Preparing for the Pre-season - tying things up

Posted by James Greenwood | 10:00 AM | View Comments

One of the primary goals of Pre-season trainings is to transition from the non-competitive to the Competitive season, injury free and the best physical and mental condition possible. This will ensure that you will reach your long term goals and will make it through the race season in one piece.

The 10 training guidelines discussed in the last 5 weeks will help you to keep your training moving in the desired direction, but will also help your body and mind tolerate the increased stress you will place on the systems as you reach your peak training weeks.

The movement from Pre-Season (which can last for 8 -12 weeks) into the early Competition season (Peaking period) will again see a few changes in your approach to your training, specifically relate to your training volume and intensity).

Developing race specific conditioning will require your total training volume to be reduced, while keeping the intensity of training high in order to mimic race conditions.

You will be faced with some of your "B" and "C" priority races, and as the Pre-Season starts to wind down, the focus will shift to tapering ahead of these events, allowing you to bring together the training you have done up till now.

These "races" are incorporated in your training plan to ensure your body can move from the training environment to the racing environment, with time to develop race specific fitness and competencies ahead of your "A" race.

Obviously the type of events you are planning to take part in will dictate your training volumes and intensities (Ironman vs Sprint Triathlon vs a century ride vs a 5km run).

Racing also allows you to test your fitness and abilities in the "racing world" as opposed to the "training world". There is a big difference. "C" and "B" events allow you to practice your fueling, hydration and pacing strategies. It also allows you to get a real feeling of where your levels of fitness and conditioning are at.

Keep in mind at all times that the PRIMARY GOAL is your "A" Race, and all your actions should be committed to realizing this goal.

With all of this activity and preparation going on, it can easily happen that the guidelines that we looked at in the Preparing for the Pre-season posts are forgotten.

Things like:
  • The importance recovery plays in performance improvements take that extra hour of sleep every night if possible),
  • Sticking to the training plan (don't try squeeze in a few more sessions at the last minute)
  • Listening to what your body is telling you (getting a little extra sleep instead of a Interval session might be more beneficial to your performance)
These guidelines should be kept in mind at all times and be applied on a daily basis to ensure the return on your investment (time, training, money), is maximized on race day, in your results.

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, and has starred in a number of multisport specific fitness videos.
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