We’ve already covered why you need a training plan (and some of the do’s and don’ts of getting your training plan off the ground). But it’s one thing to know that you need a training plan and one thing to know how to actually build it.
But never fear, imATHLETE is here to save the day with 5 things to include in your training plan to get your athletes up, moving and getting ready for race day:
1 - Stretching
Unless your race registration roster is comprised of Go-Go Gadget, Stretch Armstrong and a pack of super bendy yogis, your athletes are going to need some suggestions on how to loosen up, get their muscles ready for a workout and help their muscles recover after a workout. Stretching is one of the most important (and overlooked) parts of training, and it’s also most likely the area of training that most make your athletes scratch their heads and say “WTF am I doing?”
Include a pre-workout and a post-workout stretching plan, as well as some yoga poses and dynamic stretches that will get your athletes nice and limber before race day.
2 - Food Suggestions
I get it - you’re a race director and not a dietician. But maintaining the right diet and eating the right foods is essential for your athletes to feel their best and get the most out of their training. They need to know what to eat, how much to eat and when to eat it to maximize their efforts, increase their time and show up on event day ready to rock a new PR.
Include the 411 on exactly what proportions of carbs, protein and healthy fats they should be eating before they train, after they train and on rest days. Give them a few sample recipes (protein shakes are always a hit!) and include links on your race registration website to places where they can learn more about proper athletic nutrition (you know…from ACTUAL dieticians).
3 - On-Sport Workouts
This should go without saying, but your training plan should include on-sport workouts of the actual sport they’re training for. #captainobvious
If you’re hosting a marathon, include tempo runs, interval runs and a plan for your athletes to safely and effectively increase their mileage each month. If you’re throwing an obstacle race, throw some upper body circuits in the mix to get your athletes prepped to take on the monkey bars and army crawls. If you’re all about those triathlons, include tips to get them through their first open water swim and hill workouts for the bike.
The point is, your training plan should be getting your athletes prepared for your actual race. Give them workouts that have them showing up on race day ready to go instead of laying in bed the night before, totally unprepared and praying for an event cancellation.
4 - Cross Training
As important as it is to include workouts that highlight your sport, you’re also going to want to throw some cross training workouts into the mix to keep your athletes on their toes and away from complete and total burnout.
If they’re prepping for a cycling race, throw in an easy run or two. If they’re getting ready for a 5k, have them do a weight training circuit. And whatever they’re training for, make sure to slip in some yoga to keep them nice and zenned out leading up to race day.
5 - Something Fun
Above all, training should be FUN (challenging, yes…but seriously, it needs to be fun). If your athletes dread following your training plan every day, I’ve got a newsflash for you: they’re not going to follow it.
Throw a few workouts in their that are just for fun. Tell your athletes to throw a dance party, or create a “Game of Thrones” themed circuit where they have to squat every time someone dies on the show (trust me, their thighs will be BURNING 15 minutes in…people get murdered left and right on that show). Whatever you think would be a fun, active activity for your athletes, get it in that training plan. Keeping things fun and light will keep your athletes committed to following the plan straight through event day.
Now you know what to include in your training plan. Get writing so your athletes can get training!