Originally published November 22, 2018. Updated and republished November 27, 2019.
With your goals set and events selected, you’re ready to dial in your Annual Training Plan for your season ahead. In part 3 of our Planning Your Season series of posts, we’ll layout the process of your Annual Training Plan. This road map of your training program is often referred to as your Annual Training Plan. It sets the foundation of your training progression allowing you to know ‘when you should be where’ in your build up. It also helps you stay on track and progressing towards your end goals.
WE at Waite Endurance prefer to use a TWO training phase model to reach a peak performance for an “A” race. We call them: Base Builder & Race Preparation.
Base Builder Phase
Base Builder (or your base phase) is about establishing a general aerobic & strength foundation of fitness. Our Base Builder Plans are 12-24 weeks in duration. The duration is dependent on time until your next “A” race. Our Base Builder progression goes from low-intensity to high-intensity. Building through the six major energy systems in a block periodization format with 2-4 week blocks based on duration of plan and intended rate of progression:
1. Aerobic Endurance
2. Aerobic Threshold
3. Anaerobic Threshold
4. Vo2 Max
5. Anaerobic Power
6. Peak Power
Originally published November 8, 2018. Updated and republished November 21, 2019.
Daylight hours are shortening, leaves are falling, and temps are dropping… You’ve set your goals for next season (previous post: Goal Setting), and even resumed some base training. The next step in the planning process is race selection and choosing your events for next season. Sifting through the potentially large amount of events in which you are interested is the second step in the planning process.
Planning your race season around a target event(s) is crucial to setting up an effective training program.
As part of the race selection process, you must first know the “what” & “when” you plan to race your best. From there you can work out your specific training program that will get you there with the fitness you desire. You don’t need to know every single start line you plan to roll up to next year. You do however need to know what your top targets are before you begin more detailed planning. The first step of the race selection process is sitting down and creating a list of events that interest you. Have fun with this. Don’t filter your thought process just yet. Once you have your list of events, long or short, it is then time to narrow things down.
Most endurance athletes will compete in multiple events within a season. Why would you train so consistently for a long time to race only one or two times per season? Also, racing can be some of the best “training” you can do. On the flip-side, you cannot race every weekend all season long (or even every-other week for that matter). Racing takes a toll and interferes with an overall training progression. Racing too frequently degrades your fitness over time and does not allow for an adequate build of training load. Fitness gets lost in these situations and the results you desire are hard to find.
The ABCs of Race Selection
When you do choose to race, you want to race hard and give it your best effort on the day. That said, you cannot be in “top form” for every race you enter. For some races you enter you may recognize that you won’t be at your best, but the benefits of racing are still present. Your fitness and “race-readiness” ebbs and flows with your training phases and your lifestyle demands. Therefore, different events must take on different levels of priority. This allows you to reach higher levels of fitness for specific events (peaking). It is a well known practice when laying out your next racing season to assign priority levels to your events as: A, B and C. The following is a breakdown of this concept that will help you in your season-planning process:
Originally posted October 31, 2018. Updated November 12, 2019.
Goal setting begins the planning process towards your next season. Organizing your thoughts and creating a formal written outline of what direction you want to go with your training, fitness and competitive results is a key piece of the Mental Fitness puzzle. If you don’t know what you want to achieve… then how do you know what you need to do to get there or if you are making progress in the right direction along the way?
Going beyond simply thinking about what you want to achieve and further developing a strategy on how you are going to achieve is the process of setting goals.
Make Goal Setting work for you
The idea of setting goals is something many people are familiar with, but few take the time to formally address. It can be difficult for some athletes to write down goals. However meeting your goals is often more difficult if they are not written down in the first place. Once you have decided upon your goals, take it a step further and write out exactly how you plan to meet those goals (use a pencil here because you may change things a bit as you discuss with your coach or support structure). If you’re not sure of exactly how you are going to meet your goals, obtaining direction from a coach, or friend, can help you talk it out and make the right decisions. Knowing what you want is one thing, but outlining a plan that gets you from where you are now with your physical and mental abilities to where you want to be is what makes goal setting an effective tool in your mental fitness tool box.
Goal setting is a multi step process that is extremely valuable for all athletes. The following are some helpful steps and techniques you can implement to help make your own goal setting more effective.