Race season is about to kick off. You still have time to decide how you’re going to train this year. Do you work on speed? Is your endurance capability sufficient? Do you have any nagging injuries from the last season? Is there a skill you want to develop?
No doubt you’ve had time to analyze, pick-a-part, question, and re-live your racing from this year. While it’s healthy and wise to examine your current state, start looking forward. Beginning with your training.
Mix it up
While skill development in your target sport(s) is a must, simply riding to put in miles, or thinking that this year is simply going to be an extension of the previous season is a potential mistake. Now is the time to try out new approaches to training. Be systematic about it or you won’t have enough information to make solid choices. You are your own human performance lab!
As an endurance athlete, or one about to embark on the endurance racing lifestyle, it’s important to remember that your body demands high quality food. I’m not talking about the latest supplement or multi-vitamin. Real food. Skip the processed food, use the new year as an opportunity to start fueling yourself with nutrients that will help repair and build a stronger, faster you.
Strength opens the door to performing more work in less time. Granted, you don’t always need the ability to shoulder press your body weight in an ultra, adventure race or triathlon, but the strength is a base upon which you build future workouts. Learn to harness your body’s ability to work as a single unit and it will transfer to those instances, the paddle stroke, the long run, the hike-a-bike, the teammate tow, the bike ride… Strength is a skill. Learn it!
High Intensity, Metabolic Conditioning
Otherwise known as swimming in lactic acid, high intensity training prepares you for racing. The better you are at consuming/processing lactate, the better you will perform in racing conditions. Incorporate these types of workouts into your training!
The important thing to think about as you commit yourself to racing this year is that you are enjoying yourself and discovering that there is more to you than you first thought. Mixing up your training is always an eye opener. It shows you what you are good at and… what you might need work on. Use the time between last season and the one that’s about to start to try a new approach. Start looking forward to the new endurance athlete that is you!
USAC Level 2 cycling coach
CrossFit Level 1, CrossFit Endurance Certified
TRX/Outdoor Fitness Training