Now that we have had a couple of weeks with no structured club training sessions for the festive period, it is now a good time to refocus on training. It’s a good thing to have a couple of weeks with no structured training and hopefully most of you have taken some time off training and enjoyed the festivities? This ensures that you return to training with more motivation and energy.
I use a training method called Periodisation which is how I plan the clubs training sessions. By using this method, I am making all the sessions build so that the sessions peak for the three months of June, July and August. Obviously, a lot of you may have races outside of this time but planning for the sessions to be peaking at this time of year will leave everyone in very good shape even if your races are in the months of May or September. It is possible to peak twice in a year so if you have qualification races in May or June and then a World championships or Ironman in October this can be done. (If this applies to you and you would like further coaching or advice please see me).
This is the time of year, often known as the base phase. In particular we are in the final phase of base training known as Base 3. Base 1 and Base 2 are typically the months of November and December. The phase prior to Base 1 is called the preparation phase and this often follows a week or two after your last race of the season in September. Most phases are 4 – 5 weeks although depending upon your goal race these can be extended.
So, what does Base mean?
Often people get a bit confused by what this means. It is a period where you will be building upon your endurance by doing longer rides, longer repeats / sets in the pool and longer runs. It doesn’t mean however, that you can’t do faster efforts although these are usually reduced to limit stress on the body as building volume through longer sessions is stressful enough. This is what confuses people the most about how much intensity they can do whilst still building volume.
What do you have to look forward to in the next month of training back at the club?
In Swimming we are continuing with the longer reps that you were doing before Christmas but working more on technique and strength sessions (using pull buoys, paddles and doing pyramids). Track running the focus is upon pace judgement over longer repetitions and the turbo sessions are continuing to work upon building FTP. (Functional Threshold Power – increasing the power you can push for an extended period of time). I will talk about FTP in the next article.