Setting up your year: the most important thing you will do all season!

Planning your year is a critical component of a solid training plan and a enjoyable and successful racing season. Every season, I take time to lay out the big picture for the upcoming year. I used this big picture plan as my blueprint for my races, periodization of training, periodization of nutrition, and vacation planning. This plan serves as my go-to resource when I organize the type of training I need to do at certain times of the year.  I’ve simplified this process for you.  Read on…

First off, check out this video that describes how to set up your Yearly Training Plan (YTP) and your Weekly Routine. These are KEY tools to structuring a successful year.

This is the purpose of the YTP and weekly routine. It allows us to think carefully on how we prioritize our time.

Below are some thoughts on the value of the YTP and how to set up your YTP.

Time efficiency is a major concern for the working athlete.  You don’t want to waste time doing workouts that are not going to pay off when it comes time for your big race.  You also don’t want to go through the season doing random workouts that never lead you to peak form.

One of the most effective tools in avoiding time-wasting workouts is developing an outline for your season.This enables you to establish phases for your training (periodization) and structure workouts specific to your goals. Once you have the phases established, you can develop workouts to suit the phase.  The outline also helps maintain focus and not waste time doing workouts that may not be in your best interest.

The first thing I do at the beginning of the season for myself and my clients is to plan out the year.  I developed a calendar, the Yearly Training Plan (YTP), that allows me to see the entire year at once; I use this as my blueprint for the season. Details on this are on the TEAM ECo Facebook page. I posted a video on how to organize this. I also have templates for both the YTP and the Weekly Routine.

Athletes who develop a YTP have a huge advantage in that they have a structure to their season.  Every workout you do has a purpose and fits into the yearly plan.  The workouts can be prescribed (or self-written for you self-coached athletes) specifically for the phase you are in.  The YTP also helps in only doing workouts that help lead you to your big race and not wasting time doing workouts that aren’t part of the big picture.

I strongly suggest that anyone who is serious about performing well this season spend some time setting up a yearly plan. It saves a lot of time and trouble in the long run.