Training, Nutrition, and Health

3 Tips to Structure Your Training

February 28, 2015

Today’s guest blog post comes from Cer­ti­fied High Per­for­mance Coach and Ath­lete, Adam Mor­ka, founder of Wired For Per­for­mance

First, we must under­stand, what is train­ing? “Train­ing can be defined as the stim­u­la­tion of bio­log­i­cal adap­ta­tions that result in an improve­ment in per­for­mance in a giv­en task.” — Dun­can Macdougall.

Sim­ple Right?

Well, not so sim­ple. Hope­ful­ly, this arti­cle can offer some under­stand­ing and impor­tance of “how to struc­ture your train­ing” and how to get the most out of your time invest­ed.

Step 1) Know how many hours you can ded­i­cate to train­ing each week.

Let’s face it, we are all pret­ty ambi­tious when it comes to how much time we think we have or, how much train­ing we think we can accom­plish per week.  It’s one of the first ques­tions I ask an ath­lete pri­or to sign­ing up.  “How many hours of train­ing per week is real­is­tic?” Your answer here ___________ and now, imme­di­ate­ly sub­tract rough­ly 3–4 hours.  In oth­er words, if you believe you can do 10 hours train­ing per week, then start at 6 hours per week. If the goal is to make “adap­ta­tions” and improve­ments, then your train­ing needs to be sus­tain­able and espe­cial­ly when long-term aer­o­bic improve­ments take 6–8 weeks!

Step 2) Make a train­ing plan.

If you’re try­ing to make long term improve­ments then you need a plan, and you need to be con­sis­tent.  A train­ing plan is great moti­va­tion, and it holds you account­able. A pret­ty stan­dard method of lay­ing out a train­ing plan is by break­ing it down into train­ing phas­es.  In oth­er words, you’re tak­ing all the specifics of your sport and break­ing them down into well timed and well thought out train­ing phas­es. If you’ve got your train­ing plan cor­rect, it should be a beau­ti­ful pat­tern of train­ing and rest­ing, end­ing with con­stant adap­ta­tions that then result in improvements.

Here’s an example:

Feb­ru­ary and March could be “Gen­er­al Prepa­ra­tion.”  It’s gen­er­al prepa­ra­tion, think basic ele­ments that make up your sport, ele­ments so basic that you couldn’t do your sport with­out them.

  • Endurance
  • Coör­di­na­tion
  • Strength
  • Skills (on the bike) — con­sid­er Joyride 150 Indoor Bike Park for all us Cana­di­ans in the GTA 🙂

April and May could be “Spe­cif­ic Prepa­ra­tion.” Now you’re start­ing to spe­cial­ize in your sport even more. Maybe you’re com­plet­ing your train­ing at a spe­cif­ic inten­si­ty. Maybe you’re going from basic skills to now, advanced skills. e.g. I start­ed with bun­ny hop­ping and now, I am jump­ing the begin­ner line at Joyride 150.  Delib­er­ate­ly prac­tic­ing for your sport is key, and it becomes more impor­tant as you edge clos­er to that key event, Sacred Rides bike trip or, race.

Step 3) Focus on your train­ing pattern.

The train­ing pat­tern is just as impor­tant as the train­ing itself, and, unfor­tu­nate­ly, many get it wrong. So what’s the miss­ing ele­ment that most for­get?  Rest and recov­ery.  If you aren’t a full-time ath­lete, then a safe bet train­ing pat­tern is, two weeks of train­ing with 1‑week rest / decrease in train­ing hours. If you’re a lit­tle more advanced then three weeks of train­ing fol­lowed by 1‑week rest / decrease in train­ing hours would be effec­tive. Here is an exam­ple of how to lay out your train­ing week. Notice that there is an ample amount of rest and recovery.

To con­clude, the ulti­mate goal is to be as pre­pared as pos­si­ble for the expe­ri­ence. If the expe­ri­ence is a race, bike trip or event, then you want to be ready.  Find­ing plea­sure in the process of becom­ing pre­pared can be the most enjoy­able part and besides, it just means more fun when you get to put all that hard work to use.


Adam Mor­ka is a Cer­ti­fied High Per­for­mance Coach, Ath­lete and AU Busi­ness Student.

“My ulti­mate goal is to help oth­ers achieve theirs.”

For more infor­ma­tion on Adam Mor­ka and Wired For Per­for­mance MTB, Road, and Cyclocross Coach­ing Pack­ages, vis­it: