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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Martin

Plans = Results

If you want to recover from an injury - you need a plan!

If you want to get healthier, fitter or stronger – you need a plan!

Generally resting for 2 weeks is not a plan to recover from an injury! There may be a few exceptions to that but generally you either need to gently mobilise, stretch, or exercise daily in a way that gradually builds back up from a very low level. For example: Week 1 walk to the end of the road and back daily or stretch your calf muscles 3 times a day – these are plans! You may need to change them if things don’t go as expected but at least you are taking action towards achieving your goal.

Or you need to get help from someone who specialises in injury treatment. - Contact me.

Similarly, to achieve other exercise or sporting goals you need a plan. That plan might be to go training for a sport 2 times a week and let the coach determine what you do. Because hopefully the coach has a structured plan to achieve a goal for you as an individual or for the team as a whole.

Really you need personal goals to work towards and a plan of how to get there. The first thing you need to do is workout what you need to improve (your weakness if you like). And then the best way to improve on that so that it is no longer your weakness. If you play football, rugby, netball or almost any other team sport it may be your shooting, passing tackling or general stamina. And the best way to improve is to practice regularly, however remember practice doesn’t make perfect if you are repeating the same bad technique in practice you only reinforce poor technique. Perfect practice makes perfect – and this means thinking about your technique and changing things that don’t work until you find what does. This is where a coach is really helpful, but with a video camera on almost every phone it is easy to look at your technique from the outside as if you were watching someone else and correcting them. You can watch video clips of the best in your sport online and try to mimic the way they do things.

So, lets give you an example of a plan.

(Don’t worry about what my specific times are etc. but focus on the fact that there is a structured plan. And you can set one too. With help if you need.)

Last Summer I decided I needed to get myself fit again having been focusing on other things for a few years. And I decided I wanted to get back into triathlons which I have done before. So, at fairly short notice to get the ball rolling I entered a sprint distance triathlon in October last year and on not enough training completed it. And that was fine because my goal at that point was to find out what level my fitness was at and to try to assess my weaknesses. The answer was my swimming was in need of me actually spending time in the water because a swim of under 500m left me shattered and aching for days. (I sort of knew that before though.) The Bike I needed to work on being able to hold my body in the right position for longer and to work on leg strength and endurance. The run was okay having been doing a bit of running although I struggled towards the end (lack of endurance).

The Plan

Swimming – Goal 1500m in 22:30min –


  1. To swim weekly for 1hr 30min with Clacton Swimming Club Masters

  2. To focus on my technique and try to maintain it for the entire session even when tired.

  3. To then start to work on top end speed. A few Fast 100m.

  4. To then work on developing consistency, maintaining a pace slightly slower than top end speed.

Results so far – 500m time trial 2 weeks ago in 6:59min – better than expected at his stage.

Cycling – Goal to maintain an Average 21mph for a 1hour ride.


  1. Until beginning of Feb 2 turbo sessions per week. Session 1 intervals and session 2 steady pace. Starting at 30min building to 45 min.

  2. Working on maintaining aero position on steady pace session.

  3. From Feb onwards increase to 3 sessions per week and 1-hour sessions. Still working on maintaining aero position and going up the gears gradually. Session 1 intervals, session 2 steady pace, session 3 Road.

Results so far – on target given early focus was on running.

Running – Goals to run ½ marathon in 1hr 45min (03/02/19) and 5km in 21 minutes.


  1. To run 2-3 x per week.

  2. Session 1 steady run 3-5 miles, Session 2 Treadmill 5km at gradually increasing pace, Session 3 Long run gradually increasing distance each week up to 14 miles.

  3. After Half marathon at beginning of Feb to change to 2 runs per week Session 1 on treadmill alternating fast 5km and intervals of faster than target pace. Session 2 longer run trying to run a fast 5km towards the end (when fatigued). Intention to be able to finish a sprint tri strongly.

Results so far – Half marathon in 1hr 44min beginning of Feb. Current 5km best 22min 4sec down from 24:30min.

Most of my Goals were set to be achieved by my first Sprint distance Triathlon in May. And I am ahead or on target to achieve them. There are now further goals to try and achieve by my last race of the season.

You may have heard of the expression that Goals Should Be SMART.

Specific, Measurable, Achievable (or Agreed upon, if set by a coach), Realistic and Time specific.

As you can see from the above example those requirements of SMART are met and hence my goals are being achieved. And that is because I have a plan and stick to it as best I can. There are always things that come up in life that mean you miss the odd session or two but you just get back to your plan as soon as possible.


NB: Whilst buying new equipment may be a way of (strategy for) getting faster, I don’t really consider it a plan and certainly not as cost effective as a proper structured training programme.

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