Over the past few weeks I've had a few questions about how to move workouts around and how to modify workouts within a training plan. While I can't answer every individual training question, I can give you examples of modifying a training plan, the whys and hows. You'll have to apply the information to your own personal situation.
As we progress through this discussion in upcoming blogs (no, not all future blogs will be dedicated to my training), it is easiest to use myself as the main example with a sprinkling of some workout combination examples from individual athletes that I've trained over the years. For privacy purposes, the athletes will remain unnamed unless they choose to chime-in on a blog comment.
To consolidate information, first are the stats for what is a typical training week for me, versus a rest week. For this time of the year:
Monday: 30 minutes of strength training work, 1:00 yoga (the yoga is new this season)
Tuesday: 1:00-1:15 swim, 30 minute run
Wednesday: 1:00-2:00 road or mountain bike
Thursday: 1:00-1:15 swim, 1:00-1:30 trail run
Friday: Day off or 1:00 road ride
Saturday: 2:00-3:00 mountain bike ride
Sunday: 2:00-4:00 road ride
Looking at my log, a typical training week is in the 13:00 range. This includes strength training and yoga time. Last week I intentionally scheduled a rest week, to coincide with a heavy work week. Training time was at 8:00.
For those of you that follow me on Twitter I will now post exceptions to this typical week and try to include more details about the specifics of the workouts when I post a single workout. For this week, it has been pretty much to plan for volume.
Some recent exceptions and special items to note:
A couple of weeks ago I went to Fruita and Moab for five days of mountain biking. This was an intentional "crash" training week. The crash-part associated with the volume and intensity of training compared to normal and not the fall-off-your-bike kind of crash.
My Monday through Sunday volume for the two weeks around Moab was 17:00 and 15:00. In this case, it is more important to look at Wednesday through Tuesday training volume directly surrounding the trip. Total aerobic training for that seven-day block was 17:00 with "out" time (time spent looking at maps, eating, etc.) at 20:15. This is a big block for me and most every day included some intensity due to the nature of mountain biking.
I must be rested going into a crash training block and I must recover on the back side of it to reap the benefits.
I intentionally delayed my recovery some, due to a planned heavy week of work. I felt it too. I didn't feel good in my workouts and fully recovered until yesterday.
Training volume was cut by 60% (my 8 hour week was 40 percent of my 20-hour week) to enhance recovery. I can't give you exact numbers, but the volume of training intensity was cut as well, but some minimal intensity was included in the recovery week.
Summary key items:
1. As I've said before, consistency trumps all. My training volume is fairly consistent.
2. The body adapts to consistency and in order to get better results, training must change.
3. How to change training can come in the form of changing variables such as overall training volume, individual workout volume, overall volume of intensity, individual workout intensity, mix of sports, frequency of workouts and timing of workouts. I'm probably missing a few items here, but this gets most of them.
4. You will see improvements in speed and/or endurance after a training stimulus, time and rest.
With this start of foundation knowledge, we can use it to discuss more training and self-coaching concepts.