January 2, 2015

“Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths.  Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:7-8

 training bibleAs I languish on the couch with used tissues accumulating around me, I am still sick (AM I SICK), I have been diligently working through my recent Christmas present.  I received the book The Triathlete’s Training Bible by Joel Friel.

It only took a few chapters for me to realize that my training could be so much more effective.  The training philosophy espoused by Joel Friel is very different than what I have been doing:

An athlete should do
the least amount
of the most specific training
that brings continual improvement.

I have not been following this philosophy.  I tend to do random training workouts that usually focus on my strengths rather than weaknesses.  This haphazard training regiment survives reasonably well through approximately two-thirds of the season.  However, I have a tendency of burning-out toward the end of the summer.  I probably could be the poster-boy for the weekend warrior athlete’s battle with consistency.

Joel Friel is teaching me something new regarding how to maintain consistency.

Consistent training, not extreme training, is the way to attain the highest possible fitness.  Illness, injury, and overtraining can cause training breakdown, and extended or frequent downtime from such problems inevitably results in a loss of fitness and the need to rebuild by returning to previous levels of training…Consistency must serve as the ultimate standard in all training decisions…The key is to strive for moderation in training while resting at regular intervals.
~ Joel Friel, The Triathlete’s Training Bible, Page 7

Friel estimates that you will need to double the duration of a training break to rebuild the lost level of fitness.   That makes consistency the key to continual improvement.  Friel’s solution is to emphasis rest and recovering while maintaining fitness to avoid the inconsistency of significant breaks.

Just as the farmer’s field must lie fallow every winter, so does the human body, mind, and spirit need a rest, with time to reflect, recover, and rejuvenate.
~ Rob Sleamaker, Serious Training for Serious Athletes

That takes planning.  I have finished my annual training plan based on the guidance in The Triathlete’s Training Bible.  It is still a work in progress since I don’t have all my race, vacation, and work travel dates but this is what it is looking like so far:   Annual Training Plan   I am still in the process of creating my weekly and daily workout schedule in Training Peaks so I cannot share those specifics.

This planning process has been an excellent evaluation of what I am doing and why.  As a result, I am optimistic that my training plan for 2015 will guide me to training according to Friel’s philosophy – doing the least amount of the most specific training that will bring continual improvement and help me to achieve my goals.

While I concentrated on my athletic goals for 2015, I could not keep from reviewing my other resolutions for 2014.  I did not do very well.OpenBible

I did not read nearly the quantity or quality of books I had hoped.  Most disappointing, I did not stay consistent in my Bible reading plan and did not complete it.

I failed to memorize Romans 8, once again.

I failed on every single one of my prayer strategies.

I was not as consistent in writing this blog as I had hoped.

I actually gained weight.

I didn’t start a home Bible study.

I did not send out a note of encouragement per week.

The sharing of achievements is much more satisfying than the acknowledgement of unfulfilled goals.  However, I share my lack of success because I don’t think that I am alone.  According to a study by the University of Scranton, just 8% of the people who make New Year’s resolutions will achieve their goal.

There are a lot of reasons resolutions are abandoned but for me the number one reason is fatigue.  I get tired and give up.  My resolve breaks down under illness, disappointment, distraction, or simply taking on too much (overtraining).

The intent of my athletic plan is to increase consistency – consistency will produce continual improvement.  That is what I need in my spiritual life.  I want to make the most of the time I have been given.  Therefore, I am going to try an experiment in 2015.  I am applying what I have learned from Joel Friel into a new spiritual training philosophy for 2015:

I will strive for consistent spiritual training
as the standard for all my resolutions
while incorporating regular periods
of rest and reflection in order
to achieve continual spiritual growth.

That is going to take some planning.  I have finished my first draft of an annual spiritual training plan.  I am still working on what I am going to be doing for each “X” but this is what I have so far: Annual Spiritual Training Plan

It is still a work in progress so I will be interested to hear any advice or comments.

PRAYER: Father, you know my fickle, inconsistent heart.  You know that I love to start things but struggle to see it through.  Lord, help me to consistently walk in your Spirit through this coming year.  Father, I ask that you will guide and bless the plan  I have laid before you.  May it be a tool in my sanctification.  Create in me a pure heart.  Train me in godliness for your glory.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen


  1. […] made a goal at the beginning of 2015 to make prayer a more consistent part of my life (Training Plans).  I don’t feel like I have made much progress in that area.  Although, I did read the very […]

  2. […] posted my resolution for 2015.  I am already behind on several of them.  For one, I know that I won’t be riding like Tony […]

  3. […] the beginning of the year, I laid out my annual training plan.(Training Plan)  I have been following the plan very consistently. It has been helpful to have a purposeful plan […]

  4. Thank you! This was really realistic and very good. The training plans are also a great launching pad. God bless- Carol

  5. Thanks JD. I feel a bit overwhelmed by your schedule, but awed by your ambition. I’ve shared it on Facebook with two church groups, and I’m going to accept the challenge.

    • Hey Ann Marie
      It can feel a little overwhelming to me also. Thank you for sharing it with your church groups. Let me know how it goes for you.
      God Bless!

  6. I too am reading through the Bible this year. The One Year Chronological is what I’m using. It breaks it down into daily readings and it does not seem so overwhelming. I am also in a paid online study to help me through it. May God give you grace and favor in reaching your goals.

    • I agree completely. I have used that plan a couple times and really liked it. I decided to try a plan that I’ve never done before for this year. I found it on the Ligonier website (http://www.ligonier.org/blog/bible-reading-plans/). I decided to give the Robert Murray M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan a go (http://www.edginet.org/mcheyne/printables.html).
      I pray that the Lord will richly bless all the time that you spend in His Word this coming year.

  7. Looks like something I ought to do to improve my spiritual life!

  8. Reblogged this on bm2driskell and commented:
    So much in here I can relate to, I wish I could be much more on the mark with what the writer is talking about and apply it in my own life.

    • Thanks for the reblog.
      God Bless!

  9. This is great, so much here i relate to, thanks.

  10. JD, a great post and as you said, is a very common one among most. As I age, I understand, for me at least, that when I have set my spiritual goals set on Jan. 1st than when achieved, ii find it has turned into legalism. These days I am more for quality time with God instead of quantity.

    On my physical activity the way I monitor it is by steps walked. 10,000 is my daily goal which I usually achieve, and many days, especially when in NY, I double that. This keeps my weight and health in check. Everyone’s method is different but this is what I do. On my iPhone i have a free Stepz app that counts them and for Christmas I received a Fitbit which I love.

    May the Lord bless you this year as you follow Him. He will direct your steps. Happy and blessed 2015.

  11. I read a a new year’s Resolution List. that says “laziness is existential euthanasia”. Although I follow a Spiritual Routine, I allow it to be easily interrupted….Lord help me!

  12. Consistency, consistency, consistency. God was speaking the same to me.

  13. That is a very cool way to plan your year. It gives me an idea for how to make my goals visible. You will definitely have a stronger spiritual life.

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