Once you have crossed that final finish line of the year, you may find that familiar tug to simply drop training and take a well-earned break. However, we know that what comes after your last race is highly critical to your next year’s success as an athlete. Many athletes do not utilize the postseason and let it become random. But, random training leads to random results.
There is no more important season than the postseason - period.
So what do you do if you find yourself in limbo between your last race and the official start to the Squad postseason? You follow these simple steps:
- Take a week off all structure. Do not think about sport and enjoy some time off to cleanse the body and mind.
- Apply the Bridge Program. Matt has put together a specific ‘Bridge Program’ which enables you to continue on a ‘break’ while providing enough structure to retain specificity to set the system up for the critical postseason work.
- You can find the bridge program in your “Plans” section on Today’s Plan -- simply drag and drop the Bridge Program to the week following your week off. [Reminder: if the Baseline Plan is on your calendar, be sure to FIRST delete those sessions to avoid overlap.] The Bridge Program is built as two two week cycles (4 weeks total). You can follow for all four weeks of the Bridge Program or move onto the Baseline Plan after two weeks, deleting off the Bridge Program sessions you are skipping. Once skipped sessions are deleted, it will allow the Baseline Plan to automatically load.
- The Bridge Program will only have one session daily which allows for plenty of time for complete rest and very loose structure. The Bridge Program keeps you sane while allowing for life.
The 2-4 weeks spent on the Bridge Program is the perfect time to:
- Spend more time with family and friends
- Conduct a post-mortem on the year and identify areas to improve
- Habits/changes you want to make for the new year
- Planning your races, events, and calendar
- Immerse yourself in education
This is a wonderful time to get deeper help and consider a coaching consultation with a Purple Patch coach to help you plan, reflect, and set-up next season.
Looking ahead past the Bridge Program, why should you stay with structured training?
As with all things Purple Patch, expect change and evolution to occur once racing is complete for the year. The postseason is not the time to let go of structure entirely and wait to train in a short period of time before a new goal race. It is time to:
- Execute technique work across each discipline
- Allow the lower training load to open up the opportunity for fun activities and different sports
- Target the very short and high-intensity work -- with lots of rest -- that we cannot have high volumes of during race season
- Place an emphasis on strength
- Prepare for the harder work to come in the new year
We want you emotionally and physically fresh in January. At the same time, we don’t want you to be a sloth! There is nothing worse than to simply cut all training off. The recipe is to give breathing room and space to ensure training isn’t a burden during the postseason, but to retain specificity to set you up for success. Learn more into education, planning, and fun -- but with the backbone of training.
Commit to the Bridge Program and the postseason. Your future self will thank you that you put in the work, mixed with a lot of fun and variation.