Train with a Purpose
The premise of this guide is simple: to excel in your athletic goals you need to train with a purpose. Training with a purpose implies a goal driven process. As an athlete training for an event, you have in mind some future destination that you wish to arrive at—a target event, a performance objective or other type of challenge. To navigate toward that destination, you need a roadmap. The roadmap is your training plan, which plots out the sections of the road you will travel with milestones along the way.
This means if you are training for a future challenge, it is important to consider how each workout contributes to the goal driven process of preparing for your event. If you don’t know why you’re doing a particular workout or what training effect you’re targeting, you may or may not hit the target. As a result, you may or may not be very effective at navigating toward your destination.
Fortunately, you are not the first one to train for an endurance event. With the collective knowledge surrounding human performance that has accrued over the years, there is no dearth of information to guide you toward your destination. But the key to harnessing this information is to put it together into a coherent training program—that is, to take a systematic approach to training.
By acting according to a fixed plan or system, a systematic approach provides a rhyme and reason to all the miles of sweat and toil you will undertake. A systematic approach applies a consistent method that allows you to prepare for your event with greater precision. It takes you from point A to point B as effectively as possible to optimize your performance gains and increase the likelihood of success.
A systematic approach need not be a complicated approach (although it can be). It simply needs to involve a plan that starts with the end goal in mind, and schedules individual training sessions that contribute to that overarching plan. This guidebook provides you with a method to do just that. It condenses much of what I have learned over the past several decades in my training, racing, coaching, and both formal and informal studies. I attempt to present this information in an accessible manner for athletes looking to train effectively for that next endurance-based challenge.
What I don’t do in this guide is divulge any “newly discovered” or “hidden” training secrets. Although the information may (or may not) be new to you, it doesn’t say anything that hasn’t already been widely recognized by coaches, exercise physiologists and fitness professionals. There really are no hidden secrets when it comes to the basic principles of effective training. At the end of the day, you must apply those principles and put in the work.
The principles and methods discussed in this guide pertain to any endurance athlete looking to prepare for an event or improve performance. Although the specific plan you create for yourself will depend upon your own unique situation, the underlying training principles remain the same for novice or veteran, across a variety of endurance sports and disciplines.
TRAINING GUIDE CONTENTS
– Train with a Purpose
– The ABCs of Systematic Training
– The R&R of Training
– Begin with the End in Mind
2. Exercise Science Concepts
– Overreaching and Overtraining
– Energy Systems
– Aerobic Capacity
– Lactate Threshold
– Aerobic Threshold
– Muscle Fiber Types
3. Monitor Your Training Intensity
– What is Training Intensity?
– Key Indicators of Intensity
– Using Training Zones
– Training by Feel, or Perceived Exertion
– Training with Pace
– Training with Heart Rate
– Running with Power
4. Create Your Training Plan
– Prioritizing Your Events
– Overview of the Training Phases
– Choosing Your Periodization Schedule
– Filling in the Details of the Overall Plan
5. Create Your Weekly Workouts
– Creating Weekly Schedules
– Establishing and Developing Your Base
– Building Upon Your Base
– Peaking for Your Target Event
– Race Week and Race Day Warmup
6. Functional Strength
7. Recovery and Nutrition
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