Who Needs a Coach?

Written by Matt Russ

The athletes that are most hesitant to obtain a coach could often benefitrepparttar most. A common perception is that coaching is for "serious" athletes only. In actuality, anyone who wants to work toward a physical goal, or reach their true potential can benefit greatly from coaching. A proper foundation for beginners is crucial so that bad form is not carried forward and made bad habit. Many athletes in hindsight wish they hadrepparttar 113059 benefit of coaching earlier in their career. How many times have you said "if I only knew then, what I know now…"

I was once asked a pointed question by a potential athlete; "what can a coach do for me that I can not find in a book?" The answer is specificity. A proper coaching program is personally specific to an athlete’s needs. The plan considersrepparttar 113060 athlete’s individual strengths and weaknesses, skill, training history, injuries, lifestyle, equipment, fitness level, goals, diet, and a myriad of other data. It can berepparttar 113061 difference between buying a custom made suit versus randomly selecting one offrepparttar 113062 rack.

The first step in building a coaching plan is evaluation. A coach may outline an entire year’s worth of training around specific goal events. They will ask you when you want to "peak" or be at your best. Field tests or metabolic testing may need to be performed to determine heart rate zones, and flexibility is tested for normal joint range of motion. The plan will be "periodized" with different training periods and work outs; each building off ofrepparttar 113063 previous. Training will move from general to specific as you approach your peak. Training near peak may even considerrepparttar 113064 individual terrain and characteristics ofrepparttar 113065 race.

Strength, Speed, and Power Progression to Peak

Written by Matt Russ

Proper race peaking requires that you be at your best fitness level ofrepparttar season at preciselyrepparttar 113058 same time as your goal race(s). This means exact timing and performingrepparttar 113059 right work outs atrepparttar 113060 right time. Performing mostly high intensity work too early inrepparttar 113061 season will slowly degrade your performance asrepparttar 113062 season progresses and leave you burned physically and mentally. You should slowly progress towards your most intense training. It isrepparttar 113063 last salvo before your peak. Conversely, performing too little high intensity work would leave you under trained and ill prepared for race intensities. Some athletes train atrepparttar 113064 same intensities, yet wonder why they do not get faster. In order to get faster you must stressrepparttar 113065 body in a way it is not used to. The body then compensates and acclimates torepparttar 113066 specific stress, and you can then apply still greater stress levels. Your strength and power training should follow this progression as well.

A proper training program moves fromrepparttar 113067 general torepparttar 113068 specific and lower intensity efforts to more high intensity efforts asrepparttar 113069 season progresses. As you perform more short high speed efforts your overall training volume must be reduced to facilitate recovery from these harder work outs. Strength and especially power work should follow these guidelines.

The amount of time you spend working on strength or power will depend on your limiters as an athlete, your event type, and your level of experience. A smaller, underpowered athlete that is concentrating on sprint races will spend much time devoted to strength and power training, whereas a larger muscled athlete may need to devote more time to aerobic development. Generally, longer events require less time devoted to strength and power training.

Your strength work should start inrepparttar 113070 gym after a brief transition period atrepparttar 113071 seasons end. Strength training may last throughrepparttar 113072 entire base season and then proceed to maintenance work as more sport specific work is introduced. It is important to remember thatrepparttar 113073 purpose of strength training is to applyrepparttar 113074 increase in strength torepparttar 113075 bike, run, or swim. Many athletes have a tough time giving up weight work even though it is degradingrepparttar 113076 effectiveness of their other more specific work outs. Specificity is one ofrepparttar 113077 first rules of training. Performing heavy leg extensions will have little benefit to your cycling becauserepparttar 113078 muscles do not contract in that manner. I choose multi-joint strength exercises that mimic at least part ofrepparttar 113079 stride or spin. Towardsrepparttar 113080 end ofrepparttar 113081 base season I actually combine certain resistance routines with onrepparttar 113082 bike and run training.

The first phase of onrepparttar 113083 bike strength training involves low cadence, highly resisted intervals of 15-30 seconds, then proceeds to sustained intervals of 3-20 minutes at slightly higher cadences of 50-60 rpm. Although effort is great, there should be little heart rate reaction beyond an aerobic level which is important duringrepparttar 113084 base season. The next work out would be sustained efforts of 20 minutes to over 1 hour, still at an aerobic level, and at a cadence of 70-75 rpm. All these work outs trainrepparttar 113085 body to produce force aerobically and efficiently and acclimaterepparttar 113086 body for higher intensity efforts to come.

Cont'd on page 2 ==>
ImproveHomeLife.com © 2005
Terms of Use