girls for a run this morning. Now, it is not always that easy…there are times when you don’t want to just switch tomorrow’s workout and today’s workout one-for-one. So here are some rules of engagement for changing up the schedule when life gets in the way:

1) Don’t feel like a failure if you have to change the schedule or even skip a workout altogether. Do your best to minimize the changes and when they happen…roll with them and be creative. I know, I already said this above but this is worth saying again and needs to be rule #1.

2) Be wise about moving workouts from later in the week to replace other workouts. If it causes you to do similar workouts back-to-back that could cause overuse injuries, then it is not the best idea. For instance, you wouldn’t want to move your 10-mile long run from Saturday to Thursday if you just ran 6 miles on Wednesday night. If you are doing P90X, you want to avoid putting resistance days back-to-back. Be smart.

3) Don’t be afraid to get creative and try things that aren’t even on your workout plan. Maybe a buddy asks you to go to the gym and play racquetball but that would cause you to miss your bike ride for the night. You have a couple of options: Maybe you could ride your bike to and from the gym to play racquetball with him (depending on distance of course) or you could just go play racquetball and get a nice cross-training workout in…don’t sweat the missed bike ride.

4) Make deviations from your plan a part of the plan. Huh? What does that even mean, you say. What I mean is that, you can actually plan to allow yourself a couple of deviations from your plan in a given time period and then they are a part of the plan. Does this make any sense? It does to me. For instance, you could actually plan days in your workout plan that say “Recovery Bike Ride or Rest”. Then you have the option to skip the workout or do it if you are feeling up to it. Plan these on days that you know you have possible conflicts. I often plan these on days where I have a midweek event (like a Bible Study or other group meeting). Maybe I have the time to get my workout in if everything is perfect but if I have to stay 15 minutes late at work, I won’t be able to get the workout in…so if the workout for the day is optional…there is no problem.

Anyway…I hope you found this helpful. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me.

Ryan Chapman
B.A.S.E. Training

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