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Throwing out the training manual

Some of you may remember that I did a sprint triathlon four years ago after 8 weeks of training.

Ever since then, I've been dying to get back to it, but my body has not been cooperating, not to mention I haven't had the time, and then I keep injuring my knee.

A couple months ago, I got it in my head that I need to get back into it, so I have started training. When I initially trained, I used Eric Harr's book. I was considering using it again, but I wasn't sure I wanted to because I had some real problems with the training program. It's not that it's hard to follow...in fact, I think it's one of the easiest ones to use. However, I learned a lot from that experience that I decided meant I was going to have to come up with something different. I looked at all the free training programs on the net and decided none of them were suitable, either.

Some things I learned: I have a hard time exercising two days in a row. I simply cannot handle three days in a row. (The exception is bellydancing, which I seemed to do on my off days and be just fine, probably because it was a bit less intense and worked different muscle groups.) It's easier for me to do long periods of exercise less frequently than frequent small workouts. I really need to watch my heart rate so that I don't set off a flair of fibromyalgia.

What I decided to do was come up with my own program. I decided I would start very simple...three days a week, every other day. I'd start with small time frames (e.g. twenty minutes). I'd do two easier workouts during the week and then a harder one on the weekend and give myself two days to recover. After a while, I switched from 3x per week to simply every other day...so 7 workouts in the 2 week period. I also switched to two more intense workouts and one long, slow workout on the weekend. I'm going to keep working my way up, trying to get to the point where I do an easy workout one day, a hard or long workout the next day, and then have a day off. My schedule won't be based on a certain number of hours per week...it'll be something like a six day cycle instead.

The down side is that I'm just currently working on walking, but haven't incorporated swimming or biking into the mix. I'm working on racewalking as I don't think I can ever handle running.

It seems to be working so far. No overtraining or exhaustion or getting sick, which is what happened pretty often before, and I've been doing this for the same period that I trained for the triathlon. And I have definitely seen some improvements, which is always a good way to stay motivated.

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