What is a training block?
A training block is a period of focused training that hones in on a specific discipline. During these blocks, you back off on the volume and intensity of the other two disciplines to allow more time and energy to be spent on the third, which in this case is the bike.
What are the benefits completing a training block?
First, we need to talk briefly about the concept of progressive adaptation. In a nutshell, a stressor is applied in the form of a training session. This taxes the body systems which, in turn, respond by coming back a bit stronger than they were before (achieved with proper recovery!) so that they can better handle these stressors the next time around. Rinse and repeat.
The tricky thing in multisport is that these stressors are spread across three sports and must be carefully balanced, and combined with appropriate bouts of rest and recovery, to avoid overtraining and injury. Throw life’s other demands into the mix and you’re left with a finite amount of stress you are able to apply within a given period.
By scaling back the intensity and volume of two disciplines, you are subsequently able to scale up these factors in your third discipline. When executed in a strategic, smart manner, this can yield incredible fitness gains in a much shorter time than one would see utilizing their traditional approach.
But won’t I lose fitness in other areas?!
Nope! Your aerobic fitness will maintain, if not increase, throughout this training block. By strategically interspersing shorter, technique-based sessions of the other two disciplines each week, you will maintain neuromuscular sharpness in these areas without cutting into your primary focus area.
So what now?
As we wrap up race season and roll into the “off season”, this is the prime opportunity begin addressing our limiters in preparation for next year. Training blocks are an epic tool to doing so.
So give it a shot! Switch things up, focus in and get ready to ROCK.
We have developed a series of training blocks with various foci for the 2017-2018 off-season that are fully customizable to meet your training goals. The cycling block begins Monday, October 2. Sign up to get in on the fun!