I have been involved in national and international level sports both as an athlete and coach since 1980 with 28 of those years spent coaching athletes from gymnasts to pro tour cyclists and a variety in between. As a certified coach in a number of sports I choose to broaden my skills in order to better understand the athlete and with that aim completed strength & conditioning along with orthopaedic massage & injury management courses. The training and skills developed by adding these courses to my own skills have developed my understanding of the athlete. Athlete Prevention, Athlete execution (and no we done shoot anyone!) and Athlete Results are a staple diet in all that we do at The Athlete Clinic. In prescribing a training session to an athlete it is important that the session does not injure or prevent the athlete from training or actively recovering the next day. This focus on training prescription is Athlete Prevention. Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is and example of this or even simple overload in one session. With a training session prescribed we enter the Athlete Execution phase. The method for carrying out the session must be correct wether that is by monitoring the intensity by heart rate monitor or by pace or the method in which the session is executed. One also needs to execute “stretching” and “range of motion” routines correctly. I have yet to see an athlete doing a set of 3 different stretches correctly. Gymnastics is a hard sport which requires a massive amount of conditioning for only a few minutes or just seconds of competition. We don’t recommend the activity in the picture below. Athlete Results is where the evaluation by the coach or oneself takes place. Analyse the training files, examine your physicality asking questions such as, did I hit the correct training zones, should I be as tired or as fresh as this after my session, have the results of previous day affected todays session and result, should todays results enter tomorrows Athlete Prevention when prescribing for the following day session. The last few paragraphs are a little insight into how High Performance drives athletes and how we at The Athlete Clinic manage and coach our athletes. We communicate, prescribe and then expect the athlete to digest the prescription. The athlete needs read the prescription and provide feedback, maybe a wedding on a weekend might prevent training so with communication these days could be changed to act as recovery days with pre loading of heavy training prior to the wedding ensure that the athlete is getting full training loads in per cycle wether that being Macro, Meso or Micro. (Article on training cycle HERE) Here a few simple tips for your training
1. Endurance spins are long and tedious. Generally one only needs to train for approx 10% more than your longest event. Make sure you have the correct clothing as on long training spin the weather can change and if your on a single long loop you can find yourself far from home. Eat and drink well though out the spin. If the weather is promised bad stay closer to home by doing laps of a short course. Mix up these session by meeting ability liked groups or going away for a weekend and training on different roads or even a trip abroad. 2. Sprinting can be very hard on the body and joints. It is not recommended that if you are new to cycling that you do any hard sprinting for the first 12 months until your body develops the strength to handle these efforts. When sprinting it is very important to complete such session in a safe manor. Do not do these on a busy main road. Find a quiet spot, maybe an industrial estate or back road and ensure your bike is mechanically sound, your cleats are in good shape and your helmet fits good. Sprinting can be for 1 minute or 10 seconds depending on what one is trying to achieve. The staple diet of the pro riders is the 20 second on and 40 second off sprint. The number, intensity and recovery of these sprints depends on the ability of the rider. Factors such as cadence and incline can also be factored into these effort all eliciting different effects and results. Again one can see where Athlete Prevention, Athlete Execution & Athlete Results are so important. 3. Intervals can range from just over a minute to 20 minutes. The number, intensity and recovery of these intervals depends on the ability of the rider. Factors such as cadence and incline can also be factored into these effort all eliciting different effects and results. The professional rider uses monitoring equipment for these intervals with the power meter the favourite tool of choice. During the longer intervals of 5 minutes+ the heart rate will level out and stabilise, it usually take around 3 minutes for this to happen and these intervals can be done on Heart Rate alone. With the shorter intervals of under 5 minutes the power meter is king as it displays a power number generated from pushing the pedals and the power meter displays a instant reading which does no take time to adjust. This allows the rider to train at a particular zone and be 100% sure they are at that zone while doing the more intense intervals of up to 5 minutes. 4. Recovery is as important as ones training. “If your standing and you can sit, then sit. If your sitting and you can lie down the lie. If your lying and you can sleep then sleep” This is the simplest of all advice and one the pros live by. Massage, eating, sleeping even 10 or 15 mins naps have proven to benefit recovery. Don’t forget the active recovery, the easy spin to the coffee shop or the paper will all contribute to your recovery. With recovery its all the continuous little things in your life that you do that add up to give goo recovery. 8. Nutrition is what keeps you going and repairs the damage you’ve done training. If you need to loose weight then a 500 calorie a day deficit will encourage weight loss without damaging muscle size or volume. A good balanced diet with quality foods and calorie watching is whats needed for good nutritional balance. Don’t buy burgers in a box but get your meet minced in the butchers in front of you and make your own. If its in a box chances are that the product in the box has been optimised for the profits of the business selling the product and not for you consumption. Nutrition can be made very complete with this diet and that diet. Stay simple, keep your diet varied and balance, watch the calories in and the calories you use, make sure your covering what you need from your training load requirements and you wouldn’t go to far wrong. We offer a free consultation and advice service for your initial enquiry. If you are interested in our coaching services or athlete services we can be contacted HERE. For regular updates and free tips sign up to our page.