Are you keen to training hard?
Do you have a plan?
Are you tracking your training?
Can you see gradual, periodised loading in your numbers?
It's a good idea to track your progress, but are you really turning all your hard work into a score on the board?
Let's look at an example. Let's say you've been progressively training each week, with a mix of high, medium and low load sessions. In the last four weeks of your training, you ramp your intensity up to cash in on your base fitness. Your efforts are representative of your form and might look something like this:
If you're tracking your work, you might also be able to see a progress increase in fitness, as represented by the average load of your previous four weeks. Up until your taper in load, your fitness will progressively increase, perhaps something like this:
If you don't track your hard work in a way like the above, beware - tracking one metric doesn't complete the picture. You need to see how the two of them compare to each other - fitness and form. Increase your fitness just enough to get the stimulation you need, and then when you need to express it, be recovered enough to stay in the contest enough to score. Perhaps you can track them both to get that idea:
Still - the Fitness vs Form graph fails to really give you the sharp impression you deserve for all your hard work. As it goes, if you compare the value of the form over the fitness, you get an impression of the balance between the two. What should happen is that as your fitness goes up, the hard work you put into your body and mind is buffered by your fitness:
But then, that's not the end of your analysis - well, it shouldn't be. It still has to mean something REALLY potent!
You really need to know if the balance between fitness and form goes up too high or too low. Surely squeezing more hard work will get the results faster right?
Well, if the red line gets too far above the blue line too quickly, the likelihood of getting sick or injured goes up too. If you get sick or injured, the chances of finishing your program in time for your crunch time goes down. Way down. So, you need some guidelines about which the training stress balance should stay within (the green line). Here's where it comes in - keep the green line in between the two horizontal red lines and you'll have the right balance - to take your endeavour to score:
If you're like me - getting sick or injured is so disappointing. As it goes, Andrew Read, from Read Performance Training and I will be diving into Advanced Program Design to cut away the disappointment of program failure. I'm even giving away my training load monitoring template for free (from which the above graphs are generated) for those who sign up. Click the link to get your tickets and turn your endeavour into score.