The Switch Gears Plan

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - T1 -

For ath­letes at the end of a long, ex­haust­ing sea­son, im­prove­ment only oc­curs af­ter a full re­cov­ery. This plan starts with a com­plete break of one to four weeks of rest or easy train­ing at ac­tive re­cov­ery pace. Then a block of un­struc­tured train­ing be­gins.

The next four to eight weeks are spent train­ing ac­cord­ing to a flex­i­ble vol­ume goal. Ath­letes choose their ac­tiv­ity based on what they feel like do­ing, and there is built-in flex­i­bil­ity for weather, group op­por­tu­ni­ties and in­di­vid­ual in­ter­est. Win­ter sports are great sup­ple­men­tal aer­o­bic con­di­tion­ing and cre­ate a break from the monotony of triathlon train­ing – with added fit­ness gains. Sports such as cross coun­try skate ski­ing, skat­ing, ice hockey and snow­shoe­ing in­tro­duce lat­eral strength and sta­bil­ity to the glutes and hips. Other good op­tions for off-sea­son cross train­ing are rock climb­ing, rac­quet sports and team sports, such as bas­ket­ball, soc­cer and ul­ti­mate Fris­bee. Build­ing strength across more planes of mo­tion builds more ro­bust in­jury re­sis­tance and trans­lates to bet­ter sum­mer per­for­mance.

A full re­cov­ery fol­lowed by a block of aer­o­bic devel­op­ment cre­ates a solid foun­da­tion for race-spe­cific fit­ness. Even with the max­i­mum four week re­cov­ery, spend­ing eight weeks work­ing on aer­o­bic fit­ness with cross-train­ing re­sults in min­i­mal de-train­ing for ex­pe­ri­enced ath­letes. Within about four weeks of train­ing, most of the fit­ness from the pre­vi­ous sea­son re­turns and fur­ther gains can be­gin.

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