Its that time of year that I get all kinds of questions from self coached athletes and athletes that are looking to hire a coach. This year is only slightly different than previous years. I have been getting more an more calls and emails about power meters, power training and analyzing power data then ever before. I also get the usual spate of questions about weight loss, climbing, peaking and how to prepare for this or that race or event.
However I have found that all of these questions come to me with limited knowledge of structuring training in an effort to bring about desired fitness outcomes. Don’t get me wrong I am not going to be able to cover everything there is to know about structured training but I thought instead that I would cover the basics, the terminology and the processes behind creating an annual training plan for endurance athletes. I am also often asked about my coaching or training philosophy so I thought I would do a better job of explaining this as well.
I know when I first started reading about periodized training, peaking, measuring, testing, training objectives and goal setting I was overwhelmed. Then a picture started to form. I have always looked at planning of any kind of effort technical projects or sports performance as an engineering challenge that has many variables and constraints. When I think engineering I think of both technology solutions and construction solutions. But for many of us not familiar withe these industries we can see the forest for the trees. This brings me to the visual I chase for this post of my favorite roller coaster, The Beast, at Kings Island in Cincinnati Ohio. This particular roller coaster has held several world records for its abilities and designs. When I see this coaster I first see all of the complexity for what it is and then get to experience the ride. I do not need to know how it was engineered or why decisions were made. Instead all I know is that it works, its fun and fast. Kind of like hiring a coach to make sense of an athletes goals, dreams and desires to excel.
So that long way around to explaining that while on the outside a training plan can look daunting there are professionals that can help you to reach your goals and achieve your dreams. Some times sooner rather than later!
What I have done is record a 30 minute clinic that covers the following aspects of periodized or if you will structured training.
- What is structured training
- The phases of training
- What are training loads and what is mine
- How do I discover my Strengths and Weaknesses
- When do I Target Training for: my strength or weakness
- Measuring Progress and Performance
- Goal Setting
- What is “Peaking” and why do I care
- Is your Training Plan right for you
Until next time,
Train Smarter not Harder,