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Run training - end of year form with Spencer Smith

Tri legend and former ITU World Champ Spencer Smith makes a case for focusing on adaptation over ramping up the volume post race-season...

We're now well into the off-season, and now you've hopefully had a period of R&R to replenish those depleted energy supplies in the bag, it’s time to get back to a little structure within your training. 

Now before we get carried away here, this doesn’t mean you pick up where you last left off in your training, nor does it mean the body is ready for the abuse you gave it during the height of the race season. This period of the training is about ‘adaptation’, meaning the need for some consistency without forcing the intensity or increasing the volume too quickly.

It’s more about the body getting used to some frequency again, without putting it under any real stress. Many athletes are so excited and eager to commence their training again that the urge to ramp up the volume and intensity too quickly is a common mistake. Try and think about the big picture, and although curbing any over exuberance initially will be challenging, the thought of success later on in the season should be enough to keep you somewhat sedated for now!

Starting back up

When starting back into any training programme after a hiatus, I would always err on the side of caution initially. Two main factors that should determine your realistic training plan structure at the start should be: your current fitness level and the length of time you’ve taken off.

The session on the next page, although not intense, does have quite a range of duration. It’s up to you to be honest with yourself and pick a realistic starting point to begin your training. Include it in your training twice a week and focus more on your form rather than any kind of specific pacing. 

Click through to the next page for Spencer Smith's run form session!


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