Ride hardish. Group ride. Ride easy. Ride. Group ride. Ride longest. Recover.
Track workout. Run longish. Run fastish. Run easy. Run faster. Run longest. Recover.
No matter your sport, we see this pattern often. Whether we are observing the athletes in our communities, reviewing athletes’ past schedules once they sign up for coaching or talking with our friends and training partners… It’s the same routine, week in and week out. Spring, summer, fall and winter. For years!
Many of these athletes are fit, and they would have to be to withstand this type of abuse they put their body through. Some of them are fast and competing at high levels! They have gained speed through attrition. Whether their immune system is stronger, biomechanics are more efficient, genetics are superior or they simply have good luck, they have succeeded.
At Science of Speed, we don’t believe an end justifies the means. The means are just as important, and your body deserves better. This spring we challenge you to ramp up your training with a bit more focus, purpose and detail to energy systems and periodization. Here are 3 key areas to focus on as you plan out your training.
Let’s start with the most mentally taxing part first. Logic! Training plan periodization is strategically planning your training in specific phases. With this it is important to take into consideration time, intensity and volume in order to lay out a plan that creates optimal overload and then allows proper recovery for the next overload.
This is where the pen meets paper. Put some serious thought into it. Does it really make sense for your to do speed work, threshold intervals and volume in the same week? Are you creating enough overload to achieve your goal and is it the fastest way to get from A – B?
Have a purpose for each of your workouts and know what it is for. Every workout has a place and there is a place for every workout. Why do you have a block of intervals when you do? How many minutes of VO2 work is actually enough to elicit an overload (hint: 15+ is shown in research)? How many days can/should you do a set of intervals in a week or month? And finally…do you have something fun in there? Just being honest here. You probably aren’t getting paid to train, so it is okay to sometimes have a workout in there “because friends will be there” or “to have have fun!” If performance is important to you, that is wonderful! That said, one day of fun won’t be the end of the world and could help you six weeks down the line when you may have otherwise been burnt out.
Sure, you push your body on the group workouts and you push your body during your intervals. As athletes, we push ourselves, but often we gravitate to the workouts we enjoy or more specifically the ones we are good at. Find your weaknesses and push those. Whether it be endurance, threshold or power/top end speed, push your limit and you will find a whole new level.
Now, you have it all laid out. It’s the most beautiful training plan ever, but what good is it if you don’t stick to it? Take it to heart and get the workouts in! As Thomas Edison said, “There is no substitute for hard work.”