MY COACHING COMMANDMENTS
1: CONSISTENT CYCLE STRUCTURE
Establishing a fixed achievable rhythm to your regular training cycle, where key workouts are scheduled appropriately to encourage high performance, vastly increases the probability of you being able to execute each session as intended. No athlete has a perfect record of workout compliance, but the more consistent you are, the greater your potential for success.
2: CAPACITY BEFORE POWER
Your sustainable Aerobic Power (aka ... FTP, Threshold Pace, and every intensity below it) will always be limited by your Aerobic Capacity (VO2max). Therefore, it is essential to develop your aerobic capacity to a sufficient level, prior to developing the fraction of this capacity that can be maintained over a set duration.
3: DEVELOP & MAINTAIN
It is far easier to maintain a high level of fitness, than it is to develop it. So once a level of fitness has been developed, it must be maintained. The goal of training is to build upon what has previously been achieved, not to rebuild what has been neglected.
4: CONTINUAL PROGRESSION
Training is about applying a large enough stimulus to create a positive adaptation. If the same stimulus is applied over and over again, the body will respond less and less each time. Therefore, when we are trying to develop a certain area of performance, it is paramount that we progress the stimulus to ensure continual adaptation. This applies not only from workout to workout, but also from season to season, as an athletic career progresses.
5: SPECIFIC DEMANDS
Although human energy systems interact dynamically with one another, the relative strength of each system needs to be balanced appropriately to meet the specific demands of a race. The exact balance depends not only upon the race duration and potential race tactics, but also on how these factors relate to the athlete’s individual characteristics.
Every athlete is unique with regards to both physiology and psychology. Therefore, each athlete requires an individualised approach to training. No two athletes should ever be trained by exactly the same workouts, even if they are competing in the same event.
7: KEEP WORKOUTS SIMPLE
Perfect execution of even the most basic of workouts is difficult. Keep workout structure simple to facilitate excellence in execution. The goal is to ‘train’ you - not to ‘entertain’ you.
8: SIMPLIFY THE SCIENCE
Good coaching takes complex ideas and makes them simple, practical and applicable. The science needs to be broken down into easier to understand models so that it can be embraced by all athletes.
9: TRAINING IS ONLY A PIECE OF THE PUZZLE
Acknowledge that training load is only a fraction of the high performance equation. No workout occurs in isolation, it is surrounded by the ‘total load’ that an athlete is under. Recovery status, mental stress, sleep habits and diet - all contribute significantly to how positively an athlete will respond to their training.
A successful athlete-coach relationship can only develop through clear and meaningful two-way communication. Assume nothing, clarify everything, confirm understanding.