Planning For Next Season’s Training & Racing

This is a great time of the year to sit down and review how your 2021 season went and to start planning what you are going to do next season. It’s an ideal time to take a look at your technique in all the disciplines you race in, make any necessary changes and allow time for these changes to be embedded before you start racing. And, you should make sure all your little niggles and injuries are sorted before you start back into serious training.

First of all, considering the season you’ve just complete, think about what your goals are for the next season. Make sure you set goals that stretch you, but are achievable. Your goals should be one’s that you can control – e.g. don’t set a goal of winning the national championships – you can’t control who enters that race nor how well they race. Make sure you write your goals down – that makes them real!

Look at what went well last season and identify why – keep on doing those things! Examine what didn’t go so well – what can you do differently this year to improve on those things. These changes should start to form your training objectives for the coming season. Remember – you will race how you train, and if you keep training the same you will keep racing the same.

Prioritize the races you want to do next season. Your “A” Priority races are the ones where you really want to achieve your goals. These are the races that all your training is leading towards and are the races that you will aim to peak for. Ideally you should have 2 or possibly 3 “A” Priority races a season, this is due to the time it takes to recover from and then re-build fitness for an “A” race. Your “B” Priority races will be those that are important to you, that you want to do well in and that you may do a small taper for. You may aim for up to six “B” Priority races a year. Your “C” priority races will be used as training races, gaining experience etc. You wouldn’t typically look to peak (or taper) for these races, nor expect stunning performances.

Try to phase your training working back from your first “A” priority race. A typically annual training plan may look something like this – 12 weeks Base phase, 8 weeks Build, 2 weeks Peak, up to 3 weeks Race. Each phase can be split into 4 weekly cycles – 3 weeks hard training with the 4th week being a recovery week. The base phase is where intensity is (comparatively) low and volume increases to be highest during the last cycle. The Build phase increases intensity and becomes more specific to the planned races and the Peak phase is heavily focussed on final preparation for racing. The Race phase is totally focussed on race preparation and maintaining form if doing multiple “A” races. As a general rule, as you work through the training plan you build volume during the base period, then the volume of training decreases but intensity increases. As you progress your training it gets more and more specific to the race/s you are targeting, typically including brick and race pace specific sessions. 

Group sessions are great for motivation and camaraderie so plan your training to include club and/or group sessions. As you enter the more specific training phases make sure you are doing the training you need to do and not somebody else’s – don’t get sucked into a testosterone packed efforts if you are supposed to doing an easy session!

Don’t forget that training shouldn’t be 100% focussed on your specific sports – improving your core and general strength, flexibility and mobility are all important as is nutrition, hydration and mental wellbeing. Put some time aside to focus on these aspects as well when you pull your plan together.

Finally plan your training around what you enjoy – it makes things seem so much easier!

We are happy to help you where we can, by working with you to create a personal plan for your training and racing next season. Please feel free to contact us to discuss further.

November 2020 – Swim and Massage Update

Due to the continuing raise in the number of COVID-19 cases and with HMG’s latest restrictions coming into force from 5th November, we will no longer be able to provide 1:1 swim sessions and our massage services also remain suspended.

We will review the situation in December with a view to restarting our swim and massage services in January 2021.

In the meantime stay safe, fit and healthy and remember we are still providing our 1:1 personal training plans.

Swim and Massage Update

Following last weeks announcement by HMG that indoor swimming pools can open from 25th July and Sport Massage Therapy can now resume, we have been leasing with the facilities that we use to provide our services. Currently neither the pool nor therapy rooms we use are planning to be operational until September at the earliest.

Given the above we will not be running our swim sessions nor providing Sports Massage Therapy until at least September. We will continue to provide updates as and when further information is available.

In the meantime, as noted in our previous post, we are able to provide 1-2-1 coaching and training plans in line with current guidelines from HMG and the relevant sporting bodies.

COVID-19 Update

Due to the current restrictions in place to protects us all from COVID-19, we are unable to provide sports massage therapy to our clients and our swim lessons and sessions are not possible. We are hoping for an update from HMG in the next couple of weeks regarding when they will be comfortable for massage and swim services to resume.

In the meantime, we continue to provide coaching and training plans to our athletes and can provide run and cycle coaching to individuals and small groups – ensuring that we adhere to HMG and sporting body social distancing guidance.

Massage During COVID-19 Lockdown

Although it may not be possible to have your regular massage session with your therapist, there is no reason why you can’t still get the benefits of a massage to help you stay healthy in mind and body.

Remember a regular, simple massage routine can help you stay injury free, recover from training sessions, relieve general stress and tension within the body and help you to relax.

So, if you have a foam roller, massage stick, massage ball or other massage “toy”, you can use these to massage yourself. If you don’t have any equipment, don’t worry you can still perform a massage without tools and gain the same benefits.

There is lots of guidance, tips and sessions available on the internet for you to follow, so take a look and see how you can keep yourself relaxed and keep your body in good condition. The ideal would be to include a regular massage session within any training or weekly routine you have. Once you find or design a session that works for you, you can generally work through it whilst watching a film or tv, so it doesn’t have to intrude too much into your daily life.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

As the health and well-being of our athletes and clients is at the heart of everything we do, we have decided to suspend all face to face activities with immediate effect and until at least the end of April. This includes all massage therapy sessions and 1:1 and group training & coaching sessions.

This decision has been taken with a heavy heart and is in line with the advice we have received from the relevant professional and sporting governing bodies, Public Health England the the NHS to help us keep people safe and healthy.

During this period we will continue to provide remote training & coaching plans as normal to our athletes.

During these uncertain times please follow all the latest advice provided by Public Health England and the NHS and keep yourselves safe, fit and healthy.

The Benefits of Sports Massage

Sports Massage Therapy helps maintain the body in a generally better condition, prevents injuries and loss of mobility, cures and restores injured muscle tissue and can help improve sporting performance and/or movement in normal everyday life. It also helps relieve the stresses and tensions of everyday life. Sports Massage consists of a variety of techniques that work deep into the soft tissue and may help to provide some of the benefits listed below:

  • Improved range of motion and flexibility
  • Improved functional muscle balance
  • Increased usage of available muscle
  • Improved performance
  • Reduced risk of injury
  • Improved recovery from training, racing and injury
  • Improved self-awareness
  • Greater energy

As an integral part of a regular training programme, sports massage can help develop and maintain strong, flexible muscles that are in balance with each other, thus improving performance and reducing the risk of injury. Sports massage will help release muscle tension and stress and remove the general aches, pains and niggles that can build up over time.  Should injury occur, massage helps to restore mobility and function and aids your return to normality with minimal interruption.  

Anyone can benefit from sports massage, not just athletes; people in physically demanding jobs and those prone to postural problems can all benefit from massage. Anyone who wants to improve their general wellbeing or health or who has a soft tissue condition can benefit from a sports massage.

Below are some of the effects that sports massage can have on the body as a whole: