02 January 2012

Weakness and your athletic year ahead

The start of the (athletic) year is a great time to boost your performance.

The second dawn of the new year is just ahead. You might be thinking about planning your athletic year. A goal race (A category race), a couple of B and C category races ... your training regimen ... You are an ambitious athlete. You want to do better than last year / season. Well, I am sure, there is some aspect of your performance that you think could need a bit of polishing.

Now, at the start of the new season, is a good time to do just that. Your goal race should be more than half a year away, though. If not, do this after your goal race, at the start of your new training cycle. - Why? Improvement needs time, so do specific preparations for your goal race. Pick the weakness that has been bothering you the most and work on it (or the one with the highest chance of improvement).

An example. Say you are a triathlete and swimming is your weakest discipline. Well then, take 6 to 12 weeks and focus on swimming. Double your weekly swimming sessions during this period. Work on whatever aspect needs improvement, your technique, your endurance. Don't completely neglect the other disciplines. Reduce training to a maintenance level. You won't gain fitness, yet more importantly, you will not loose fitness this way.

I can hear people say, I am a runner, all I do is run, so how could this benefit me? Well, even when practising a single discipline there is some aspect that can be boosted. For runners that could be cadence, stride length, an-aerobic power, non-specific (general) endurance, ... You would focus on the aspect in question by adding a few specific workouts to your weekly training regimen.

Said principle works for every sport and that is also regardless of level and age. If in doubt, ask your coach. If self-coached, you know already what I mean.

I guarantee you, if done properly (and repeatedly over the seasons), such an approach will make you a more successful and balanced athlete. And that's just what we want, happy and successful athletes.

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