Monday, February 1, 2016

Thoughts on Peaking Right

by Marilyn Chychota

One aspect of the art of building a program is understanding how to have an athlete at his or her best come race day.

As a coach, you need to have a clear understanding of how the year breaks up and the type of athlete you're working with. As an athlete, you need to be aware of your natural strengths and weaknesses.

If you are an athlete who has many years in the bank, has a talent towards the give sport or responds very quickly to training phases, your program needs to suit that to peak for your event. This athlete usually comes into form quickly and doesn't need much quality work for extended periods to be ready to race. If this is timed wrong or the athlete is given too much, he or she is likely to fall flat when it comes time for the "A" event. Take into consideration the time of the year, number of events already completed throughout the season and how long the season has been. Towards the back half of the season coming into form happens quickly with work but also the athlete is carry high annual load at this point.

In the beginning of the season, a more diesel engine type athlete or a newer athlete needs bigger blocks and more total work load to achieve the same event readiness.

As well, slow responders may need longer quality phases, potentially leading up closer to the event to get the most out of themselves on race day.

Because understanding the amount of quality work going into an event is an art based on each individual person, always go back to the foundations of aerobic work, strength and technique for every athlete if you find yourself stuck.


Marilyn Chychota has been in elite sport since the age of 9, from show jumping to cycling and triathlon. Competing on an international stage in all three sports with an Ironman title, several podiums and state championships in cycling, Marilyn works with all distance and level of triathletes and cyclists. From beginners to elites; short course, bike racing, stage racing and long course triathlon, she has guided several athletes to the podium and to Hawaii qualifications.
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