Many times I share conversations with athletes from all over the world before a race in which we meet or re-encounter each other. It is one of the greatest riches that brings a trip to other countries, societies, cultures and landscapes: increase the number of people with whom you contact throughout life. A treasure that makes it possible to open up the points of view and perspectives with which to see the day to day and that allows to fully understand and respect those people who think or are different from oneself.

Making a review of all those conversations that I like to note, I observe the coincidence with one of the senteces that Joe Friel (one of the most prestigious coaches at international level) pronounced in one of his innumerable articles: “those athletes who have a planning and they trust it, even if it is a simple one, obtain better results than those who do not follow any planning, although the latter train more “.

The order in the training process is essential when it comes to achieving the objectives that the athlete marks. Nobody can imagine today a professional of any sport without a coach who plans his/her season or without knowledge of performance that place him/her at the level of a good coach.

To start each season with the necessary order, you must follow certain steps that we’ll develop in two articles. Here is the first part of the variables to take into account.

    1. Know the initial level of the athlete.
      Nowadays, thanks to the enormous amount of information that can be obtained through measurement systems (powermeters, heart rate monitors, etc.) and the data that the specialized literature provides about athletes of any performance level, it is possible to know precisely where to classify each person according to his/her performance level.
      From there you can start to set the second step, although in many occasions the order is reversed even before knowing if the athlete is able to reach the goal.

 

    1. Determine the A-Race.
      Based on the level of the athlete we can begin to set a realistic goal. It is very important to highlight that the immense and positive motivation that a person can have for the challenge intervenes in a very important way. There have been many times in which people whom I have trained, supported by a great investment of energy and the maximum passion for what they do, have evolved at a higher level than they could theoretically achieve.
      Therefore, at this point it is essential that the coach always maintain the flexibility that leads to the following statement: “good planning is a planning that is constantly adapting to reality.” That is, a coach must always leave the door open to change the main goal because an athlete can respond differently than originally planned.

 

    1. Determine the B-Races.
      Throughout their season, even professional athletes set secondary goals before the A-Race. These competitions help as ideal tests from which to draw conclusions to polish the details towards the main objective, they help the athlete to feel the adrenaline of placing a bib number, they help so that the organism is subjected to loads similar to those that will feel during the A-Race, they help to check essential details such as nutrition or the ideal equipment and, most important, they help to learn to compete. And is that being used to compete for the athlete is essential to get his/her best version at the exact time: the A-Race.
      That is the reason why professional athletes between twenty-seven and thirty-three compete at the highest level and can outperform others younger than them but more inexperienced. Knowing how to manage the competition and everything around it is the only way to achieve maximum individual performance.

 

In the second part of this post we will analyze the rest of the keys that must be taken into account when planning a season correctly.