Seasonal Training Plan Changes

author : Ron
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As it gets warmer and the seasons are changing, so is your training plan. Here are a few tips whether you are gearing up for a race or just changing to more outdoor training.

We finally have some consistent 70 degree weather coming to Ohio or any of the northern latitudes.  Unless you have been on a specific training plan this winter for a spring/summer race or goal, it may be a good time to switch things up.  Your body gets used to the same thing month-in and month-out and there will be a point of diminishing returns where you will eventually plateau or get injured.  Plus you just can’t keep going ‘longer’ or ‘harder’ without coming to a breaking point.  Another thing is that if you are relegated to training indoors for running and biking, there is only so much time you can spend on a track or trainer before it mentally becomes a little too boring and you start questioning your sanity.  So this is the perfect time to switch things up to allow for a little rest and to target a different set of muscle groups and a different set of movements.  

Research has shown that changing up your routine periodically definitely increases your motivation so that your current routine doesn't get into the 'same old same old' territory.  It has also been shown that changing up your routine frequently does not negatively affect gains in strength or muscle size - so there is nothing to worry about on that front and you have nothing to lose.

If you have a mid-Summer to Fall race that you are planning, this is a perfect time to start training for that whether it's a ‘couch-to’ plan or just another race or even a longer distance.  Most of these plans are anywhere from 12-20 weeks depending on distance and current training volumes.  

Personally, during the colder months, I shorten my runs and do them indoors while swimming more.  I reduce the number of runs from three to two and lengthen the number of swims from two or three to four or five per week.  

As the weather gets consistently warm, I start running outside again while increasing the distance and adding up to one additional run per week to make three total.  I also reduce the amount of swims down to two or three per week.  This change will accommodate kayaking and doing that about two times per week.

I also switch from a more ‘bodybuilding’ type of strength routine to a ‘bodyweight’ strength routine where I do more pull-up bar and ring training where every exercise involves the arms and core.  I focus on bodyweight exercises that have a built in ab component.  Nobody likes ab workouts so doing any type of pull-up with your knees or entire legs out is a bonus.

But this is just me, there are several ways to approach this depending on your goals.  The key is identifying your goals and/or races so that a plan will easily fall in place.  Build your plan from your target goal back to the present.  As a general rule of thumb, you don’t want to increase your distance or time in a sport by more than 10% each week.  You also need a ‘active recovery’ week every two to three weeks where your training time and distance is down anywhere from 20-40% which will give your body some time to 'absorb' all of the prior training so that you can keep progressing to your goals.

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date: April 28, 2024

Ron

I started this site 10 years ago after doing my first triathlon in 2001. My goal for this site is to get people healthy and happy. I firmly believe that triathlon is the best 'sport' for your body as it has less impact then the more popular single sport(running) while incorporating your upper body from swimming allows for a balanced-body approach to fitness.

avatarRon

I started this site 10 years ago after doing my first triathlon in 2001. My goal for this site is to get people healthy and happy. I firmly believe that triathlon is the best 'sport' for your body as it has less impact then the more popular single sport(running) while incorporating your upper body from swimming allows for a balanced-body approach to fitness.

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