One of the best things you can do in the winter is work on building a strong base so we don’t get injured when it’s adventure time. By properly planning your training it is possible to reduce your chances of nagging injuries.
There are 5 training priorities that are always a good idea to incorporate. The purpose of them is to reduce the risk of having an injury as well as set you up for success this spring, summer and fall. *It’s best to build from one to the other.
Priority #1: Technique
Practice proper technique. Two great ways to learn better technique whether it’s biking, running or even swimming is to hire a coach to initially evaluate you. Another great way is to watch videos that cover basic technique recommendations.
Priority #2: Mobility and Stability
Add exercises into your routine that help with increasing overall mobility and stability. Stretching is something you can add into your daily routine very easily.
Priority #3: Strength
This should maybe be moved up to priority #1. Strength is a key attribute to reducing the chances of injury and increasing performance and endurance. Work in resistance training each week. Use your body weight and watch yourself get stronger.
Priority #4: Power
Building power first requires strength. Be sure to work on building strength first and then focusing on power. Power = force applied to the pedal when cycling, the ground when running + cadence. If you’re in the gym this would be lifting medium to heavy weights but lifting them fast. Power not only reduces your risk of injury, but can also help you perform better.
Priority #5: Speed
By incorporating each priority as building blocks and then working on speed will increase your performance and decrease your injuries. Speed puts stress on the body. If you don’t have a good base of stability or strength you may injure yourself.
Incorporate speed work into your cycling, running and hiking days. Start small. Do small bursts of speed for one minute and then go back to a “normal” pace for 2-3 minutes then repeat for a small duration of your workout.
The key to keep doing what you love long term is to use these building blocks and do them to the level that is comfortable for you. Prioritizing your training will ensure that you are stable, build strength and you’ll see that you feel better and perform better.