Friday, December 24, 2010

Top Ten Tips for Time Crunched Athletes



Let’s face it - the number one problem that we all have with sticking to a program is TIME – there never seems to be enough of it. What it really boils down to is time management.


If you are committed to your goal, and if it is challenging enough, your priorities will shift and you will find the time to get in the mileage. Challenge is the key here because without it commitment will be tough.

The best piece of advice that I can give endurance athletes is that it is always better to arrive at the start line well rested and under trained, versus over trained and over reached.

So if you are going to start training for your next event late into the game - ie after Christmas, this would be my advice for you;

  1. Get a heart rate monitor so that you know what energy systems you are training.
  2. Your first priority in endurance sport is building your aerobic engine (zone 2 and 3) – do not miss the long slow distance workouts (Z2) – it builds your ability to burn fat as a fuel.
  3. Get the quality workouts in when time is short – the midweek interval sessions (Z4/5a). Use your heart rate monitor to make sure that you are working around your anaerobic threshold on harder efforts. You need race pace practice, but don’t over do it – cut warm up and cool down time around the efforts.
  4. Start slow -make sure to increase your long days gradually – mileage or time.
  5. Back to back long days are great for boosting endurance on race day.
  6. If you build your total weekly hours to twice your predicted race time you will have plenty of mileage in your legs for the event.
  7. Do not skip the resistance training (gym) sessions – they improve your ability to produce force/power, and they improve resistance to injury.
  8. Practice fueling and hydrating in all training sessions with what you plan to race with – how many calories, grams of sodium, liquids or solids, how will you carry it all?
  9. Do not under fuel - track your daily calorie intake to make sure you are getting enough to support your training – Daily Plate on www.livestrong.com is a good resource for this. Also make sure that you are getting 2-300 calories per hour while training also – individual needs may vary so dial it in with practice
  10. Use the 30-60 minute window after all training sessions to replenish your glycogen stores – a 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein works best – chocolate milk!

If you want more training tips feel free to contact me – mark@innovativefitness.com.

Train smart – get a program and stick to it to maximize the efficiency of your training time!

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