Tailoring Training to You and Your Life
To make the most of your time and energy it is important to focus your efforts. The best way to do this is by picking a few workouts per week to focus on. If you find that you excel at short events like a 5K, then you probably have good speed but need to improve your endurance (we’ll call you a type 1 racer).
On the other hand, if you perform well at longer events (marathons) then you may lack speed, and should focus on VO2 max and other speed intervals (you are a type 2 racer).
Focus on the workouts emphasized for the type racer (type 1 or 2) you most resemble.
Since time is almost always limited plan to complete the top priority workouts first and fit in the others as best you can.
Training must reflect your life and your life must reflect your training. A hard day a work can postpone a hard day of training.
As you are evaluating your training, also give some thought to how you are using the training plan. It is written to be a blueprint and a guide for your training, and is not written knowing in advance what conflicts you may have with training in any given week. Many weeks can be done as scheduled. However, if you have to swap weeks out on account of your non training life, with good planning that can be done with great success provided you are giving thought to the swapping.
For example, let’s say you have a week at work where you are going to have heavy time demands and stress and the schedule says it is the third week of the period, which is our big week, you may be best holding off on the third week and swapping it with week 4 our easy week to recover, and then also maybe make a small adjustment in week one of the following period. You can also swap out days on account of life outside of your training plan, just remember as you do that it is ideal to follow a pattern of hard followed by easy for the pattern of days.
Which Workouts Take Precedence Over Others
When it comes time to plan your training week, sometimes it’s helpful to know which workouts take precedence over others. This is particularly useful if a skier has other obligations outside of skiing (work, personal life etc.) that may interfere with the amount of training one can devote during the week, and thus, adjustments must be made. In an effort to make adjustments to the plan that won’t dilute the integrity of the training program, we have a few pointers for planning a training week.
In general, anytime you see a Level 4 workout, consider that your most important workout for the week.
The next important will be Level 3, or, threshold intervals.
Next are long distance workouts.
Taking the least importance, are the shorter distance workouts.
This means if you need to drop workouts from the week, start by eliminating the shorter distance workouts before the others.
For strength exercises, importance changes a bit.
If you are in an easy week of training, general strength is of least importance, and can be considered in the same category as shorter distance workouts.
However, if the week is a harder week of training, then general strength becomes more important, considerably as important as long distance workouts.
Specific strength exercises are always to be considered most important, just like the Level 4 intervals.
Scheduling Workouts Within Each Week
Try to shuffle the days within each week to fit your lifestyle and schedule, but avoid “loading” up missed workouts from other weeks to “make up for it.”
Be sure not to have two consecutive general strength or specific strength days during the week. For example, it is okay to follow a general strength day with specific strength the next day, but avoid having two general strength days in a row.
It is okay to have two consecutive interval days within the week on occasion, since that replicates some race weekends in the winter where you race both Saturday and Sunday. However, a majority of the summer training should allow for at least one day of recovery between hard Level 4 or 5 interval sessions.
If you have a workout that utilizes the upper-body heavily (such as double-poling or specific strength) try to focus the next workout on the lower-body (running, cycling) to ensure proper balance and recovery.
If you have the opportunity to train with other people, feel free to change your workout schedule around so that you can have partners to train with. Sometimes there is more value from what you can learn from other athletes than following a plan perfectly.
Scheduling Workouts and Training Twice-a-Day
When time conflicts arise, or during high-volume training weeks it can be most convenient to have two workouts in one day. It is important to follow proper protocol with multiple workouts in a single day.
It is better to schedule only one interval session per-day. Try to make the first workout of the day the interval session, and plan the second session to be a strength or distance workout.
Be sure to allow at least 3 hours between the end of the first session and the start of the second session.
Always allow at least 48-hours between each strength session
Always allow at least 48-hours between each interval session
It is a good idea to schedule the “off” day after very hard efforts, race days or race weekends with travel for recovery.