This is what a year of training would like for a competitive endurance athlete and a summary of a yearly plan.
When it comes to goal setting and training we need to remember 1 important piece of the puzzle…
WE CAN’T DO EVERYTHING AT ONCE!
We hear something along these lines (mildly exaggerated for effect), “I want to lose 15 pounds of fat, put on 15 pounds of muscle, do 10 chin ups, bench 300 pounds and run a marathon.”
Now these are all fantastic goals and they can all be accomplished BUT doing them all at once isn’t going to be ideal as they all require very different training stimuli and nutrition protocols. So let’s break one down for you and how we would approach their training year and we will use a competitive runner for this example. Over the course of the year a competitive runner will typically try to peak for 1-2 races, this is different from a casual running enthusiast in a running club running several races a year. For the competitive runners, we will encourage them to use specific coaches – a running coach and nutrition IF needed for that.
Since we have to peak for races our training focuses will shift throughout the year because the most important thing to remember is…
TRAINING IS MEANT TO ENHANCE ABILITIES
Our goal is to become a better runner and our actions and cross training should reflect that. Good options would be elliptical because you are still load bearing but you are a putting less pounding on your body. Include proper strength training to enhance your abilities, focusing on unilateral strength, posterior chain, core strength and postural strength.
Some of Trilogy’s Favorite Exercises for Runners in no particular order:
Jump Rope, Plyometrics, Goblet/Front Squats, Reverse Lunges, RDLs, Single Leg RDLs, Rows, Chin Ups, Pallof Press, Body Saws
Here is what a sample year may look like(note, this is a very broad and generalized summary):
Training and Peak Phase: Focusing on Running, Lifting takes a big backseat. The focus is on maintaining some strength, ROM and assisting in recovery. Lifting may be 1-2x/week in this phase. The focus on this will be RUNNING FAST!!
After the race, we will go into a short recovery phase, a month or so where we keep the training pretty low and keep the strength more restorative. In this phase, we want the athlete to recover from the training and the race they just completed. The focus will start to shift into a little more intensity in the gym by adding a few more exercises and slowly increasing the loads.
The third phase will be more of an “offseason”, this is where we are going to try to really put on some strength and rebuild some muscle. We don’t want to add a lot of bodyweight through muscle but building muscle and strength will be a priority here. Athletes take a beating peaking for races so we need to make sure to get strong enough to handle these shifts in training. Here we can try to knock out some awesome strength goals like chin-ups, heavier deadlifts, squats and lunges.
The fourth phase will start to transition back into a training phase. We will begin to include more running and endurance work while still keeping the strength work high. When the official training for the next race begins we will start to shift the focus back to the endurance sport.
- The goal is ALWAYS on the athlete, we want to become a better runner. The lifting and training will be designed to help benefit that.
- We always focus on training progressions: faster mileage, better exercise technique, stronger exercises.
- Trust the training cycle, it will seem counter intuitive to reduce certain aspects at different times. When we do too much, we don’t make progress and increase our chances of overuse/injury rather than improving our performance.
Keep your training focused. Remember your goals. Kick butt and take some names!
Matt, Helen and Lilly