Jag surfade runt på nätet här en dag och på något sätt kom jag in på Joe Friels blogg. Den mannen har hållit på med att träna och coacha atleter ända sen i början av 80-talet. Han har skrivit ett tiotal böcker om just triathlon och dessa har varit väldigt uppskattade av folk runtom i världen.
På hans blogg hade han, enligt någon undersökning, nyligen listat de 10 största misstagen som en atlet kunde göra. Jag bestämde mig för att inte försöka mig på någon översättning av dessa 10 punkter utan jag nöjer mig med att endast citera de. Så all text nedan är alltså ett utklipp från Joe Friells blogg.
#10 mistake:Too much emphasis on miles/kilometers.
Correction: The key to race success is appropriate intensity.
Comments: Study after study shows that the key to high performance for experienced athletes is intensity – not volume. It’s not how many miles you did; it’s what you did with the miles. Measuring only how many miles or hours you train does little to gauge progress toward race success. Anyone can go slow for a long time. This is not to say that that volume is unimportant. One hour of intense training and nothing else for an entire week won’t get it done. You need to find a balance. That’s the beauty of bike power meters and run pacing devices (gps, accelerometers): They allow you to express what you’ve done in training in weekly TSS or kilojoules which are combinations of volume and intensity.
#9 mistake: Too much emphasis on heart rate.
Correction: Your engine is muscle.
Comments: Your heart reacts to what your muscles are doing. Watching heart rate is an indirect measure of what your body is accomplishing. It’s a bit like using the gas gauge on your car to determine how fast you are driving. If the muscles need more oxygen then the heart responds by beating faster to provide it. The heart is subservient to muscle. The heart never turns the pedals, drives the legs up a hill or pulls your body through rough open water. Only the muscles do that. The experienced athlete will make greater advances by focusing workouts on the muscles rather than the heart.
#8 mistake: Set goals much too high to motivate greatness.
Correction: An overly high goal does the opposite. Goals must be just out of reach.
Comments: Setting unbelievably goals works only in Hollywood. Winning a World Championship when you can barely finish a race isn’t a goal – it’s a dream. It becomes a goal when you devise a plan to accomplish it. If you can lay out a detailed and realistic plan that leads to such a goal then it becomes believable and achievable. But if all you do is set unbelievable goals then you are dreaming. And everyone knows it including you.
#7 mistake: Haphazard training.
Correction: Have a purpose for every workout.
Comments: In my Training Bible books I explain 6 abilities that workouts can be focused on: aerobic endurance, muscular force, speed skills, muscular endurance, anaerobic endurance and explosive power. Two others to add are testing and recovery. If one or more of these 8 aren’t the purpose of the workout then you aren’t training—you’re playing. It’s ok to occasionally do a non-purposeful workout. But if you have high goals such play must be rare. The lower your goals, the more you can do whatever you feel like doing at the time.
#6 mistake: Inconsistent training.
Correction: High goals? Don’t miss workouts. Ever.
Comments: Consistency is the single most important aspect of training. It’s more important than long or intense workouts. You’ll improve faster by working out frequently and regularly rather than by doing hard workouts with lots of days off in between. This comes down to moderation and infrequent attempts to find your limits. Pushing yourself to the edge frequently leads to soreness, illness, injury, burnout, and overtraining. These will cause you to miss workouts and lose fitness. You gain fitness at a much slower rate than you lose it. But, let’s face it, you will miss a workout on occasion due to things you have little or no control over—weather, work, family activities and other responsibilities. When these happen you need to do some workout rescheduling. Try not to miss any of the key workouts on your schedule.
#5 mistake: Too little rest, not enough race intensity before race.
Correction: Rehearse the race every 72 hours for 1-3 weeks prior.
Comments: The purpose of pre-race tapering is to shed fatigue—not to improve fitness. Being rested provides a greater payoff than becoming more fit in the final days. But race prep goes beyond becoming fresher. It also involves preparing for the unique demands of the race. In the last 7 to 21 days before race day gradually reduce workout duration. That’s the taper part. And every 72 hours or so do a challenging workout that simulates a key portion of the race. The workouts in between these are for recovery.
#4 mistake: Workouts too intense.
Correction: Increasingly train at goal intensity in last 12 weeks before the race.
Comments: I once spoke to at a triathlon club meeting. Afterwards one of the members told me he and a few others were training for an Ironman. He went on to explain that they were doing anaerobic endurance training on the bike. It was very hard, he said. Would that help? My answer was “no.” It is counterproductive. At no time in an Ironman do you go anaerobic. If you do, the party’s over. Just because a workout is hard doesn’t mean it’s appropriate. Train at intensities that are similar to what’s expected in the race.
#3 mistake: Not enough Base—start Build period too early.
Correction: Develop endurance, force and skills before race intensity.
Comments: Athletes typically can’t wait to get to the truly hard training with “intervals ‘til you puke,” hard group rides and all of the other high intensity workouts we love. But these are best saved until the Build period (if done at all) starting about 11-12 weeks before the first A-priority race. Until then it’s best to develop the three Ss: skills, strength and stamina. And they are best worked on in that order. If you have poor sport movement skills there is no reason to be doing hills or long workouts. They will only make your skills worse. Once skills are coming along well it’s time to build strength (traditional weights, functional exercises, force reps, and/or other). And finally fully develop your aerobic endurance after the first two Ss are well-established. All of this will probably take in the neighborhood of eight to 16 weeks depending on your physical starting points for each of the above. Only then should the race-specific training begin.
#2 mistake: Too many hard days. Not enough easy days.
Correction: To go hard you must rest before.
Comments: I’ve found that athletes don’t like to rest. I can give them the hardest possible workout and they will excitedly salivate in anticipation. But schedule an easy day or, heaven forbid, a day off and I’ll have to justify it. All too many make their easy days moderately hard which means they come into the next scheduled hard workout just the slightest bit tired and so it also becomes moderately hard. All training migrates to the middle of the sliding intensity scale. This is the road to poor performance. The closer you get to the race the easier the easy days must be so that the hard days can be truly hard.
#1 mistake: Poor ability to pace properly.
Correction: Learn to negative split workouts, intervals and races.
Comments: This is the most difficult skill there is to teach endurance athletes regardless of the sport because it’s based primarily on emotion. We’re excited at the start of the race and so go out much too fast for far too long. Even most athletes who have intentionally planned their race pacing tend to start at much too high an intensity. (This applies only to steady-state endurance events such as time trials, triathlons, running races, centuries, etc.) There seems to be a belief that they can “bank” time by going faster and more intensely than the average goal pace, speed or power early on. This actually has just the opposite effect. Lactate production increases (if the intensity is near or above the anaerobic threshold) which gives off hydrogen ions putting the working muscles into an acidic environment. Muscles don’t operate well like that and so you are eventually forced to slow down to shed the acidity. This loss of time due to the slow down has been shown to be greater than the time gained early on. Even if you start at faster than goal pace, speed or power yet well below the anaerobic threshold there is still a price to be paid with a rapid decrease in glycogen stores and perhaps other causes of early fatigue due to poor muscle recruitment. The fastest times of those I’ve coached have almost all been accomplished by negatively splitting the intensity of the event with the second half only slightly more intense than the first half. (This also true of most running world records.) This is a hard skill to learn. The starting place is learning to negative split workouts, especially the race-like sessions. I’ve written quite a bit on this topic here. To find more go to my blog home page and on the right side of the page enter a search for “pacing.”
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