Does anyone have any advice on peaking for the UK Cross country season? I have read various articles based on the American season which lasts from late summer to the end of the year with 4 phases: a 6 week endurance base phase, a 4-week hill running phase and a strengthening / race tapering phase that lasts about the same period of time, if not shorter. However, I am hoping to go to university in the autumn and i am determined to have a succcessful Cross country season and improve on last year when i started of well, but my performance dropped in the bigger, National and probably most important events. I think the XC uni season lasts from October to end of February. Does anyone have any advice on how to make the best of myself for the season for the UK season, with info on time spent in each training phase and gradual progression without overtraining?
It is always hard to make a season spread out over a long period of time and some compromises will need to be made.
The general format of a good training plan is
General Preparation / Specific Preparation / Pre-Competition / Competition / Active Recovery
The length of time in each phase may correspond to what you have seen above, but clearly you want to extend this out to a longer period of time. I'd suggest that you pick your most important competitions and after each one (provided the next one isn't straight after it) then you can do a week or so of more general work before getting back into the competitions. Some of your lesser competitions may need to be considered tough training runs, in other words, compete in them, but don't alter your training on the way through.
The specifics of what you do will depend on your schedule, fitness, experience etc - so it is almost impossible to advise here, but generally stick in some slower higher mileage weeks after competitions, concentrating more on the speed aspects of racing in the weeks leading to the big competitions (and ensuring you get enough rest to be fresh for the races).
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