At this time of the year (August/September), after a long season is where a lot of athletes take a well deserved rest reflect on performances. The season is not only physically taxing but mentally too as sometimes the constant training cycle can become repetitive. For now life has returned back to some kind of resemblance of normality socialising, not watching what you eat.
After enjoying the brief rest bite, towards the end of September the new season looming. It’s the time to start thinking about what the goals are for next season, also for me after a season that didn’t exactly go to plan I’m more ready then ever to throw myself into the winter routine.
What Is Winter Training?
There are many definitions of winter training most of them are described as different variations of pain and turmoil for most people. There is no doubt that its very tough and starts in the coldest months of the year making it all that more daunting especially for athletes who like me living in Manchester (UK) are exposed to cold, wet, and snow.
Winter the first part of the training year, and in my eyes the most important, October/ January, because there are no major competitions in this period. Heavy weight training , endurance runs, plyometrics are prevalent in my winter programme. Technical training comes after this depending on whether I am doing any Indoor competitions.
The main outdoor season runs from May- September training is tapered in that period because the volume of training in winter would have a detrimental effect on performances, this is why the winter is so important and is the building block of a successful summer season. Many athletes can judge how well they will perform in summer based on what they do in the winter time.
Start with the end in mind- (Goal Setting)
This ties in with my post “what are you training for” a little bit. As I start to look forward to the start of winter I look back over the last season subjectively (how i thought it went) Its good to work with a coach to get a more objective evaluation. Luckily I have kept a detailed diary of every session I’ve done in 2015/16 so this makes it slightly easier to start making goals for this season.
So after doing this I have set out a few clear goals that I have for this season and reasoning behind them;
- Speed! Improve my sprint times over the 60m (7.6) and the 100m (12.0)– I’m always ready to admit that my sprinting has much to be desired and one part of my training I feel has been neglected over the years plus the fact that last season was the first time I’d done either the 60m or the 100m in competition so now I have a base to work from. I’m quite blessed with the fact that I have sprinters in my group so picking up tips and doing more quality running sessions shouldn’t be a problem.
- Consistently Jump 14m+ In the Triple Jump- My performances over the last two years have been terribly inconsistent and a mixture of more technique sessions and improving my overall flat speed should carry me through to the kind of distances I am more than capable of jumping.
- Pick and Choose how many competitions I do– This is an important one for me I noticed a lot in my diary last year a was I did quite a few back to back competitions Sat/Sun and even Tuesdays the same week. The result inconsistentcy in my training and alot of really sub par performances and this resulted in my body breaking down toward the end of the season. The old saying Quailty not Quantity comes to mind here!
To summarise, I think that when setting goals it’s very easy to think of a million things that you could be doing better, with me theres probaly a million and one, yet I think starting with 2 possibly 3 is the best way to start. My process was to write down every little thing I wanted to improve even very small things. After that I put them in priority of which ones would make the biggest difference to my performance and I came up with the three above.
At this point with a few weeks left until I start officially, I’m itching to start. Spending so much of the year dedicated to training its hard to switch off, for me anyway every athlete is different. This year I’ve decided that I’ll limit myself to do some general cardio and circuit training twice a week until it starts, last year I was on a beach in Thailand so hopefully this year ill be more prepared. This is a purely individual decision for me and trying something new will hopefully set me up better for the upcoming season.
Hope this has been helpful
Thanks for Reading
Here’s a video of one of my circuits with a training mask to maximise effort and improve cardiovascular fitness: