Let’s get right down to it: For the competitive endurance athlete, the number one objective of any training program is to maximize your degree of event specific fitness. This being said, effective training requires both coach and athlete to first and foremost understand the unique physiological and psychological stressors that the athlete will be subjected to during competition. Simply put, if you expect your body, and mind, to be able to perform at a specific effort, for a specific period of time on a specific course while dealing with specific environmental conditions, your training program must fully prepare you to be able tolerate this very specific set of stressors come race day! As any good coach or athlete understands, event specific, or “specialized” training, is an integral part of the annual training progression; without it, peak athletic performance will not be realized. This being said, we can count on the fact that there is one, and only one approach that every athlete must take when preparing for a given competitive event or distance, right?
Although specialized training is in fact a key ingredient in any successful annual training progression, we must dive deeper in order to gain a complete understanding of each athlete’s unique physiology before undertaking the exact training practices that will yield the peak performance that both coach and athlete are striving so hard for. One of the “laws” of training is that in order for training to be effective, it must be individualized. In order to completely individualize an athlete’s training, we must first understand what kind of aerobic “engine” the athlete possesses, just how strong that engine is, and what kind of fuel economy it’s capable of!
Enter Metabolic Testing & Analysis
Metabolic testing is a term that is often mentioned yet quite often misunderstood. When most people hear the term “metabolic” they immediately think of calories, or basal metabolic rate (the amount of calories your body burns daily, at rest); while metabolic testing can in fact measure an athlete’s BMR, this is just the tip of the iceberg as far as its application is concerned.
In the coming weeks, I will release a series of training tips and vlog posts that will extensively examine the use of metabolic testing & analysis and discuss how its application allows both coach and athlete to attain a thorough understanding of the steps that must be taken over the course of the training progression to ensure that peak performance occurs when it’s needed most. In the coming weeks, I will release a series of training tips and vlog posts that will extensively examine the use of metabolic testing & analysis and discuss how its application allows both coach and athlete to attain a thorough understanding of the steps that must be taken over the course of the training progression to ensure that peak performance occurs when it’s needed most.
I’ve been fortunate enough to team up with Seaside Cycle in Manchester, MA to work on this project. Seaside Cycle recently invested in a New Leaf metabolic testing system, and along with JRM Training, is now offering a wide array of testing services for the cyclist or triathlete looking to maximize their performance potential. This state-of-the-art apparatus, when utilized in conjunction with power (bike) and/or velocity (run) based testing is a surefire way to pinpoint your body’s unique needs as you gear up to approach your event specific training program.
Stay tuned for our next series of vlog posts which will dive deeper into the use of metabolic testing & analysis and how you can best utilize it to maximize your athletic potential in 2010 and beyond.