I talk a lot about having a purposeful training plan, preferably one that is progressive. I also talk about setting objects for each session and these are extremly important to help progress towards a goal. I normally have specific objectives for the year or the season normally focused on preparing for a race. I then break this big target into smaller targets periodically throughout the year.
At the moment I am having a small break from competing as I have recently become a father so my objectives have become less performance orientated and more around developing my weakness’ physically (Strength and Olympic lifting technique)
My current goal is:
To Increase my absolute strength in the gym by targeting progression in the main compound movements (specifically progression on 1RM) while improving my lifting technique.
While my shift in focus is to strength I still want to maintain my cardiovascular endurance to a level that I can run a fast-ish 5 and 10K (<20mins and <40mins) and comfortably complete a half marathon.(just incase I want to race)
My Current schedule is below which I am going to stick to until the end of the year:
The strength training session I complete in my lunch break so its only a 30min express workout and the run session in the morning is normally less than 45mins due to time. My Key sessions are Monday and Friday Cross fit and my longer sessions on the weekend.
My current strength program that I change or modify every 8-12 weeks, its is currently split into two days (push and pull) to cover every major muscle group. I chose push pull as I find splitting the session into Posterior and Anterior muscle groups means if I do two sessions in a row I don’t feel overworked.
I can generally complete each session in 30-40 mins providing I take only 60secs between sets, and this also has the added benefit of keeping my HR high through out the session.
It is generally not a good idea to try and increase strength in the gym and try to progress your endurance program, as this is likely to lead to burnout. My current endurance program is just focused on maintaining a base level of fitness, and having fun being active outside.
Mon/Wed/Thurs– Morning run’s are mostly in the dark at the moment and at a distance of 5-7Km dependant on time. I run at a steady pace of 60-70% Max HR and then increase the intensity to 80-85% for 60sec bursts randomly throughout the session, this is to elevate the HR and increase my running cadence, followed by an active recovery.
Saturday/Sunday– I use the weekend mornings to either do a medium length steady cycle. 1-1.5hrs (as its winter and not that nice on the roads) or a similar length Run (normally on the trails) again, there is less of a focus on this ride but generally I do the session continuous at about 60-70% of max HR and use the gradient/hills to increase my effort randomly throughout the session.
Although the endurance plan is not particular specific or progressive, it enables me to maintain a decent level of fitness during the off season, focus on my weakness’ (strength) and then when the start of the season comes closer (or I get a competitive goal) I am in a decent position to change my program and start focusing on developing my endurance further.
Rest Day’s- I don’t plan rest days as I have found that generally every week or two work or personal obligations will stop me training at least once that week, and sometimes I don’t feel I need a rest day. Obviously I track my progress closely so if i start to plateaux or my progress stops I evaluate to ensure its not an overtraining symptom. Because I mix up the type of training this also helps avoid over use injury and over training.