Training is a vital part of an athlete’s life. You can swim, bike, and run all seven days of the week, but if you’re serious about getting results that stick, it’s important to follow a training plan.
When you’re just starting out, the fitness improvements just by swimming, biking, and running consistently help establish a good foundation because you’re getting fit. However, these improvements tend to plateau. After a while, certain training sessions start to feel easier because you’ve grown in fitness. If you continue doing the same thing, you will see diminishing gains.
Training plans encourage continuous improvement through structured sessions and progressions, providing stimuli for your body to adapt to. Being on a proper training program will see you gradually increase distance and intensity in ways that your body can absorb so you become stronger rather than break down. As individual athletes have different needs, training programs can be tailor-fit for each athlete depending on how they respond.
Training programs also home in on your weaknesses to improve them. You might have a favorite discipline or one you like the least. A training plan helps you still do the work in order to improve, even if you might not necessarily love it. When you do the work even on days when you don’t feel like it, that’s where you’ll see those improvements.
When you’re on a training plan, you’re doing training that works for you. Most elite athletes follow training programs for their entire careers that are supervised by coaches, and they see progress not just over weeks or months, but years.
So if you want to be in this sport long-term and still continue to get better at it, get on a training plan.