Shake up your standard routine!
If you are a runner, cyclist or even a recreational athlete looking to step up your performance and have your personal best time, then you may want to add a more effective training program to your current routine. In my personal experience, I have seen tremendous performance gains and even won many races when following this plan. As a certified trainer, I have trained countless clients to smash goals following this plan or one very similar to this. Why? Because it clearly works!
To demonstrate this, I will examine a recent study of integrating the occasional high intensity 5 day workout to increase your performance. With this occasional addition, you can increase your performance without increasing the risk of an injury—so it is a total win! I mean who would not want to perform better.
This is a great way to increase your confidence and just feel more positive in the results that you achieve!
If you are dying to know just what this training is, get ready to be wowed with results. During a recent Norwegian study, something called “block periodization” was examined. “Block periodization” shows that you will see more benefits in speed by focusing on one training element for your running or biking. For example, one “killer” week of intense speed work is more beneficial then combining a long run, tempo, speed work, mile repeats, etc. This is because when training with a variety of workouts, you are unable to focus on one element and push to a new level. This study highlighted that this is an issue for well-trained athletes that are continually doing their weekly workouts with a variety of elements.
Based on this study, in order to see an increase in speed endurance athletes would have to do is focus on one intense workout week (focusing on one element of training) a month.
In my personal experience, I have found that this training is so effective that after following this program, you feel as if you are being pushed from behind as you quickly run. The energy and power you feel from the training is truly unbelievable!
This study examined two cyclist groups for a 12 week period. The first group participated in “traditional” training with two high intensity workouts per week and easy training miles for the rest of the week. The second group participated in the “block periodization” training and for three weeks out of every four, did only one high intensity workout with easy training on the other days. Then in the fourth week, the “block periodization” group did five high intensity workouts. This experiment was created with the total volume of hard and easy training being of an equal amount and the only difference was how the training workouts were scheduled.
The results of this experience showed that the “block periodization” group gained 8.8% while the traditional group only yielded a 3.7% gain. You’re probably wondering, how should this alter your current training? If you are trying to gain strength and speed you should have one 5 day “killer training” week per month. But how does translate in the world of running, biking and other sports? Well this training is very beneficial to your athletic performance as long as this is not in the week prior to a race. Make sure to steer clear of this training program the week prior to a race. Rest is essential the week prior because your muscle fiber needs to heal. Your legs should be fresh on race day so rest is essential.
And if you decide to take the plunge and run a race (and you seriously will be glad that you did) just remember in the week prior to race day you should focus on these four tips.
1) Hydrate yourself. Begin hydrating on Monday, rather than the day prior to the race. Your body will need time to absorb the fluid you are drinking. Just do not overhydrate. Make sure to drink 8-10 glasses of water a day. A good gauge of your hydration is your urine (it should be pale yellow when fully hydrated). From my own experience, I have over hydrated and under hydrated in the past. Now I make sure to diligently drink enough and not too much. Your body will perform much more effectively if you do just this!
2) Catch some more Zzzzzs. By adding an extra hour of two of sleep each day you will be rested come race day. Also adequate sleep of 8-10 hours per night will help you perform even stronger!
3) Rest your legs. You can focus on a few light training miles but avoiding any longer duration workouts so you can rest.
4) Elevate your legs. When you are sitting elevate your legs to increase circulation and ensure you are healed, rested and ready for race day!
I hope you enjoyed the results of this study and that helps justify the occasional “killer” week because of the benefits it provides. This may help you to get out of your comfort zone and push harder! If you want to see greater results, make sure to add this training to better your performance! The benefits of this study are most evident in world of running and biking. So hurry up and amplify your training! And remember you get out what you put in, so give it all you got!