In the previous post we looked at how an athlete might set up the first few training cycles of the year (http://www.thescienceofstriking.com/training/what-does-your-annual-training-plan-look-like-part-2-case-study-1/). This post will look at the reassessment following competition.
Competition day (Apr 28)
This first competition for the season would be a test of the current training protocol. Improvements on performance in key assessments (push up test, maximal aerobic test) would be compared to performance in the competition to assess for correlation. If this correlation exists, then the training programme has been effective at carrying over into competition.
Competition Phase (Apr 29-June 9)
As these two competitions are only 6 weeks apart, the athlete does not have sufficient time to revert back to physical preparation, so this period would be treated as an extended competition phase. These phases are far more difficult to manage, as we don’t wish to see decrement in the different physical qualities, we need to increase volume of power, strength and muscle endurance work slightly in the first 3-4 weeks, before decreasing volume in the last 2-3 weeks to dissipate fatigue. For some athletes, training a small amount of each of these qualities in one session may work well, whereas others may do better with a conjugate model which may involve heavy strength work on one day, power work on one day, and muscle endurance work on another.
Competition day (June 9)
Following this second competition, the athlete should enter a transition phase, a temporary decrease in training load in order to recovery and prepare for the next phase.
A close examination of the two events should take place, as should a re-assessment of key performance indicators. If, for example maximal aerobic speed, push up endurance increased but match stamina did not, the athlete and coach should look to other possible causes. There may be an issue with technique and movement economy. If this is the case, then technique work should be prioritized, perhaps in combination with higher load strength training in more specific movement patterns to increase carryover to boxing movements. Perhaps the athlete discovers that they waste a lot of nervous energy due to anxiety, and may need to consult with a sports psychologist to address this, while at the same time employing specific techniques to increase perception of physical exertion and breathing techniques to control exertion during rounds.
The results of this re-testing battery and analysis of performance would then dictate the next training blocks, the content of which may be similar to the first, if this was deemed successful, or may be significantly different. These blocks might look something like this:
Transition (June 10-16)
GPP (June 17-July 7)
SPP (July 8-28)
Competition Phase (July 29-Aug 24)
Competition day (Aug 25)
The preparatory phases would be far shorter than in the first block of the year, leaving less time for adaptation.
Transition Phase (Aug 26-Sep 1)
SPP (Sep 2-Oct 20)
Competition Phase (Oct 21-Dec 16)
Competition day (Dec 16)
If this was an athlete with a relatively advanced training age (both in terms of their boxing and strength training age), then the last block of the year would likely not contain a GPP phase, moving straight into an SPP phase, then a longer competition training camp, focusing on peaking for the Olympic trials.
The hypothetical example in these last two posts shows how a training year should be set out in advance, with windows to change the training format based on the effectiveness of the programme.
In the next post we will look at an athlete whose schedule is less fixed, and how the programming process differs.
A full framework of training planning is featured in the science of striking, available in both hard-copy and kindle formats (https://www.amazon.com/Science-Striking-Comprehensive-Physical-Preparation/dp/1729586821/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1543575646&sr=8-2&keywords=The+Science+of+Striking+Sam+Gilbert)
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