October 1, 2004, Newsletter Issue #203: Train Like Lance, part four

Tip of the Week

4. Periodizational Training. Armstrong trains in blocks, starting in the off-season and leading towards a peak during the race in July. His blocks have different goals than most of yours, but the principles are the same. You should not train your body the same way all year long. Instead, focus on different energy systems.

In Armstrong`s case, weaknesses, or places where radical change may be needed, are focused on in the off-season. Then he`ll work on more and more subtle items as he gets closer to his goal period. You can`t peak all year long, so it`s better to not always try and be in your best condition. Sometimes, we let ego get in the way of the goal. We only focus on our strengths or do what we`re good at. But that is not the best way to reach a goal because if you train your hardest you will have good days and bad, even good periods and bad. Each time you switch your training you go through an adaptive period where your performance suffers, but this will make you fitter in the end.

A case in point: Armstrong got creamed by two of his primary rivals in a time trial just over a month before the start of the Tour. There was panic in the press, but for Carmichael and Armstrong, it was business as usual. Those other guys had peaked too early, whereas Lance was still coming into form. During the first mountain stage in France, he gained massive time on both of them.

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