With any final races, whether they be rescheduled or hastily thrown together, potentially disappearing into the distance it would be easy to just draw a line under 2020 and hang up your goggles, banish the turbo to the cupboard and shelve your trainers until the new year. After all, why bother training? You don’t have anything coming up for months, it’s cold, dark and you’ll only be hitting the booze and food over Christmas anyway.
You know what? I agree!
Well, with the last parts of that statement at least 😉
you already know the physical and mental health benefits that training provides, that’s a good reason to continue, but that’s not why you’re here. You’re in this for something else, performing at your best in races
Yes, Winter is on the way and with the highly disrupted year for training and racing so far it would be easy to just give up. If you’re reading this then you already know the physical and mental health benefits that training provides, that’s a good reason to continue, but that’s not why you’re here. You’re in this for something else, performing at your best in races, and there aren’t any coming up.
So here’s what you need to do about it
Set yourself some Covid-proof short-term achievable goals, not only will this focus your mind but also keep you using your body. The key to any long-term training structure (you are doing one, whether it’s written down or not, you’re a regular training athlete who races frequently) is consistency. Consistency is your strongest ally if you want to improve fitness, strength and technique, all super important in endurance sport. If you just sit around and do nothing you’ll just lose your fitness and have to start off again (which you will) from a worse position and have more work to do and potentially risk injury too.
How to choose your goals
Don’t pick something too big. Increasing your FTP (Functional Threshold Power on the bike) from 220W to 260W may be achievable in Summer, with good motivation, over a 3 month period with an upcoming race on the horizon. It’s not the best one for a Covid-hampered Winter, here are a few ideas.
- 1mile Run PB – You can carry out a 1 mile time trial and then structure some short running sessions like 4x 2min MAX with 3min rest or some short overload sprints like 20x 30secs MAX with 45secs rest. It’s short enough to get your head around and there isn’t really any need to start working on your 10k speed right now.
- Vo2 Power Increase – You won’t be hitting huge bike mileage at this time of year and you don’t really need to be working on your threshold, so target that lower more powerful zone of between 3 and 8min. Carry out a power test of 3, 5, and 8min and then structure your sessions using these numbers, eg, take the wattage or heart rate registered in the 5min test effort and try and hold that number for 4x 4min off 5min rest. Again, the efforts are short enough to make you want to set the turbo up.
- Push & Pull Up Gains – The pools are shut but you can still make strides in your swimming muscle groups. How many pull ups/press ups many can you do in 1min? Then target the muscles with regular home weights sessions and repeating the effort itself. For more in-depth swim-specific strength work please get in touch with one of our t club coaches. There is so much you can do at home!
Consistency is your strongest ally if you want to improve fitness, strength and technique, all super important in endurance sport.
Whatever you do is maintaining your consistency and that’s such a big deal! You’ll also be surprised that when the daylight starts to return and the race calendar starts to fill up again, because you’ve laid a powerful foundation, you can carry that power through and still be performing well over longer distances.
So no excuses, that would be too easy.
The t club coaches.