Aerobic Progression

The goal of any sport and training regiment is to improve each year or season.  To help with a steady improvement, athletes often train with different modes of exercise at various times of the year.  This is called periodization.  With this periodization, there are 2 main goals: maintenance and improvement.  Each goal requires a certain amount of frequency, duration and intensity.  Knowing when and how to train can be the difference between top 5 and 1st.

Let’s begin with the improvement.  If you are just starting out, this is the way you want to train.  If you don’t any endurance, how would you maintain what you don’t have?  As mentioned before, the 3 elements (frequency, duration and intensity) of training can all be altered.  As a general rule, you never want to exceed a 10% increase per week.  For example, if you ran for 30 minutes your 1st week of training, you should not go over 35 minutes the 2nd week.  Instead, you can raise your heart rate for a greater intensity.  Duration and intensity for improvement is minimum of 3 days per week at 50% – 85%  Max HR.

For maintaining your aerobic training, the general rule is to keep a minimum of 2 days per week at the same intensity.  It is much easier to maintain your cardiorespitory fitness than improve it.  Your maintenance time of the year is usually during the season when you have multiple races scheduled.  You can have higher intensity workouts, but the duration will not be as long.  This gives you a chance to have more days for recovery and other time to work on riding or strength training.

Like I said above, this all ties in with periodization.  Improvement is off season and into pre season.  Once you start having more and more races, you want to maintain what you have so you can be rested for the weekend.  This same concept applies to strength training and both should be coordinated together.


Posted on Jul 12 2011, under Training | No Comments »

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