Following on from our previous “mini-post” on weekly planning, today we give you our next “short and sharp article” in which we talk about another way of making your training plan both effective and flexible.
Claire, one of our PTs and sports massage therapists, wrote an extensive post about decision fatigue and how it can affect your life, in particular, training, in which she talks about some ideas that might help you to avoid or overcome it.
We all have a limited mental energy every day to make decisions so planning your training in advance helps you save it for other (more important) things. However, no matter how good the plan is, life can, and will, get in the way at times, forcing you to make last-minute changes. A good method that might help with that, and make sure that you get some training done, is, as Claire calls it, ‘the pick and mix’.
So, over to Claire,
I love a set routine, and it’s what I thrived on for years. But with a work schedule that changes weekly, and sometimes requires one-the-day adjustments, that just isn’t feasible. I also don’t believe it’s the healthiest option for me.
The pick-and-mix approach allows you to list all the exercises or types of exercise you want to do in a week, and mix and match each day. I do this using a big whiteboard: I have individual exercises, as well as general categories like “foot mobility”, “cycling”, and “yoga” listed down the left-hand-side column, and the days of the week across the top row.
Then I tick the exercises off as I do them (or I write the amount of time I have spent cycling, or the type of yoga session I did, in their respective boxes). This approach allows me to do one or two exercises quickly in between clients if that’s all I have time for, and it encourages me to vary my daily activity whilst ensuring I still get everything done in the week that I want to. I can’t – and shouldn’t – do all my rehab exercises every day, so I ensure I do each one at least once a week. Having the whiteboard (rather than a list of exercises in a training diary) gives me instant visual feedback as to whether I am doing too much of one thing or avoiding an exercise for a whole week, and then I can adjust accordingly the following week.”