How far in advance do you plan your exercise / training?

Wondering how people approach this. Do you plan weeks in advanc? Do you wake up in the morning and look at the sky, then decide? Something in between?

Personally when I go to bed, I form a rough idea what I might do the next day, and roughly when. But that’s it. Kind of wondering if that’s normal, or if people are more organised that that.

Also - do you tend to do the same sessions. at the same times each week? Pre lock down I guess clubs sessions might have made that more likely- or do you just take a random walk down Training Street each week?

It’s a good question, and I’ll be interested to see what others put here… most notably those who are considerably fitter than I (and that, I think, is pretty much everyone!)

I was following a TrainerRoad plan pretty strictly for about 10 weeks or so, but started to lose all interest in doing more turbo time and started riding outside; since then riding has been based on what seems like a good idea on the day/the night before.

Running appears to have gone out of the window, I should do something about that.

Strength and conditioning type stuff, I have excellent plans that I never fulfill.

I think it might be different if I was training for something specific. Though I am entered into a November Marathon, so I should really think about lacing up my running shoes and getting a move on with that.


Definitely a plan a week ahead at most and prepared to drop sessions depending on work/weather/cba-ness.

Really do need to think about a plan for next year, assuming I get to ‘race’ in 2021



I had every session until IMUK laid out, so about 9 months worth.

Just wake up and do it, best way!

Since lockdown, I’ve been more free-spirited, but it’s more exercise than training



Week by week, 4 core ingredients but very adaptable.

I know the hours before the week starts… the rest is fluid … ish.

I know when my rest day is too, this can be changed if the World gets in the way, but doesn’t tend to these days


Literally minutes! :joy:


I have a spreadsheet where I can map out key sessions months in advance. If ramping up mileage I fill in the long runs / long rides working back to see when I need to start. Then I might put some concentrated blocks in if I want 4 weeks of cycling ftp or 4 weeks of running speed etc. That gives me a framework of hard / easy / long / short. I will then look at the weather forecast and life forecast on a Sunday night and decide my commute days, outdoor rides, hard runs etc. and swap things around to suit.


For me it depends on whether i have a big race upcoming or not.

If there’s no race looming, then i just do what i like, when i feel like it. That’ll be poking in sessions that fit in the gaps between family and work and stuff. I’ll also try to coordinate with friends, as i’d much rather do things socially than solo when not specifically training for stuff.

When i have an event i have evolved my style over the years. Now i map out a rough plan over 8/10/12 weeks or whatever. This will consist of key sessions with a rough target km to hit at the end of the week. The main difference is now i just use this as a guide/framework. Life will get in the way, so i know what sessions can be dropped easily and which ones i’d rather shuffle into another day. Similarly if an opportunity, say for a massive long run/ride presents itself, then i’ll grab that and rejig the plan around it.

I’m much more laissez faires now. As long as i know i’ve got a decent base, some reasonable consistency and a few key sessions to call upon, then i’m pretty much fine.


I have some key sessions each week. Swimming on Monday and Thursday evening, Club ride on Saturday morning, KOA Zwift race on Thursday lunchtime

If it is good weather and I need to go to office I will commute by bike 35km, on way home I will ride a longer route, typically 70-80km with 1000m climbing. Typically plan office days about a week in advance based on weather

I try to get in 3 runs per week, 2 around 10-12km and one longer 15-21km pace between 4:45/km and 5:15/km, I’ve been doing faster runs as part of IMVR for past 5 weeks, however, now that is finished (for now at least) I will probably do one fast run per week or do some interval training.

I have been doing a couple of OW swims per week… I need to be disciplined and do one full IM distance OW swim once per week

I know what I need to do in the week, however, lots of activities are planned no more than a day in advance


It’s changed since I got coached. One of the big benefits I blogged about originally was the “freedom” being coached offered to my mind. I used to have to think about the long term progressions and build towards an event, but with a coach you trust, you can just switch off from that.

He loads up the following weeks sessions normally on a Friday, starting the next Monday, so I always have a few days notice of stuff at a minimum. And during key parts of the build he might lay out some key sessions a few weeks in advance, and then layer on the rest of the sessions the week before as standard.

