Thu, 7 February 2008
n the latest Podcast we talk about Power Training and its application to an endurance training program. Briefly mentioned in the show is the term Motor Unit, illustrated above. One of the primary reasons for utilizing supplemental (off related to strength) training in addition to specific endurance training is the difficulty in activating 'High Threshold' motor units - these are motor units that are on the high end of power development (ie, fast twitch). They are bigger, but also require more recovery time, whereas endurance motor units, usually more slow twitch fibers, are very durable. Focusing solely on one endurance training neglects the fast motor units, which get smaller and hard to activate, and may even be lost completely with aging, and emphasizes lower power slow units. The phrase "USE IT OR LOSE IT!" takes on a literal meaning here. The program discussed on the show describes a yearly plan like this: OFF-SEASON – 12 weeks (Nov-Jan) PRE-SEASON – 8 weeks (Feb-Mar) IN-SEASON 1 – 12 weeks (Apr-Jun) IN-SEASON 2 – 12 weeks (Jul-Sep) This leaves October open, which is often a ‘gray’ area of the year. However, it’s not a time to do nothing, maybe just nothing structured. A specific block of training might include perhaps a rotating 14 day plan that focuses on two, or maybe three (if off-season) areas but the layout for each period is the same. Case in point: Let’s say sprinting is your week area, but you generally have good sustained power (ie, 5 min) and tend to get better with short attacks, but recovery isn’t always ideal, and you only have one day per week you can ride on the road. Then I might suggest TWO phases, the first focusing on: * ONE heavy weight/power day, ONE Moderate day with an easy trainer ride * ONE LIGHT day with a road ride. * TWO short interval days. The second cycle would have: * ONE HEAVY lift day * ONE light lift day with a road ride * ONE interval day with medium/short intervals or long (5 min) * Another easy ride. Combined, that’s about 14 of training with rest days. Then you start over again.