There Is No "Off" SeasonWritten by Matt Russ
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The base period is also a good time to enter into a specific strength training routine. Strength training can be highly stressful on body therefore excluding certain types of training such as speed work, I perform majority of my weight work in base period. I have found my body needs too much time to recover from weight work and it does not react well with higher intensity training performed later in season. This does not mean strength work stops after base period, but rather evolves into more specific "on bike," and "on run" strength work. Examples are cycling tension intervals and hill running. I do however perform core strength exercises regularly throughout year. A proper strength training system goes through specific phases such as maximum strength, strength endurance, and power, and is specific to your needs and sport. I highly recommend any endurance athlete interested in strength training to get with a trainer or coach with experience in this area. Each athlete is unique and should have a specific routine.
The base period is followed by a general preparation period and then a more specific race preparation period, so there is no "off" season. If you are an athlete who trains only in race season you have probably noticed your performance has not improved much or may have decreased each year. Instead of building on your past season you are instead trying to get back to your previous level of performance each year. To me each season is a step up toward better performance. A good example of this is older athletes who are still performing well into their 40's, 50's, and 60's. If you look at their training over years you will find one consistency; rarely did they give up any ground.
Matt Russ has coached and trained athletes around the country and internationally. He currently holds licenses by USAT, USATF, and is an Expert level USAC coach. Matt has coached athletes for CTS (Carmichael Training Systems), is an Ultrafit Associate. Visit www.thesportfactory.com for more information.
You Are Disciplined to Train, But Do You Have Training Discipline?Written by Matt Russ
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If you are sick, overstressed, or generally feel like you need a day off it is best to take it. Always consider quality of your work out. If you are just going through motions and do not have energy to complete your work outs as prescribed, rest would be more beneficial than additional stress.
It is important to have a written plan. A plan is not a general recommendation but a deliberate course of action. You should be able to see your progression from block to block. The “close enough” attitude is not a good habit to get into. It is better to have satisfaction of completing your work out as prescribed. Try not to make too many adjustments during your work outs. If you do need to change your plan or miss a work out make sure you adjust your other weeks to compensate.
Training discipline means having a good plan and sticking to it. It means training smart, not just hard. If you are confused about your training consult with a licensed coach. Often a one hour consultation can get you on right track.
Matt Russ has coached and trained athletes around the country and internationally. He currently holds licenses by USAT, USATF, and is an Expert level USAC coach. Matt coaches athletes for CTS, is an Ultrafit Associate, and owner of www.thesportfactory.com