One of the most challenging parts of executing a big training week or weekend is balancing your desire to train with your need to train every day, for several days.
Anyone can be a hero for a day; it takes internal fortitude and a great deal of patience to train properly so as to get in several days’ worth of good work…and reap the benefits. In this third installment we talk about selecting the proper intensity and why spacing your effort out across a week is better for your long-term fitness.
So Excited, You Explode
Summary:Fired up about a new venue, good weather, and the prospect of focusing almost 100% on their sport, most endurance athletes come charging out of the gate. This energy can only last so long, and these early birds quickly go from Day One Hero to Day Two Zero (or worse!).
Advice:Proper pacing for your workouts, and the week itself will allow you to reap the fullest benefits of your training.
Chill Out: Rome, and your fitness, can’t be built in a day. But one day could ruin your whole big week.
Think Big Picture: Remember that the point of your big week is to build off of the consistent work you have been doing in order to take your fitness to the next level. You aren’t out here to prove anything, just to build.
Save Something for the End: Keep a cool ride or big challenge for the second to last (or even last day). This will keep you honest early on and hopefully motivated later when it matters!
Training Stress: Intensity vs Duration
Summary:Even though you might not be riding / running / rowing as fast as you would at home, remember that you aren’t here to do what you did at home. After all, that would defeat the purpose of traveling to train! Instead of leveraging intensity as a time-saver to force fitness adaptations, during your big week your goal is to extend the duration of each and every workout to earn a larger dose of training stress in a more manageable manner.
Advice:Here are two tips you can do to
Set Limits: Keep the intensity down by setting a cap on what you’ll do, whether it’s heart rate or power. Meter your energy appropriately across the week to train to your best.
Review Daily: Check in with your body on a daily basis; what’s easy for you on Day One might not be even close to manageable by Day Three.
Think: Mind and Body
Summary:Long hours are exciting during the planning phase, but not so much when you have to roll out of bed day-after-day to get big workouts done. If you ignore your brain, you run the risk of losing motivation long before you run out of energy to actually train.
Advice:Seek a balance in all your big week activities to stay engaged and on top of your training.
Get Diverse: Mix up your routine, or turn logistical challenges into opportunities. Run to the pool to swim for your workout, for example, is a great training opportunity.
Fake Racing: Set up a time trial or organize an impromptu race with other folks on site.
What other tips do you have? Tell us in the comments below!
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