Training for any multisport event comes with its questions and is always a difficult one to get spot on. Focus all your efforts on one disciple and the other suffers, try and split your sessions between both and you don’t improve at the rate you’re hoping to. I have tried something completely new this season and I love that’s it is paying off. The majority of my sessions each week have a high intensity interval training (HIIT)/circuits style focus with some specific run and pool sessions thrown in to keep the balance. These session are all outdoor, whatever the weather! Something about working in the mud and rain adds a comedy factor, you have to laugh at yourself doing chest down burpees in a muddy puddle…if I don’t, I think the other option would be to cry. Check out the ‘Caveman’ sessions at http://www.bodyforce.co.uk to see what i get up to
I truly do love doing these sessions, I have always thought that swim training and long runs are so boring and I thought this was how it just had to be if I wanted to improve. As a child I would always be in the pool with the swimming club and the best part about each session was before and afterwards catching up with my mates. It is so important that training is fun, regardless of if you are working towards the Olympics or simply to stay healthy, it has to be enjoyable or else you are fighting a losing battle.
The circuit sessions combine everything in one go and are by no means easy, sprints to improve lactate threshold play a major part and feature in large blocks. Your lactate threshold is the point where your muscle begin to react to the lactic acid in the blood stream, increasing your cells resistance to this allows you to work harder for longer. This is understandably vital for most athletes regardless of the disciple but especially for those in multisport or endurance events.
Glute and Hamstring conditioning is another favourite of my coaches’, not so much of mine as this means a killer session and jelly like legs. Exercises such as squats, deadlifts, kettlebell swings, and weighted runs all require explosive power from these muscles. Combine this with a starter of sprints and you really do have a tough workout on your hands. Throughout the winter season after races have finished my focus is always on strength, weight training in the winter leads to increased power and speed in the spring. It is combining this power with the muscular endurance from the lactate work that will allow me to push that little bit harder in the summer months and races.
Nutrition plays a large part in training and is often the aspect people forget about. How I train in the day affects what I eat in the evening as well as for breakfast the next day. If my evening session has been cardio heavy I will have depleted glycogen stores these can only be replaced by having a carbohydrate heavy meal. Attempting to train with depleted stores is like training when you have a cold, everything is 10 times harder and you feel as if you never really have the energy to get going. If I have had an unusually hard session or am feeling run down after work I will have a protein bar after my evening session to replenish my body ready for the onset of work and training the next day. Training properly has to go hand in hand with eating properly your body cannot function without the energy it requires, if you are asking it to increase its exertion levels you have to provide it the fuel to do so. Being a full time teacher and training seriously every evening I cannot afford to forget this, it is so important to give your body every fighting chance.