Q: I would like to commit more hours in a structured manner this year but because of my busy family and work obligations I need to be flexible. Can I bounce between plans depending on how much time I have that day/week? Do the schedules line up that way? My top priority would be to train smarter this coming year to improve my results for Jan and early Feb races.
Also doing p90x type workouts with some ski movement modifications worked for me this year. I would like your feed back on implanting these or not within your plans.
A: With respect to bouncing between plans, I would caution that it is not ideal, but in the real world you have to do what you can do. When each of the plans are written, they are written with the idea that on many days athletes on different plans can still work out together and work on the same fundamentals. So, jumping between plans can be done with some success as long as there is good planning going into it on a regular basis. The weeks can also be juggled around a bit in the 4-week cycle. For instance, if you have a week with a lot of outside of training commitments or stresses and that is the scheduled big week, do not hesitate to switch it with the smaller weeks in the 4-week plan. At the end of the day the important thing is training as well as possible, absorbing that training and also being able to recover from it.
With respect to P90X, if the work out is one of your favorites, I would recommend doing it in place of one of the weekly strength workouts. Our strength workouts progress throughout the season and are intended to be the proper strength stimulus to your training. But, if P90X is your go to, there are many ways to tackle strength, and that is one possibility.
Other notes on the below, if I were you I would adjust your volume up in the summer. For instance, if you are on the 400 hour yearly plan, may be do 2-3 weeks of the 550 plan and 1-2 weeks of 400 plan. I would also try to avoid doing all your training medium hard, which I call the junk zone. Keep the easy days easy so the hard days can be hard and more productive.
Good luck with your adjustments to the program. It really is a blueprint meant to have some flexibility, and adjusting the plan to your life is going to be better than trying to adjust your life to the plan.
– Joe Haggenmiller, CXC