18 March 2015

In Training : Jabulani Challenge (Why Training Plans Are Ace)

One of my 15 things to get done in the Year of the Sheep is to complete three walking events. My first one is coming up in April. It's the Jabulani Challenge - I'm doing the 22km trail run walk. It's only my second event ever, and it's my first ever trail walk. And it's only 32 days away. But I'm not panicking. 

No siree, there's no panicking here. Because about a month ago I did a smart thing - after umming and ahhing for a few weeks I bit the bullet and got myself a personalised training plan. Zoey from Operation Move put it together for me, based on answers to questions about when I prefer to exercise, what my goals are for both speed and distance, and what cross training I enjoy. 

I've always thought about having a training plan, about getting some expert guidance. Back in my gym days I picked up so many personal trainer business cards, I had quite the collection going. I was always a bit scared of taking the next step though. Scared of what? Nothing and everything. Scared of interacting with a stranger for one (and the first step would mean interacting with a stranger on the phone. Ughhh.). Scared of having my bubble burst, scared of being told I was doing everything wrong. Scared of the unknown. Sounds silly now I write it all out. 

Long story short - it's a new experience for me, having a training plan. 

It's a new experience, and I'm loving it. There's a lot of variety in there - long walks and short walks, hill sprints and intervals. Things I never would have tackled without something telling me I needed to tackle them (namely hills and speed, at the same time!). Things get a little more challenging each week too, so you can see that you are in fact making progress (always a key motivator for me). 

But more than all that, having a training plan means I'm taking my walking a bit more seriously, I'm making it a priority. Previously I would have had a vague idea that I needed to fit a long walk into my week, but if the husband and step-sons were home I'd just let it slide to the bottom of the to-do list and it wouldn't happen. Now, if it's on my training plan it gets done. 

It also gives me a bit of confidence; it helps me feel like I'm doing the right things at the right time rather than just trying to do as many kilometres as I can, whenever I can. Instead of just muddling along and making it up as I go, I have clear goals and actions and things to get done. And yes, I tick each day off as I go (of course I do!).

A month in and I'm finding having a training plan isn't scary at all. It's actually awesome.


Are you training for anything special at the moment? Do you have a plan? Do you want one? Are you scared of the phone too? Or is that just me?

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