Over the past few weeks I have looked at a number of factors that should be kept in mind when moving into and through the Pre-season phase of training

We had a look why you should keep your training intensity under control and the need to stick to the training program. We discussed the importance of continuing to work on improving your keep limiters and getting the most from your program by ensuring you are training at different intensities.

Last weeks post looked at why you should practice your fueling strategy before race day, and the the importance of continuing to develop your Aerobic base.

This weeks focus will be on "The small things". These small things often make the difference between success and failure and when it comes to getting the most out of your training, and race day preparation, attention to detail is paramount.

7. Plan to stretch and do some strength training

As your training volume increases, you may struggle to find the time to stretch after training and include a strength training session or two into your routine.

With a mere 10 minute time commitment at the end of each of your training sessions, you will be amazed at how much faster you recover after workouts, and between training sessions, and also, how much more mobile and flexible you feel during training.

These 2 benefits (and there are many more), translate directly to improved performance in both training and racing. Here is a free stretch video and a free foam roller session (self Myo-Fascial release) to help you improve your flexibility and range of motion.

Strength training is something that is paramount in injury prevention and assisting the body to tolerate the enormous amounts of physical stress we place on it and its structures.

I strongly encourage you to do one, if not two, strength training sessions per week. They need not be long, 45 minutes will do nicely, and should include some core stability work and some functional exercise movements.

You could incorporate a Yoga session into your resistance training slot. Yoga combines flexibility and stability work, aimed at improving your range of motion, and strengthening the bodies connective tissue - a perfect mix for us endurance athletes.

You can try any one of these video resources for free by using coupon code D98D6C2A at check out and it is good for a 24-hour rental.

8. Reward your body with an extra hour of sleep

This is the time when your body rebuilds itself and adapts to the training stimuli you have been applying to it, becoming more resilient and more capable of coping with the future demands you will place upon it.

As you begin to increase your training volume and your training intensity, giving your body a little extra, well-deserved rest, will assist you to avoid getting burnt out, being continually fatigued, and potentially becoming over-trained.

Anyway, who wouldn't want a little more sleep time every night?

James Greenwood is a competitive tri and multisport athlete currently training for Ironman Canada 2009. A level 1 Triathlon Coach, he holds a post graduate degree in Exercise Science, and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the NSCA. James is also currently the resident health and fitness programs expert at MyPypeline.com, and has starred in a number of multisport specific fitness videos.
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