Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Having Priorities

by Dave Latourette

This time of year can be challenging for a lot of age group athletes when it comes to time management of all the holiday commitments or just simply dealing with the balancing act of off season training. Whether athletes have next season's races in stone or they are still attempting to finalize those decisions, this period can leave them “all over the place” with their training and focus.

If this becomes the case I advise athletes to create a list of what activities they want to prioritize based on key race(s) next year, motivation levels and relative time until the most recent racing season, all with an evaluation of current strengths, weaknesses and seasonal weather.

The following is an example from a current athlete consultation I did last week. By looking at the list you can use your own judgement about the profile of the athlete. We use this list for six weeks and then re-evaluate if the athlete has been consistent with managing the list.

  1. Strength and muscle work mostly as related to rehabbing hamstring injury that at times limited training in 2014 (this includes bike fit evaluation)
  2. Body composition (maintain and improve)
  3. Swim stroke correction and swimming consistency
  4. Low run volume but high frequency as it relates to the first point above
  5. Cycling inserted as it fits in relation to the first four points 1-4

The idea for using a priority list is to help the athlete spend less energy and time worrying about what training to put the focus on if time, daylight or motivation are limiting. As well, it’s not uncommon for any athlete to get dragged into doing someone else’s workouts or training. If your body and life have specific demands don’t give it another person’s training. Focus on what your needs are and simplify the decision making process by referring to your list.

Dave Latourette is a full time triathlon coach living in Santa Rosa, California, who works with athletes from newcomer to elite. His top athletes have won USAT Age Group National Championships and raced in World Championship events that include the ITU World Championship and the Ironman World Championship. You can learn more about Dave and follow him at: TrainToEndure.com, his blog, or on Twitter @dklatourette
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