1/15/16

You must have motivation to build your foundation



I love the first few months of working out as it relates to my periodized training plan. The intensity is fairy low which makes it easy to function well in life, socialize and partake in other non-sport activities, no workout seems to short or long, frequency training provides many opportunity to work on skills without sacrificing poor form and there is a heavy emphasis on strength. 
As I tell our athletes over and over, when a new season starts after the off-season, it's time to start building your foundation. And it turns out that the analogy "training is like building a house" could not be more true for athletes who seek consistency, great health and great performances within a season. 
If you were to start construction on a house, what would be the first thing that you would do? 

Would you hire an interior decorator to help you pick out window treatments and wall paint?

Even if designing the interior of a house is fun, if you spend most of your time and money on something that is not needed for 3, 6 or 8 months down the road, it would all be a waste of time as there are more important things to focus on.
It's easy to understand why athletes do not appreciate the foundation phase of training and often rush through phases or neglect the little things that make a huge difference later in the season. Building a proper foundation takes work and time. 
With a key race so far in the future and many workouts not providing the rush of endorphins that one would feel 6-8 weeks out from race day, many athletes actually skip this phase of training all together and advance into more intense training or haphazard high volume workouts or just exercise for a few months and then start an 8, 12 or 20 week race-specific training plan. 
 The foundation phase can be challenging for some athletes as they don't like addressing weaknesses or limiters and would rather train in a way that gives instant gratification, often repeatedly doing workouts that come easy and natural (and neglecting workouts that are difficult, uncomfortable or not fun).

And for any athlete who seeks quick results, it's likely that the foundation phase isn't even considered. 
How would you feel if the builders and contractors responsible for laying the foundation of your new home wanted quick results too?


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The problem that many athletes face is that they don't realize that what they are doing is a problem....until it actually becomes a problem.

As a coach, I see it all too often that the athletes who skip steps in their athletic development eventually pay the price with burnout, overtraining, injuries, sickness and/or peaking too soon (or not being properly prepared) in the 4-12 weeks leading up to a key race.
 It's actually quite easy to train the body to get fast and fit very quickly but with (most) triathletes racing from spring to fall (at least twice over 4-6 months), there is a specific type of training that is needed in the beginning of a training season to ensure proper development and physiological preparation for peaking adequately for key races. 
A great way to appreciate this phase of training is to recognize that you are actually building the foundation from which you will work from as the training progresses. 
A strong, well hydrated, nourished and healthy body has a great opportunity to tolerate upcoming training stress as the season progresses.

Sadly, a weak, injured, nutrient-deficient, calorie-restricted, dehydrated or exhausted body can not tolerate intentional intense or high volume training stress very well, even if the training that is given is designed to properly prepare the body for race day. 
Athletes, recognize that your ability to improve fitness throughout the year is constantly dependent on your ability to tolerate, absorb and consistently train with variable training stressors.
If a foundation is not properly built with consistent, smart training in early season, there is a great risk for inconsistency in training as injuries and sickness are likely to occur and ultimately, you may find yourself taking risks and guessing your way through how to train for your upcoming races solely on how you feel each day.
 Because most athletes can not rush physical development and expect to maintain that fitness level and/or stay in good health throughout the entire season, in my next blog I will share some of my tips to help you maintain motivation for your foundation phase of training.

Remember, the longer your race distance and/or the more races on your schedule, it is critically important to develop your body in a very smart way, starting with a solid foundation and sport-specific training. 

If you need some guidance with building your foundation, let us help. 
Consider our 8-week Transition plan specifically designed to help you improve your skills, strength (with specific strength exercises and videos), form and fitness before advancing with a more specific training plan.

Also, all of our 20-week endurance training plans (Half and Full Ironman distance) include 8-weeks of transition phase training to help you properly build a solid foundation before you master more specific endurance training).

And for the month of January, you can join our Performance Team and receive 4 FREE detailed handouts on nutrition, sport nutrition, swim training and run training. And, with the purchase of any endurance Trimarni training plan, you will be eligible to win a FREE entry into a Rev3 Triathlon race.