I’m sitting here in a cold-induced post-travel haze evaluating my next round of training. My athletic objectives for the year have crystallized somewhat since December, and the focus of this round is the ground work for a big challenge in the fall. I have some goals along the way, however, so I’ll need to throw a few peaks into the schedule. Since some of the peaks are power oriented it presents a unique challenge given my fall birthday challenge will require massive increases in endurance.
The first thing that I ask people about making training schedules is their goals. Without an objective it’s hard to make a plan. You’re better off just following along with someone else (doing 90x, Crossfit workout, etc). It’s only when you have goals that you need to create your own plan. My goals at this time are:
1. Tick my climbing hit list for the year
2. Get ready for a big birthday challenge in the fall
3. Prep for the world duathlon championships next year
During the long days of summer I often just throw thoughts on training aside and get outside. In general I think it’s a great plan, provided you make time to do it, because if you spend enough time playing outside fitness follows. This year has more focused goals than most. I’ve got to improve my wattage on the bike and my speed in running, since I haven’t raced seriously in a few years. I also need to make some sacrifices by playing less and training more if I ever want to send my mega climbing project. I still need long days—a lot of them—and since long days diminish your ability to train for power I’m relishing the chance to push my body beyond where it’s gone before. I foresee a lot of suffering on the horizon, but the here and now presents a challenge.
The Giro d’ Italia kicks off in a week and riding a virtual Giro would be a great way to build my cycling base. As fun and tempting as it is I’m not going to do it. I’d like to take the current climbing form I have and knock off some of my list before it gets hot. Therefore, May is going to be a peaking phase in climbing and a preparatory phase for both riding and running.
This means that climbing days will be focused on getting stuff done. Redpointing and climbing hard, not training. Biking and running will be base miles. Not all slow aerobic miles but not racing either; just a lot of quality time on the roads and trails. When I’m training like this I don’t focus on much gym stuff and, instead, stick to a maintenance workout schedule. For this I’ll use p90X +. The synergist moves of X+ don’t work as well into long training programs (because they work too many areas at once) but are great for keeping your muscles in balance, which is vital when you’re performing at 100%.
Due to my immediate goals I think it’s best to not have a set schedule. This is hard to impress upon many of you Beachbody faithful because all of our programs come with schedules. For performance, however, when you are pushing your body to its maximum on some days, it’s better if you can listen to your body and base your training on how it feels. Train hard when you’re training and rest when you need rest. No compromise.
Performance windows are short. You can’t peak all the time. My current plan is to get as much done as possible before it gets hot, and then get back to a more set training scheduling leading to another big peak in the fall. I’ll post my numbers at the end of the month so you can see how this worked.