With the new year, I have been hearing everyone discussion about goals, resolutions and intentions. This is great! But, how do we really make that happen?
It is fun to dream about goals but many people forget that we have to start thinking about what we can do now to make them happen even if they seem a long ways away. Even big, big goals are achievable with enough time.
This is the time to be preparing to train. Preparing? That’s right. It might sound funny, but we need the foundation and basic skills to be able to take off and do the actual specific training for an event and to minimize the risk of injury along the way.
Create Habits, Be Consistent
If you've had a break, it's time to gradually return to training. Develop those good habits now with a consistent schedule making sure you make it a priority to get your regular workouts. Even if you have to shorten workouts just getting out there and getting some work in helps maintain fitness. Do you typically skip strength, foam rolling or stretching? Time to add it back in! If you don't know, we have a YouTube Channel with a mix of routines both short and long! Please subscribe and try them out!
Consistency or lack of is one of the biggest mistakes I see. Even if you can only train 3-4 days a week, find a way to build it in and be consistent. Skipping workouts during the week and cramming them all in on the weekend will give you less training benefit and more often than not lead to injury.
New Year Challenges
With this in mind, we’ve created a few different New Year’s challenges to get your started. We are excited about these challenges. They are designed to get you thinking about all the activities that help support your fitness and also to challenge you to try some different movement. Give it a try!
Fitness Bingo - 10-15 minutes a day. What will you do? We’ve created a Bingo card to challenge you to do a variety of activities which supports your fitness goals. Each activity is meant to help you find a way to fit in the often forgotten but valuable activities that support your fitness goals. This one has a prize attached and must be started and then completed by march 31, 2020. Download the card here: CLAFitness.com Fitness Bingo Challenge
2020 in 2020 Challenge - Take 20 minutes each day to move! Anything counts. You pick the day you start and you have 20 days with one free day. Download the card here: CLAFitness.com 2020 in 2020 Challenge
Team 2020 Challenge - Are you looking to build mileage? Looking to build minutes of activity into your day but are daunted by a number like 2020? Team up with another CLA team member and make your goals. Contact Coach if you’d like to join to be matched with another CLA team member to work to achieve your goal. You still have time!
Develop Aerobic Endurance
NOW is the time to be building Aerobic Capacity (ability to use oxygen to produce energy) and endurance. Endurance base building develops the energy production systems. In theory, the more oxygen the body can process, the more energy we can produce and the more energy we can put out leading to faster pace or power.
Developing aerobic endurance can be hard for many as it can feel too easy. At this time of year everyone is excited to get going and train hard for a new goal or resolution. It is working hard that gives that feeling of satisfaction and progress. But, too much intensity can shut down components of the aerobic system and allow the anaerobic system to take over. No matter the goal ahead we all need aerobic endurance.
Most workouts during this time will be low effort or zone 2 for those using heart rate. There will be some harder efforts but we don’t want too much intensity and volume now as we have to then maintain that all the way through. This is what can lead to burnout and injury. We’ll be revisiting this in our next Road to Ironman Blog.
Develop Better Economy
Economy in motion is how efficiently you use oxygen while exercising. How much oxygen you use tells how much energy you are expending. For any event, poor economy leads to a lot of wasted energy and can lead to a slower performance.
Drills Drills Drills. Developing better technique for swim, bike and run can lead to improvements in economy. Developing skills can take a long time because we are retraining the nervous system to perform a different way.
Frequency will improve technique and ultimately efficiency. Even if sessions are brief this is true. For instance, over a week of training a 3 x 20:00 swim is better than 1 x 60:00.
Do the Little (sometimes Boring) Things
Injury is something we all want to avoid. Now is the time to work on correcting any of those niggling things you had going on before. Work on mobility, flexibility and strength. Pull out those old PT exercises and start to work on them again, revisit the mobility and stretching exercises, use the stick and foam rollers.
Along with this we have to mention GLUTES AND CORE! Do the work now. It takes time to build that strength endurance. Start doing the boring work now to see a real build in strength when you need it most.
Don't Skimp on Recovery
Fitness is not created in the workouts but rather it occurs in the recovery period following a long or intense training session in which the body changes by adapting to stress applied. So great job getting in the work but are you taking enough recovery to benefit from that hard work?
Recovery can be active but easy really does mean easy. YOu should feel great and ready to go again after a recovery workout.
And lastly, recovery happens when we sleep, are you getting enough?
Enjoy the start of the New Year and enjoy taking the time to set yourself up for your best year yet!