Understanding a Purple Patch Workout April 23, 2019 21:27 Updated Not a Member yet? $25/month Get Purple Patch Education Membership, A complete performance education program for coaches and athletes. SUBSCRIBE You need to sign in to view this page. Your Training Week: Key and Supporting Workouts There are a couple of important implications as you approach any week of training. Too many coaches and athletes fail to identify the focused sessions of training that create the personality for a block of work. All training is valuable, but this doesn’t mean that all sessions are created equal! Each week of your training is divided into sessions designated as Key or Supporting. This simple approach empowers you to understand the focus of the week and make smart decisions around training and managing your schedule. Further to this, we also identify the central training sessions of the week, the ones that really move the performance needle for you. This will appear in your Today’s Plan with a blue border around them as seen below: At the start of each week, plan your week ahead and ensure you provide yourself with the best chance of hitting your focused sessions of the week across swim, bike, and run. If life or fatigue gets in the way of progression, you will then be equipped to scale or remove the more supporting sessions as needed all while remaining guilt free. Of course, we also know that life doesn’t always compress, and if you find yourself requiring additional training load simply head to your own library to add one of the OPTIONAL workouts. Structured vs. Unstructured Workouts and Embedded Education There are generally two types of workout design you will see in your programming, structured, and unstructured. Unstructured: These are sessions which are built with simple text instructions on how to execute the complete workout. These workouts do not auto-sync to your devices but are mapped to provide a detailed description of the intent of the session, how to execute, and the outline of all intervals. Many sessions are best served to be displayed in this fashion for a variety of reasons, including all swimming sessions. You can always choose to print the session and take it with you to the pool. The unstructured sessions will still include full video tutorials of the session. Structured: The structured sessions include all of the descriptions and tutorials of the unstructured sessions but are also programmed specifically to synchronize with your Garmin, Wahoo, Zwift, and multiple other applications. Once you have connected your Today’s Plan to your devices and apps, these sessions will synchronize and enable you to follow along. All bike trainer sessions and many runs are designed like this and typically include step-by-step coaching cues to help you successfully navigate the session. Workout Outlines: No matter if structured or unstructured, nearly all sessions are built in a repeating and familiar framework. An in-depth description of the workout framework is provided by Matt in this video with a summary below: Warm up: Approximately 10 minutes very easy to get the blood moving. Pre-Main Set: We introduce some load and prepare the body for the work in the main set. Main Set: The meat and potatoes. As the name suggests, this is the main work and focus of the session where you will get the training stimulus to get faster. Additional Set: Sometimes you will get a little extra work just to finish things off. This might be some short repeats, hills, or a longer pull set. Another thing you will see in each of your workouts is Embedded Education. There will be links to relevant articles and videos that will help explain the intent and focus of the workout. Scaling To better understand how to scale a workout to suit your level or available time, please see this article. Workout Zones To better understand the workout zones please see this article. Related articles What are the Purple Patch training zones? How do I scale a workout? Understanding Your Workout: Swim Glossary Recommended Gear List How do I get support?