LSD stands for LONG STEADY DISTANCE. Many people equate the base phase (which is the first phase of a periodized training plan, often following off-season and preceding the build phase) for LONG SLOW DISTANCE but rather, the focus is on steady distance.
I have two great articles that I'd like you to read as I feel it would be easier to pass along well-written advice and info, than to try to sum up the article in one blog.
What I will do, however, is give you a few suggestions as to how you can have a great year of training...starting NOW!
Whether you are training for a multisport event or just trying to get into shape, I'd like you to spend the next 4-6 weeks addressing a few of the following areas. Remember, training (just like nutrition) is a journey. You can not compare yourself to years past but rather, assess where you are now, focus on your current strengths and weaknesses and be consistent in order to experience gradual performance gains.
A FEW POINTERS:
1) STRENGTH TRAIN!!!! - Although I encourage this all year long, this is the BEST time to work on any muscle imbalances, to strengthen muscles and improve power (in a quick amount of time), to speed up metabolism and to increase lean body mass. I recommend 2-3 sets of 20 reps, using a weight that allows you to "feel the burn" around 17 reps. I recommend moving quickly through the exercises but controlled, slow movements within each set. I feel 20-30 minutes, 3 days a week is an effective use of your time to perform a full body workout of 4-5 exercises for lower and 4-5 exercise for upper body. Of my favorite exercises: Step-ups on a 6 to 20 inch block (moving up as you feel a gain in strength) either alternating or one leg at a time. Another exercise is a side plank with the top arm supporting your body with hand down in front of your body. Lift your top leg up and down to work on hip strength. Lastly, back extensions on a stability ball to engage and strengthen the lower back. I also recommend starting with machines to allow some assistance and to have a personal trainer or exercise specialist walk you through some basic exercises to evaluate form and to give recommendations. Once you feel comfortable, I suggest using the BOSU, free weights and any other equipment that allows you to isolate single muscle groups (for imbalances) as well as to strengthen the core. Flexibility and yoga is in addition to strength training, as often as you can.
2) SLEEP, STRESS, DIET - there is no better time than now to work on other areas in your life that may affect training when the volume and intensity increases in your upcoming build phase. Aim for a restful night of sleep and be sure that your training schedule allows proper recovery. If you aren't able to recover now with training, it is likely that come build or peak, you will be too burnt out (or injured) to find enjoyment in training or to experience gradual performance gains. Training should be fun all year round but of course, some workouts will require that you get out of your comfort zone (you'll be glad when they are over and for what you accomplished). The key is consistency so be sure that you are allowing time for other areas in your life that bring you happiness as well as addressing areas in the diet which may affect your overall health, body composition and training. Focus on your daily diet PRIOR to attempting to work on your sports nutrition (ex. training nutrition). Need help? See my services @ Trimarnicoach.com
3) Last, but not least...Address your weaknesses! So many athletes progress with training too quickly because they get too caught up in mileage. All of a sudden, the same routine from last season is in place..with the same weaknesses. Do you suffer in the pool or need help on your stroke? Work with a coach and dedicate an extra session in the pool to just drill work. Feel as if you need to build endurance in the pool? How about skipping your "long" run every other week and spending that time in the pool. Want to improve your run form? Don't be afraid to walk during your runs and dedicate a little time at the beginning and end of every run workout to your stride and form. Need help with cycling? Try riding with others to improve your confidence and practice riding in smaller gears, with a higher cadence. Don't be afraid to change up your routine! For example, for the past 2 months, I did 2 long rides every other weekend and did a short run after my Sat run. To adjust for run mileage, I didn't run longer during the week because I knew I had the weeks in between to run 2 times during the week and then a long run on those in between weekends. This is the time to be consistent so don't let the next 4-8 weeks go by and not address areas which will allow you to effeciently move forward with training, continuing to experience metabolic and physiological gains.
Questions? Feel free to email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org
The Science of base training
The basics of base building