There is quite a bit that goes into building plans, scheduling races and just managing time.
Set the foundation and sport development
Athletes are tempted to skip the preparation and base building phases of their plan. It can be boring to do endless easy runs or to spend hours working on form drills. It is important to note that ‘boring’ work serves as our foundation. We need to have a firm understanding of the basics before we move on to the next step. Even experienced athletes like myself, need to continually go back to the basics. I had an awaking when I viewed myself running that I should focus on my from. Send me a swim or run video for analysis.
The foundation training development movement patterns and will impact how the “fun” stuff goes, like a variety of intensity with hills and intervals. The basic work is a necessity.
What does this mean? The simple work we all do, easy running, high-end aerobic work, strides, and speed development all serve as the foundation we need to build off of. Despite the repetivivemen of the drills, stries and accelerations during this phase, or an endurance or recovery run when time would go by faster if we varied our paces, set the foundation before the strength and speed workouts
Start with where you are at.
“You can’t force fitness” -Steve Magness. Even the best laid out plans to develop both physical adaptations as well as building confidence, your body doesn’t adapt according to a schedule that you set, instead, it only adapts and grows at the rate that it decides to. What this means is that you should train with workouts designed based on your current level of fitness, not the fitness you were at 5 years ago or where you want to be next season. You can’t force your body to go from running a 4:30 marathon to a 4-hour marathon, or swimming a 2:00/100 pace t0 1:30/100 pace or cycling 17 to 20 mph, just because that is your goal. With the right preparation and timeline to meet that goal and challenge, appreciate what your body allows you to do. Fitness is developed as your build frequency and consistency.
I learned by illness and injury due to random training and then books came out, how to train. When I qualified for my first Ironman in 1997 at the Desert Sun Half Ironman in CO, with 2 months out from the race date, I doubled my training the next week after I qualified. I would swim 10000 meters, bike 100 miles, and run 15 miles one week, the next week I would swim 4000, ride 20 and run 40 miles.
As a coach and athlete, it’s often tempting to want to make big jumps. Whether that’s in jumping from a 50-mile long ride to 100 the next, or going from doing 4X 800 repeats to 10X 800 repeats the next week. There is a time when it won’t derail your training if you get sudden spurts of motivation that tend to push towards wanting to make large jumps. The problem with that randomness and lack of progression is that it’s a short term fix. While we could have got a nice steady boost in fitness from going from 70 to 80 to 90 miles per week, instead we just get one go for broke stimulus.
Instead of trying to force our way into big breakthroughs, take the next logical step and enjoy the long term process.
Consistency is king!
“Use is or lose it is cliché and yet true. I am the first to say I lost my speed while training for my first Ultra, well, because I did not do any speed workout during the season of training, it was not because I was running higher mileage. The higher mileage actually set the foundation for my body to be able to handle the speed when I was ready to add it back into my plan. Many athletes scream out “I lost my speed” after performing 4 months of only running mileage. They blame the mileage, without realizing that they didn’t train pure speed once during that period. Poor mileage. It takes the bad rap. The fact that speed was not trained had a bigger impact than any slow running that was performed. The same fact holds true for any component of fitness. If we don’t train it, we lose it. If you don’t strength train, you will lose muscle tone and strength. It’s simple. But often forgotten. If you don’t want to lose it, don’t stop, and follow progression phasing in technique, endurance, strength and speed withing the training cycle
Training Around Your Life, not Life around Training
For longevity in the sport, fit training around your priorities and life goals and events within those boundaries. Forcing “life” around a training comes first priority never works well and more often ends relationships and leads to burnout. My training methodology works around each athlete and is a guideline to adapt to the individual.
Train the individual, not the system
Don’t be a Victim To Metrics. Training is based on your experience, goal, events, and time available to train. Learning how your body is adapting and making adjustments based on your comments in your training logs
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