During the early part of the training season, your focus should be on much more than just getting back to training. You should create a broad-brush picture of what your training will look like (your Annual Training Plan) and then set out to accomplish the specific goals you've set for this early part of the year. In this article, I give you my take on what your goals should focus on.Most of you are aware of the term "periodization" and generally how it applies to your training. Periodization defined is the way in which we break down the training/racing year into segments in order to produce a desired result by focusing on specific areas at the most appropriate times of the year.The concept is not new although the specifics of how the segments should be organized has been debated over the years.
The most commonly accepted approach is to start your plan with a focus on general training and becoming more "race specific" as you progress in your plan. While there are several labels put on the different periods, I use these:
This time of year, I like to spend time with my athletes focusing on economy. I've found that it pays off in big dividends later on and even though the training seems easy, huge gains are being made by improving mechanics. Let's take swimming as an example (since that's a really easy one). There are only two ways to get faster in the water: You can increase propulsion or you can decrease drag. Most people will get in the water and just try to increase their pace each time they swim, thereby, focusing only on propulsion. Believe it or not, at sealevel and at 70 degrees Fahrenheit, water is 784 times more dense than air (try running in the pool!). Trying to increase propulsion without correcting your body position in the water (decreasing drag) just uses more and more energy. Yes, you may get faster, but without working on drag first, you'll be using way more energy than necessary.
Let's take an example that is pretty common: Many swimmers cut their stroke off short and start their "catch" way too early. Check your stroke count over 25 yards. Is it more than 20? More than 22? If you had a stroke count of 18 (which is pretty good) and reached just a bit further with each stroke (getting about 3 more inches per stroke) and if you were swimming at a 1:30 per 100 yard pace, that additional 3 inches per stroke would have you swimming 106 yards for the same number of strokes. Extending the math, you'd be saving 1 minute 30 seconds in a 1500 meter swim (Olympic Distance Tri) using the same energy.
Check your body alignment and balance.
Check your stroke length (how far are you getting per stroke?)
When was the last time you had your fit checked? It changes over time.
How efficient is your pedal stroke?
by Chuck Graziano USA;Triathlon Level II;Certified Coach USA;Cycling Level III;Certified Coach PSIA;Level III;Certified Alpine Ski Coach