Question: I am new to Purple Patch and really enjoying the technical elements and switch up of the postseason focus so far. I saw that you mentioned you would lead an overview of the Build Phase in the new year, but I would love to gain any insights ahead of time, mostly to give me courage to really enjoy my holidays. Can you give me the quick and dirty (knowing some athletes are not on the same path!)?
Answer: I'm more than happy to provide a little insight and I am glad that you are enjoying the process so far. Let’s map what is coming in the New Year, at least the headline news, so you can begin to get ready. Let’s first engage with the entire global process:
Q4: PostSeason. Technical - Tissue Readiness - Preparation
Q1: Build: Muscular Endurance - High Speed - Strength
Q2: Race Specific 1: Early-Season Racing - Hard Specific Intervals - Skill Acquisition
Q3: Race Specific 2: Race Rehearsal - Economy Improvement - Maintain Tissue Health
It is important to realize that a transition between phases is not like switching a light switch and transitioning from light to darkness. There is a process of transition to shift emphasis gradually, with each phase building on the other. We do not suddenly turn our back on technical elements and deliver training so rigorous your knees explode!
In fact, in 2020, the initial weeks of training look hauntingly similar to Postseason in many respects. The initial six weeks of 2020 will retain a focus of:
- Technical development
- Cautious strength-based running intervals
- Short and high power biking with lots of rest
- Initial Strength-Endurance riding
- Heavy emphasis to swim resilience and strength-based swimming
- A move toward fitness development and a more specific load.
Some other areas that will be important:
- Strength Evolution. We will have office hours to discuss this, but your strength program is in the process of being refreshed for the New Year. The BUILD Strength is broken into two parts:
- Build One: Continued focus on Squats and Deadlifts -- but progressed load.
- Build Two: A shift of exercises to more explosive and power-focused in nature.
We will also have supporting options of circuits sessions (Strength + Treadmill Intervals) that some 1:1 coaches will utilize with their athletes and Squaddies can utilize from their optional library.
- SE Bike: Be prepared for a heavy emphasis on evolving low cadence strength-based riding. You will experience the most challenging sessions of each week on the bike.
- Hill-Based Walk and Run: Strength-based intervals which force form and technical improvements, but also develop resilience, strength and running power.
- Heavy Swim Development: Many questioned how challenging the postseason swims were in early December, but those who navigated will be thankful once they are met with the late January and February swim challenges. You will become swim-fit like never before, which will dovetail into your biking and swimming well.
You won’t see massive increased time/duration on most sessions. We will incrementally improve capacity for work. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you will suddenly have to work hard every day, or find time for more training. Instead, we retain duration load and become more polarized. The tougher sessions will bubble up to the surface, with supporting sessions becoming easier. We will hold hands and march forward together.
I hope that helps.
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