After my assertion at the beginning of the week that I needed to plan at least the next 12 weeks of training, I sat down last night to try to do it. How hard it is to plan that far in advance. The chief difficulty is the unpredictable weather at this time of the year; up until March I know we could be hit by snow that might disrupt my training for a week or more. Ice is a problem even if we don't get snow, affecting runs and bikes. So there's going to have to be a fair amount of flexibility. I think flexibility is important in training anyway to avoid injury - if you haven't recovered there's really no point forcing yourself to do a session because in the best case, it will just go badly, in the worst case, you'll get injured. Hence me deciding not to run home tonight as my legs aren't fully recovered from Sunday's run.
I have a basic pattern in my mind that I hope to implement eventually, along the lines of:
Monday - am: swim, pm: short run
Tuesday - am: swim, pm: turbo/bike for an hour
Wednesday - am: swim, pm: run home (extend as year progresses?)
Thursday - am: long swim
Friday - am: recovery swim/rest day
Saturday and Sunday: combination of long run and short swim or long swim and short run with bike or long swim with run off bike. Depending on weather, and what rides are available and other weekend commitments.
Obviously, extra rest days will need to be introduced before the events I have in the diary (I like to rest the day before I race ideally), and post-race I am likely to just do a recovery swim rather than whatever other sessions are in the diary. Unless the race was on a Saturday, in which case I'll have to force myself to get out on the bike or tackle whichever discipline wasn't race!
I think realistically, to improve my chances of getting around the half marathon on the 10th February, and to make the most of my time in Tenerife, I need to prioritise my running and swimming, and cut down cycling to a decent ride every other week with some turbo in between. In practice, the running should be prioritised and swimming used to plug the gaps where it isn't possible due to the weather. But I love swimming and I want to make sure that I'm in good shape for the training camp.
So, it's still all a work in progress. I have a vague plan from now until the end of the year, which is limited by various pre-Christmas committments, which I shall reveal/update on a week by week basis; I think I'll need to take stock again at the start of 2013 to work out how I want to play out the next 5/6 weeks. A 12 week planning period just seems a bit long at this stage.