by Gordo Byrn
With the year wrapping up and winter rolling in for many of our readers, I thought I’d share my three most memorable base-training errors.
1. Keeping It Rolling
When I was racing elite, I would load myself with back-to-back seasons by swapping hemispheres each spring and fall. This was an excellent technique for rapidly loading myself with training. If you live in Texas, California or Florida (or Australia, Spain or Hong Kong) then you’d be able to follow a similar pattern without needing to travel.
With the back-to-back seasons, I found that I would completely fall apart every third year. Coming off of those extended breaks, I had some very successful breakthrough performances. Learning from my experience, I advise my athletes to avoid going more than 18 months without a deep rejuvenation block. You’ll find more about using this two-year season approach on a recent IM Talk podcast.
2. Too Hard Too Early
If your winter program feels hard then you’re unlikely to be setting yourself up for success in your larger life.
3. The Early Build
If you decide to target an early season race then remember that training needs to be appropriate for the time of year, as well as your race goals. My inability to see this point or heed the advice of my coaching mentors led to a five month break, which effectively ended my elite career.
All of the above errors had a root cause of being greedy with my race fitness. Being much older, and a little bit wiser, I’m patient with the speed that my body returns to form. Across the winter, I focus on being really healthy, rather than really speedy. I also focus on success in the wider playing field of life.
As a working athlete, winter is my “on-season” for family and work-related projects. October through March is my most productive and creative block in my non-athletic life. This is the time where I create the framework, and support, that will let me crank my training way up (!) in the summer.
I hope you have a great 2013 and thanks for reading the site this past year.
Gordo is the founder of Endurance Corner. You can find his personal blog here.