There Is No "Off" Season

Written by Matt Russ

The fall and winter is a common time for athletes to wrap up their race season. It is also good to take some time off and let your body recuperate fromrepparttar rigors of high intensity training and racing. Some athletes take as much as four weeks off, but this does result in loss of fitness and requires making up lost ground later. Endurance especially is one ofrepparttar 113057 more difficult aspects of fitness to rebuild. A better approach is to enter a "transition" period in which training and intensity are reduced; perhaps greatly, but a level of fitness is maintained. It takes a relatively small amount of training volume to maintain fitness, when compared with building fitness. I recommend at least 1 full week off atrepparttar 113058 end ofrepparttar 113059 race season. After taking a week (or more if needed) off I recommend performing some sort of general cardiovascular exercise every other day and take at least 2 consecutive days off every other week. If you feel like you need another day off- take it. This transition period can last 2-6 weeks. Your work outs do not need to be specific to your sport during this time. Shying away fromrepparttar 113060 impact of running with cross training is a good idea. This may mean usingrepparttar 113061 stair stepper, elliptical trainer, rower, or another sport such as mountain biking (I leaverepparttar 113062 heart rate monitor home). If you plan on strength training introduce resistance work to acclimate yourself forrepparttar 113063 heavier routine to come. The transition period should be tailored to your personal needs such as individual recovery time, age, andrepparttar 113064 stress of your individual sport.

Afterrepparttar 113065 transition period enter intorepparttar 113066 base or foundation period. During this time increase volume of training, but keep intensity low and aerobic. Perform little if any work aboverepparttar 113067 aerobic level and let my anaerobic system atrophy. Building this aerobic base is critical for efficiency later inrepparttar 113068 season. Each week increase duration slightly to build aerobic endurance. Since there are no sprints, speed work, climbing, hill repeats or other intense training your body gets a good rest and can repair itself fully. The first four weeks of base training simply perform low level aerobic work, but inrepparttar 113069 next 4 week block begin to work on technique, skill, and efficiency. This is a good time to perfect your spin, stride, and stroke so that you do not reinforce bad habits. Efficiency is a huge component of becoming a faster athlete. You may want to work with a coach to assess your weaknesses. He or she can recommend a wide variety of drills to increase cadence, efficiency, leg speed, and coordination.

You Are Disciplined to Train, But Do You Have Training Discipline?

Written by Matt Russ

I haverepparttar privilege of working with motivated athletes and they all exhibit a high degree of self discipline. Often, one ofrepparttar 113056 hardest things to do is to get them not to train, or to rest and recover. Training can be a slippery slope. You have to balancerepparttar 113057 right amount of stress withrepparttar 113058 right amount of rest. Even though you may be a disciplined athlete, training discipline means performingrepparttar 113059 right volume, intensity, and work out and then allowing your body to recover from it. It also means knowing when not to train. Training too hard can be more detrimental than not enough.

Too many athletes confuse high volume training with high quality training. Just increasingrepparttar 113060 amount your run or ride will not necessarily get you faster. You have to chooserepparttar 113061 right work outs to train your weakness and capitalize on your strengths. Training should be a slow steady progression. If you add 10 more intervals to what you accomplished last week,repparttar 113062 first 3 may have been beneficial, andrepparttar 113063 last 7 counter productive. A proper plan will not increase overall volume more than about 8% per week with a maximum of 10%. Try to keep these numbers in mind when you design your plan.

Another common mistake is training too hard inrepparttar 113064 weeks leading up to a race. Depending on your event you should taper your training for 1-2 weeks or more. In this time overall volume goes down while intensity stays up. The purpose of this is to have you fully rested while maintaining a high level of fitness. Some athletes find it hard to taper their training and feel they are under training before their event. As Chris Carmichael once told me, “there is nothing you can dorepparttar 113065 week of a race to increase fitness, but there is everything you can do to screw it up.”

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