“A Goal Without a Plan is Nothing More Than a Wish” – Larry Elder

 Well said Mr. Elder. Well said.

I love to plan. I’ve had my Christmas shopping list written out since August. My Outlook calendar at work is so detailed it may as well have been modelled after a NASA log. I’ve had a planner since the day I learned how to write (true story – it was my reward for printing my name). So to recap: I love to plan.

For some strange reason though, when it comes to distance racing…

I totally suck at it.

Don’t ask me why, I don’t have an answer for you! Thinking back on all of the lofty “goals” that I have set over the years (which in the end turned out to be nothing more than wishes just as Mr. Elder articulated so eloquently), the piece that was missing in all cases was a concrete and detailed plan of attack.

So in the interest of breaking the “goal to wish” cycle, I did what any good Canadian consumer would do. I went to Chapters.

Is there any problem or issue in the world that you can’t find the answer for at Chapters?

I found a great book by Lucy Smith called “Ironman: First Triathlon. Your Perfect Plan For Success”. Come to mama.

So I haven’t read the entire book yet, but from the initial skim that I took of it, it seems like I’m breaking every one of the rules of thumb for triathlon goal setting. The first page preaches that novice triathletes should set the initial goal of completing a “Try-A-Tri”, and then a Sprint Distance Triathlon (750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run). Oops.

So after some deep, pensive thinking (and a snack…because sometimes a snack helps to process things…), here are the pillars of my “plan”.

  • The book calls for a 16 week training plan for a Sprint Distance Triathlon. The Half Ironman is about 4x as long. So I figure I need at least a full year of training. Which means I need to start like…yesterday.
  • Okay, okay. Maybe my very first triathlon shouldn’t be a Half Ironman. That just means that I need to get out on the race circuit early so that I’m ready for the Muskoka Half Ironman in September 2013 🙂  My plan: complete the very first “Sprint Triathlon” race of the 2013 that’s within driving distance and then complete an Olympic Distance race in mid-summer. Still to do: research and find out which races these are!
  • Go shopping! Hurray! I will need a couple of things over the coming months that I’ll need to track down. A bathing suit (and not a $9.99 two-piece from Old Navy), a membership at a Community pool, good good running shoes, a bike (my Visa just cried out in pain) and bike shoes (another cry of pain). I figure I can stage out some of it, I’ll do most of my bike training over the winter months in Spin class, but once the sun starts shining…it’s time to hit the road!
  • Write it down and schedule it in. This is my favourite part. My life is very very busy because I work two (basically) full-time jobs and have since I was 18. I wouldn’t trade my life for anything, it is the way it is because I’ve set it up that way. But that doesn’t mean it’s not freakin’ insane sometimes. Since I teach 5 days a week right now, scheduling in workouts and being realistic about what I can and can’t get done will be really important.

I think that’s a good start for now. My palms are so sweaty they are sliding all over the keyboard as I’m typing this. Is this seriously happening? What the hell am I doing?

Well, on that note, I’m off to do something that I DO really know how to do, and that’s teach a Saturday morning BodyAttack class!! Stay tuned for more detail on the classes that I teach, what they’re all about, and why I think they will change your life.

My favourite people to work out with! Saturday morning BodyAttack!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families, here is a picture of mine! All my love to you and yours.

My family in Beirut, Lebanon – Summer 2010
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