I also discovered that there was a robust market for training plans. The common complaint I received from readers of my first triathlon book was that it contained no training plans, so I wrote a second triathlon book that contained nothing but training plans: 42 in all, for every race distance and all ability and experience levels. That book sold quite well, as did the interactive versions of the plans that I posted at trainingpeaks.com. In 2004, TrainingPeaks invited me to create online run training plans that could be downloaded in their entirety onto speed and distance devices, which runners could then use to guide their training day by day for as long as 24 weeks. The result was 40 more training plans for the 5K, 10K, half marathon, and marathon. These plans proved to be quite popular as well. THE LIMITATIONS OF TRAINING PLANS Yet even as I made a cottage industry of training plan design, I became increasingly frustrated by the limitations of training plans. The major limitation I discovered was neatly summarized in that classic Robert Burns line: The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft agley (which is sometimes translated from the Scots dialect as The best laid plans of mice and men / Often go awry €). Nothing ever went as planned in my training or in the training of any other endurance athlete I knew. Sooner or later in the process of executing a training plan, aches and pains, illness, outright injuries, fatigue, bad days, fitness plateaus, and other factors force the athlete to miss or modify or put aside planned workouts and in the process discover that many, if not most, of the remaining planned workouts are no longer appropriate. In other words, sooner or later, unless the athlete stubbornly sticks to the plan all the way through, with inevitably disastrous results, he has to keep scrambling to steer the best daily course toward the original goal. The plan essentially goes out the windowor at least it should. I laughed out loud sometimes when I compared my training plans to the training I actually did. They shared almost no resemblance, not because I lacked the discipline to adhere to a plan, but because setbacks and surprises always steered me off course and required me to improvise if I were to have any chance of achieving the goal for which I had designed the plan. I began to wonder why I even bothered creating plans.