Last week I posted what I consider to be the last step in planning out your season.  I then realized that while I laid out *my* season plan, I didn’t go a lot into my thought process behind it.

An athletic season can be thought of as a project with defined time-lines. It has an outcome: perhaps winning a race, qualifying for Kona, setting a PR.    Those outcomes have certain requirements.  Most likely you discovered during your self review that you have a gap between your current abilities, and the required abilities to achieve your desired outcome.  You also have a strongly defined timeline to accomplish the work.

With the gap(s) identified, you need to work in a combination of forward from today’s date, and backwards from the target date, to close those gaps and prepare yourself for the race.  Sometimes that preparation will close those gaps, other times you may need to do something special to close those gaps.

Based on my desired outcomes for 2011, a standard pre-race preparation period isn’t going to close the gaps, as the gaps are just too large.  That means I need to enter my race-prep period with those gaps closed, or really close to closed because my race-prep training doesn’t address the things I need to improve upon.  This means that for my scenario, when laying out my season I need to remove the race-prep periods from my plan to close the gaps.

The removal of those periods then identifies the periods that I have available to me to close my gaps.  What is fortunate for me is that the timing of my goal races, and the requirements of each race are different enough that my race-prep period for the first goal race, will continue to close the gaps that I have for my second goal race.  Convenient huh?  I must have planned that in advance!!!

Simple, straight forward, and easy to do.  The hard part is then doing the work to close the gaps, and prepare for the race.  Though, adjusting your desired outcomes for the reality of how well you were able to close the gaps is probably the hardest part.

Hope that helps!