Over the last 4 weeks I have spent some time looking at 8 easy to apply training tips that will ensure you get the most out of your Pre-season training.

These included: a wide variety of subjects ranging from nutrition to improving your weakest link, to the importance of varying your training intensity.

It does not matter what level of participant you are, the basics are the same for us all. And this leads me into today's posting, and the final 2 guidelines to help you to prepare for the Pre-season.

9. Listen to what your body is saying to you

Mental and physical toughness during race season is incredibly important for us to realize our goals.

During pre-season we need to make to find balance between our often grueling training schedule, our hectic lives and what our bodies are saying to us.

Yes, we all use a number of devices that make training "more scientific", we supplement our diets for optimal performance and we try to get enough rest to facilitate recovery. Unfortunately this is not always enough.

One of the best barometers of our physical and mental state condition has time and again been shown to be our very own bodies. Your body will send you subtle (and not so subtle) messages if you are over-doing it. For example, if you are coming off a big week of training, or are having a lot of stress placed on you at work, you might have muscles that are a little tender to the touch, or you cannot drag yourself out of bed, even after a good 9 hours of sleep.

The solution: slow things down, cut back on the training. Give yourself a chance to recover and bounce back. It’s hard to do I know, and occasionally it may even feel counter intuitive, but the pros far outweigh the cons.

It has been shown time and again that athletes who respond to their body’s messages with a short restorative period gain a competitive advantage in the long term, by being able to pick up training in a refreshed physical and mental state, resulting in positive gains in performance.

It might be as simple as doing a recovery ride and a stretch, a Yoga session is a great tool to enhance recovery, instead of a hard interval session, or it might require a few days of focused recovery training, re-hydration and re-nourishment of the body, with a little more sleep if possible.

10. Pre-season training volume guidelines

As you are all very aware, your training program needs to reflect a change in the Volume / Intensity relationship as you move toward race season or your seasons A race.

These are guidelines for Total Training Volume (TTV) for each area of your training:

Endurance Training: 40% - 50% TTV

Muscle Endurance Training: 25% - 30% TTV

Anaerobic Endurance Training: 20% TTV

Power Training: 5% - 10% TTV

Take note that the overall volume of the lower intensity, Endurance focused training, is declining, while work at and above Threshold is increasing (inverse relationship between Volume and Intensity).

To get the most from these this guideline simply calculate your weekly Total Training Volume (Time), and from this, you can quickly determine exactly how much time you need to be committing to each of the components of your fitness.

RSS my feed so you don’t miss a single nugget of information, as I will be looking at the assignment of training volumes and intesnities in a little more detail in future posts.

You can also join mypypeline.com (it’s free) and find me as a friend.

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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