The fall is a wonderful time of year… The temperatures are cooler and you can introduce focus blocks into your training to improve on personal limiters. During the race season, the focus is on race specific preparation, but the fall allows you to step back, be disciplined and address gaps when you don’t have so many competing priorities.
Good examples are:
- Improve your run speed potential – Complete a focused run program with speed work aimed at a short higher intensity race such as a 5k or 10K. You have to run faster to run fast.
- Lack force development on the bike – Complete a focused progression of strength development including anatomical adaptation, maximum strength, and power development phases, before returning back to a strength maintenance routine.
- Want to improve your FTP – Complete a focused program of higher intensity intervals on the bike that drive up your lactate threshold and V02Max, before returning back to longer endurance work.
- Lack flexibility and constantly plagued by niggles & injuries that slow down your season progress – Get off the couch, focus on strength development & stretching to improve your durability and range of motion.
- Not comfortable on your bike at high speed or in a group – Complete a bike skills workshop & then integrate the skills practice into your weekly routine.
The key to year over year improvement is to use the early part of the season to close a gap in your athletic capabilities. Focus on 1 gap not 5. We all have 5 things we want to fix. Try fixing 1. You will be amazed what a difference it will make and how you will release new performances in the next year.
The successful and improving athletes are the ones who are disciplined and look to improve one aspect of their overall performance each year. Do this now when the stakes are lower, and then you can integrate this progress into your regular training progression in the new year. Trying to do this when the weather is warmer and races are upcoming is too late.
Not sure what to do. Speak to a coach. A detailed discussion about your strengths and opportunities is a place to start followed by commitment to a few smaller goals during the tail end of the year.
See you out there….