There are so many events every weekend and year round these days and athletes can suffer a number of problems. Here are a few of my observations in recent years.
1. Never reaching a Peak Performance- With so many events on the calendar it’s too hard to periodize any training to accommodate a best possible performance peak. If you don’t prioritize a race, or at least a series of races – even a sport for some-and build towards that goal result you risk just performing at a sub par level.
A perfect example of this was in my 20’s as a Surf Ironman my one and only goal for the summer season was to win the Uncle Tobys Ironman Series, Seven races from November to February. A series I won 3 times. I started my base training almost right way in February each year with some Cross Training. Cross Training for me was Triathlon. I would do plenty of riding and running and take some time off from the pool and Paddling disciplines of Surf Ski and Board.
This led to me winning the Australian Triathlon and Du Athlon National 25-29 Titles all while building the beginnings of a strong base for summer and the long prep phase from March to November for the surf Ironman series and the full focus on one outcome.
2. Shot Gun-After retiring from Ironman I wanted to do every Adventure race, Triathlon and Mutisport event I could get to! This I call the ‘Shot Gun effect’ spraying your bullets all over the place and never really hitting the target. This can be rewarding and you get a lot of experience and see a lot of stuff in a short period but only the super talented can enjoy continued success with this method. If competing in events with properly trained athletes you would not and could not expect success with this approach.
Now twelve years on I have to pick my fights in order to be competitive against the younger athletes and after doing just about every race on the Mutisport Calendar at least once or in some cases 10 times! I am going back to basics and building that base and making some race sacrifices.
3. Overtraining- It’s just too easy to over train when you race so much and even if you do rest a lot you then erode that aerobic foundation that you may never have really built properly in the first place. It’s a ‘catch 22’ these days as you may have quite a lot of success in some seemingly big events and then one day in a world class field in some unassuming race you realize you are way off the pace. This is when the questions pop into the head and excuses out the other end. It’s usually the same answer when it all settles down. Do the hard yards. Focus, get guidance, choose a course and stick to it.
This season I have had to make a few choices between Obstacle Course races, Road and Cross Triathlon, Mountain Biking, Ocean Paddling, Multisport Races, Adventure races Long and Short, Orienteering, Rogaining, Ultra Running and lets not event get into Motorsport!
You can see how difficult it can be to navigate a path to a definitive goal with so many options.
My race choices for the next season or more could be catergorized like this:
- Cross Triathlon -TREX National series http://www.tre-x.com.au/index.php
- Multisport races-http://adventurethon.com.au/cms25/
- Adventure Races
- MTB races
- During Base phase
- MTB races, Obstacle races, paddle races
- Long Adventure/multisport races but no more than 24-30hrs to avoid lengthy recovery periods-no 700km expeditions
- In season race priority
- Cross Triathlon
The TreX Cross Triathlon series is really going national this year with races in Qld, Victoria, NSW including the Oceania Championships with 40K in Prize Money for the Pros we will see super home grown talent like Benny Allen and Courtney Atkinson racing these events
I am keen to get a few titles under my belt in the 40-44 Category including having a crack at a world title soon.
In summery- don’t spread yourself too thin. Hit a few events or a series and do it well and enjoy the outcome.
Join my training group and prepare properly. details http://guyandrewsadventure.com/off-road-tri-squad/