We’re always pretty flexible with me dropping notes in my training peaks about upcoming social plans, work trips, meetings, etc, so things might get tweaked around that. But there are some pretty standard sessions that are just there each and every week (when things are normal).

Monday lunchtime endurance swim. Wednesday morning club swim.
My key weekend ride is nearly always Saturday morning and long runs on Sunday. Historically my OW swims have been Sunday morning.

I used to be a bit more flexible with when I fitted other stuff in when just dating, but now we’re living together my gf has her regular classes that she does on certain days of the week. So it’s become fairly logical for me to just do turbo’s and the like at the same time she’s doing those.

I will generally just get stuff done, even if the weather sucks, and the minor element of accountability to a coach helps that. But I have the freedom to move things around if I really want

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Post of the day…!

What is this plan of which you speak? :roll_eyes:

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Yeah as with many my work is regularly irregular at the moment & I’ve got nothing specific to train for so a plan/routine is not something I’m able or - interested in - for the forseeable.

I’m just ticking over doing any old shit that pleases me.


I still have a plan at the moment, which consists of.

  1. Get up and run for 30min instead of drive for 30min.
  2. Sit at my desk and promise myself I will get up and do core/stretch/strength every so often.
  3. Fail at 2.
  4. Get to the end of the day, feeling like crap.
  5. Jump on my bike for 30min instead of drive for 30min to get limbs working again.

Weekend is a weather dependant, long or fast, run or ride.


Post lockdown I make a plan each Sunday on what my exercise week is looking like to fit around family and life plans.

It’s generally been run every other day. (All been zone 2/ easy since March) Hit the turbo most days, be that easy recovery, intervals or 2 hr plus endurance rides. Those that follow me on Strava/Zwift see it’s not unusual to see me on the turbo after 10 pm at times
And now a weekly weekend OW swim at the local lake

I will have an easier rest week every 3rd week though.


I have found it really hard to stick to an exact plan, as has been said on here already life gets in the way. What seems to work best for me is to work in blocks of months. So for June my goal, which I set in Garmin Connect, was to log 42 hours of training. For July it will be 45 hours and August 50. I have Cotswold 113 in September. Then in each month I have milestones. In June it was to run 2 11 mile runs at around 7:10 pace and to do at least 2 60 mile bike rides. I try to do 3 of each discipline each week, though this does not always work out.
This seems to work for me as for the first three weeks of the month I try to get ahead of my schedule which makes the fourth week more like a recovery. If circumstances mean that I can’t do a particular session then I don’t have any pressure to catch up

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As I don’t have anything planned race/event I don’t have a plan and I am just exercising with improving my FTP being my goal. I can’t run much until my foot settles down so I am just cycling more than normal and seeing gradual improvements. I would say that under normal cicrunstances, work and family allow for certain times to train and I plan around that. I plan a few weeks ahead, gradually progress intensity and duration and change according to what life throws at me but I like routine.

I think that is why I struggled so much for the first ew weeks of lockdown. I am not by nature organised so create order and rythm on purpose to keep me more productive. Now we have a different routine to the week I am back at it. My work situation will be changing soon I it will allow me to be more flexible than now and possibly train more without taking away from family time.

I thought the OP was talking about how we approach things ignoring lockdown? I think like most, things have gone a bit more unstructured over the past few months, but that’s not the “norm”

I did slightly fewer hours in June than I did in April or May, however, my TSS in May was bigger than April and TSS in June was significantly higher than in May. It is clear that I am training at a greater level of intensity now… I don’t think that it was a deliberate strategy, however a number of factors are contributing:

  1. Lack of planning, if I had a plan it would have been a concious choice rather than “just happened”
  2. IMVR 5 weekends in a row I have been doing proper race intensity efforts, these have a big TSS, especially the 2 70.3 distance races
  3. Weather, in good weather I feel much more inclined to go for it. In the cold and dark months just plodding at low intensity feels more natural
  4. Injury, now recovered from running injury means I can push my runs much more, you don’t get a gig TSS for a 6m/km plod
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What GB said. I plan in a XLS just to get something in the cells to have a picture but I change/re-arrange if life gets in the way.