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.
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.
- 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.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
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: http://wfpcoaching.com