A successful week of training depends on more than just the willingness to work. The training session is the easy part. It's all of the things that allow that training session to take place that takes some discipline.
Sundays, for me, are usually a rest day. It's my time to sleep in, laze around and drink a little too much coffee, and generally just unplug and check-out. But it's also my chance to look at the week ahead and start to piece my plan together.
The following are a series of questions I ask myself prior to each week's beginning that help clarify what steps I need to take in order to make this a successful week of training, work, and life at home.
1. How is my body feeling?
My main objectives right now are consistency, repeatability, and when appropriate, increasing the volume. So the first step is to reflect on the previous week and decide if I am going to repeat last week's schedule or make any changes.
2. Where are the gaps to train?
My schedule varies from week to week. Sometimes I'm at work at 6am, other days I'm there until 9pm. So where are my opportunities to fit my training schedule in? Does this align with question number 1?
3. What does next weekend look like?
Weekends provide the biggest opportunity to train, for obvious reasons. So what's the plan? Are there family commitments? Do I have to work? In this week's case, my girlfriend will be away for a girls weekend, which means I will have a little more freedom and opportunity to put in some longer hours if I feel I can.
4. Is my gear squared away?
Is laundry done? What kind of weather will be coming ahead and am I ready for it? Are my bike shorts clean? Is my heart rate monitor, iPod, and watch functioning?
5. Is my nutrition ready?
This relates heavily to question number two. This is a heavy work week for me coming up. I'll be spending a little more time at the gym than usual so I will need to make sure I have enough food packed and prepared each day.
6. What do I want to achieve this week?
It's important that I clearly identify what a successful week looks like. I know I want to get at least 5 hours of cycling, 3.5 hours of running, 2 strength sessions, and that I'm working on my mobility each day. This will help guide my decision-making if the plan goes awry.