Ironic as it is that I write this before either of the two marquee events of the year have passed, it is important for us to look into the not too distant future and think about what the end of the season looks like for us. This is especially important as we are planning some changes in methods and approach to that phase following the end of your season.
Let’s fast forward. Your last race of the season has finished, what now?
- You don’t know what to do next.
- You need a mental and physical break.
- You don’t want to become a sloth.
Undoubtedly, this is the most confusing part of the year for many athletes, and the common reaction is to throw the hands in the air and simply declare, “I need a break from structured training,” followed by turning the back on the sport for a few months. The space creates mental rejuvenation, but physical and performance havoc, not exactly what we are searching for in setting up next season.
Let’s remove the guessing game. Here is what you need to do!
Whether you are coached individually or a Squaddie, you have a compass for a smart strategy that can help you navigate through this awkward phase and provide your break, but also lay the groundwork for big performance leaps next season. Here is we want you to in the months following your last race of the season:
- Freshen and heal
- Space in life that training can take a backseat and dominate less of your time
- Opportunity to include fun exercise that feels less like “training”
- Develop technique and skill improvements
- Raise absolute speed and power (Seriously? Yes!)
- Lay a platform of strength and tissue health to reduce future injury risk and provide a chance to maximize gains for future training
Six aspects to achieve. Six critical aspects for your long-term development, and before you wonder if this is truly possible, let me remind you of one of my simple coaching phrases:
A random approach promises to deliver random results!
Do you really think you can maximize performance evolution by allowing a quarter of your annual training time being random? I have never seen it work in the long-term.
Here is how we plan to guide you:
- Reduce overall weekly training load
- Broader options of “fun training” and community-driven aspects
- The small amount of “critical” structured training is low duration but high speed or high power. We raise the roof! Fun sparky training that you cannot do in other parts of the year. Wildly different and fun.
- Evolved strength program. It won’t feel like training, an evolved progressive strength program for you.
- Emphasis on education and habit creation. We have a whole curriculum and plan for helping you develop habits, improve technique in all areas, including swimming, cycling and running.
Very quickly, 12-14 hours of training will evolve to an effective six or eight hours, a consistent eight hours can shift to four or five. We can reduce, provide breathing room, but still move forward. We can progress and lay the platform for 2020.
With the new platforms and educational deliverables, including Meetings with Matt, Office Hours, embedded videos and more; we can create real capacity to truly remain engaged across all Squaddies and coached athletes. Do I think this is important? Yes. Here are my final honest words on the subject:
How you approach the months following your last race are the most critical months in the entire cycle of the performance journey.
So before you turn your back on the sport from October to January, remember my words: Don’t F*%k it Up!