Each week I post my Training Review on Twitter.
My review is driven by four questions:
- What went right?
- Did I hit my minimums?
- Where can I trade stress?
- What can screw things up?
My questions track to actions:
- Remove and Address
Across the week, I take notes and when I take my back-to-back recovery days, I review the week.
What Went Right?
You are going to be tempted to “progress the week.”
Unfortunately, in highly motivated populations, this leads to breakdown, and missed gains!
Better to repeat the week & keep what works
Did I Hit My Minimums?
Last Thursday, I gave you a Training Intensity Allocation.
Let’s see what that implies for my last week: 15 hours total => 900 minutes
- Strength => 90 minutes
- Stamina => 720 minutes
- Intensity => 90 minutes
- Tempo => 54 Minutes
- Threshold => 27 minutes
- VO2 & VO2+ => 9 minutes
Is there a training segment that I’m avoiding?
Think outside the box, there are many interesting sessions that are hybrids of strength/intensity.
Use the small allocations wisely and have fun with them.
What Trades Make Sense?
First Two Tips:
- Repeat don’t progress
- Hit the minimums
If I want to ADD then do a TRADE.
Example #1: I like to run in the hills. However, I don’t need to run up a mountain every week! Across a week, a fortnight, a month… I manage my “elevation load” between weeks.
Example #2: I’m relatively strong for my age and category. I trade Strength load to accommodate more Stamina within my week.
Example #3: Max HR test last week? Add more Zone 1 to start the following week. Balance the intensity mixes across more than just the week. Give yourself time to fully absorb your highest intensity sessions. Same thing applies for sessions that cause significant muscle damage (plyometrics, downhill run load).
Example #4: get to the source of your life stress:
- Energy deficits
- Spontaneous tempo
- Excessive load
- Too many goals
If I want to better absorb training then reduce the stress caused by choices outside my core goals.
Endurance training, done to the best of our ability, offers an incentive to straighten out our lives.
Avoiding Ruin – What Might Screw Up Next Week?
In the acute sense… Avoid The Injury!
Take time to address the little niggles while they are still little!
Dial the program DOWN before the injury is created.
Trade low quality days for high quality weeks.
In the chronic sense… going down an unsustainable path feels great, ride up to the day before you fall apart!
Consider, then address, areas of instability:
How to make this happen?
Put it in your calendar!
Make an appointment with yourself, daily.
Example: 10 minutes every day on mobility and one positive action to reduce long term stress.
Little positive steps have big impacts when applied over long time horizons.
The ability to bring these habits into your athletic life gives you a skill set to improve all aspects of your life.