Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Periodization in theory and put into practice

TrainingPeaks has some great tools. One of which is the Annual Training Plan. It allows you to put in your average training hours, mark whether you're strong or weak right now, enter in your upcoming races and categorize them into A, B or C priority.

What I've notice is that most of my athletes are doing too much. They're logging serious hours on the bike and not allowing their bodies to recover from the season. Instead of taking down time now, they're increasing their hours. Perhaps it's based on fear that if they rest now they will be giving up some of their hard earned fitness. Maybe the weather is going to be questionable in the coming months. But if this periodization theory is correct - then what they're doing now may be shooting themselves in the foot later.

In some cases, these athletes don't know what it would feel like to be rested for an event. They are chronically fatigued. And while over-reaching is certainly part of the adaptation process, over-training becomes very plausible and realistic for a few.

So how do you convince someone that resting now will make them stronger later? What if they're so used to pushing their bodies throughout the year that they're unwilling to risk going easy now in order to go super fast later? Are we setting ourselves up for mediocrity by pounding ourselves into submission?

I get to have some down to earth phone calls with athletes this week as we plan for the race season to come. One of the hardest parts of coaching is marrying theory with practice and getting your athletes to be on the same page.

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