Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Modifying Training

Let's start this one with a hypothetical:

You're supposed to do a specific workout, or event, on a particular day. You hear warnings of bad weather, but ignore them. There is work to be done. Dawn breaks on the day in question, and your alarm beeps you out of deep slumber. You peer outside your window, looking at the rest of the world, and think only to yourself: Crap.

It's insane outside.

That describe your winter? Welcome to New England, my friends.

The key to surviving a winter up here is flexibility, in both your mindset and in your training. Although for many early season races, including my own, specific workouts need to be done during the course of the week, you need to maintain the flexibility to fit your workouts into the cards that Mother Nature, and life itself, have dealt you.

My own personal success has come from utilizing a couple of different strategies:

  1. Modifying the training schedule itself: Although having a training schedule mapped out can be incredibly helpful in getting you on the path to success, it is also important to be able to change things on the fly. As being a law student, there are specific days that simply do not work for me to try to fit two workouts in, as my training schedule calls for. Instead, I simply move those workouts around in order to fit them appropriately in. However, I try to continue to space out my long days in each sport from one another, and try to follow each long day with a recovery day in a different sport. It winds up looking a bit messy, but so far, so good.
  2. Replacing workouts: sometimes, the skiing is too good to pass up. Or, family obligations change your schedule. Or...well, last night was just a little too much fun. The key here, as always, is to figure out what you can afford to pass up on. For me, swimming is my weak link, whereas running is my strongest. So if I squeeze a ski day in, it will more than likely replace a run workout for the week. If I go twice, the second time will replace a bike ride. I need to keep the mileage up, but be mindful of the intensity and muscle groups involved. Skiing can be a hybrid of running or cycling strength; figure out which, and you can figure out how to effectively replace some workouts.
  3. Bypassing workouts entirely: Listen to your body. If you're exhausted, it's time to dial it back a notch. Your body will be more appreciative of the extra rest, and come back and attack well. Put the past behind you. Get focused on what next task must be accomplished, and you'll have clearer focus for your next workout.

Sorry for the delay between posts; the skiing has just been far too good, and I've been running around a bit with the start of the Rev3 Quassy program. But I promise to stay further updated. Expect a product review for more nutrition products, and a ski day report, for next week.

As always, stay safe and have fun out there!

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