WP Remix
Ideas for Athletes & Coaches Preparing for Real Competition

5
Oct

Mountain biking in the off season The off-season of the training year is obviously the bit between the end of the biggest competition of the year and the start of training for the next season.

Probably to make it sound more purposeful, the father of a lot of recent training theory, Tudor Bompa (his main book is Periodization: Theory and Methodology of Training ) called it the Transition Phase .

Bompa’s idea is that this distinct phase of an athlete’s year should set him or her up for a better year to come by providing rest, alternative activities and mental refreshment.

Often, this part of the year is easily seen as a time to have fun and not do your sport… the off season.

Frankly, what athletes do on their time off at the end of the year is never really associated with their performance in the next season. But, it should be as the transition phase has some key ingredients that get the body and mind refreshed:

1. Low training volume – reduced load on the body helps remove any niggling injuries and gives the athlete time to reflect on their underlying motivations to compete. Plan for a month-long transition, before commencing pre-season training.

2. Some exercise – having done so much training for the rest of the year it becomes part of the athlete’s lifestyle to be active, so I’d include some moderate exercise which is not what you’d normally do. Depending on the sport, examples could be rock climbing, mountain biking, hiking, swimming, pool running or surfing. As fitness is easier to maintain than develop, a little exercise during the break may be enough to maintain most of the fitness built over the last year and make for an easier start to the new season. Aim for 3-4 sessions a week of 30-60 min at an effort level of 5 to 7 out of 10.

3. Virtually no participation in the main sport – this is a chance for overstressed joints and muscles to rebuild and the mind to have break from thinking about technique, strategy and constant training. For the athlete that has had to manage an injury during the season, the transition phase is a great time to address muscle imbalances and weaknesses. This pre habilitation (as distinct from rehabilitation) can strengthen the muscles and joints for better training during the season.

Related posts

  1. Basics of Recovery when Building Muscle

Vote This Post DownVote This Post Up (+2 rating, 2 votes)
Loading ... Loading ...
Category : Sport-General / Sports Psychology

Comments

Jimmy October 29, 2009

Hi,

While I agree that during off-season and transition there should not be any form of serious volume training, I believe that for certain activities and training it is necessary to keep up the volume while maintaining lower intensity. One such activity is strength and weight training. The off-season offers the athlete time and space to really put in the volume of traininig here to improve strength. Also, strength training will offer recovering injured athletes a chance to strengthen those areas that needs strengthening. Volume should also be kept up for endurance training. Building the capacity here will provide the athlete more ‘ammunition’ when the serious work starts during pre-season. in modern sports, professionals very often have very short off-season and pre-season. Just look at a NBA and NHL player. These guys play 8o plus games a season, minus post-season play over a 9 month period. That leaves only 3 months of off-season and pre-season. Life is tough for these guys. If volume is not maintained or kept up during this period, they will not be ready.

Anonymous July 5, 2010

Low training volume – reduced load on the body helps remove any niggling injuries and gives the athlete time to reflect on their underlying motivations to compete. Plan for a month-long transition, before commencing pre-season training.I believe that for certain activities and training it is necessary to keep up the volume while maintaining lower intensity.

Diego Velez December 2, 2010

I have been looking at Crossfit training as a way to aid my preparation for my sport (sailing). I am just not sure if the intensity will play negatively when getting to the important competitions (peak performances).. Any thoughts on this?

Leave a comment

About Us

We're sports professionals writing about our experiences, tips and advice on training and competing in high performance sport.

Subscribe to get the latest from us in your inbox!

Your email:

Subscribe   Unsubscribe

Contact Us

michael.blackburn at sportsmindskills.com