Preparatory Training Phase


In the last article, I spoke a bit about the transition from the in-season to the off-season. This is known as transition phase or the rest and recovery phase. During that phase, we want to clear our heads and get some casual activities that keep us moving but away from our primary sport.

So what comes after the end of the season Transition Phase?

It depends on the athlete. If the athlete only participates in one discipline throughout the on season then it would be wise to enter a Preparatory Training Phase but if the athlete is going on to a competitive winter sport such as Cyclocross they may skip the Preparatory Training Phase and go right into Base Training Phases.

I have not written much about the Preparatory Training Phase so let cover what goes into it. The Preparatory Training Phase will last approximately 3-4 weeks and is all about conditioning the body and getting ready for base training. In strength training, this would be considered the Anatomical Adaptation (AA) Phase. The AA Phase is made up of lots of Reps and Sets of light weight lifting. This AA phase is about conditioning joints for the next round of heavier weights in the next phase of strength conditioning. The same is true of running and even cycling. Lots of prescribed easy riding or running, many of them short and with little or no intervals.

The focus for the endurance athlete in the Preparatory Training Phase will be in zones 1-2 Heart Rate and Power. While there are very few intervals to be done during the Preparatory Training Phase cyclists will often be prescribed one-legged drills and some high-speed cadence work. Just like with the AA Strength Phase this will allow the athlete to prep tendons and joints for the slightly harder force and muscle endurance work during base training.

Athletes that are distant runners will often back off the miles, stay out of the hills and jog along with adding an AA Strength Phase.

About the time the Preparatory Training Phase starts athletes need to have their next season Goals and Training Objectives ready, their current seasonal summary written and their priority events and races scheduled.

If you would like to learn even more about training factors and training phases check out this Virtual Clinic on the subject.

Introduction to structured training for endurance athletes

Here are other articles I have written on goals, objectives, seasonal summaries and prioritizing races and events.

Need help with your Base Training?

We now have a 12 week training plan dedicated to base training. The plan also comes with a virtual clinic!

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Until Next Time,
Train Smarter Not Harder,
Coach Rob

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