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List of Daily Training Tasks
Daily Training Task (DTT)
      Start by preparing a "wish" list of activities. Include the duration and frequency of each activity. The next step is to prioritize each activity so a schedule can be made for the entire week. This part of a training plan that is most difficult to define and describe either in theory and even more difficulty to convince an athlete to put into practice. However, this information may provide the key information to the coach and trainer as to what is working and what has not worked so changes can be made from one competitive season to the next,

      In most sports the acquistion of skills is gradual and the highest levels of performance by talented athletes are only attained after 10 years of intense preparation.  Performance may be measured by stop watches, tape measures, or judges and referees,

      "Periodization of training" means "dividing the training up into periods". The concept is for each period to be focused on one training goal. For example, incease speed/power; strengthen the core body; build endurance; from fatigue; perform at peak levels. Coaches call these periods as phases or stages. They generally are not totally focused on one training mode.

       A generic, periodized annual training plan is usually divided into the following eight phases which may be subdivided into macro and mircro cycles:

  • General Preparation - In this phase, training focuses on developing a foundation for the sport performance. This is where the athlete trains those systems that are slow to change, for example the aerobic energy systems. Long term changes, such as increasing muscle mass and strength would also be targeted in this phase. Training is aimed primarily at overall fitness. Athletes in more technical sports would also use this phase to work on significant technique changes or to tune new equipment. Volume/load would be increasing throughout.
  • Specific Preparation - Is a continuation of the preparation phase, but signals a transition into more sport specific training. For example, a cross-country skier who was mostly running and biking in the General Preparation phase, would begin to include more and more roller skiing into the training program during this phase. Also during this phase, the athlete would begin to work on systems that train more easily than those targeted in General Preparation.
  • Pre-competition - This is the phase where the athlete prepares specifically for competition. The peak volume (hr./week) in this phase may be less than in the previous phase, or it maybe more depending on the sport type, training history and the length of the Competition Phase. Generally, if the volume is less, the intensity of training will be increased. A good rule of thumb is to try to keep the fatigue level constant as the volume goes down and intensity goes up. Macro cycles will be shorter, tending to 3-1, 2-1 and sometimes 1-1.
  • Competition - For athletes to perform at their best, they should be relatively rested. To achieve this, it is necessary for the total volume and the fatigue levels to be significantly reduced. Peak volume may be reduced to 50% of the highest previous peak volume. In sports where the competition season is relatively long, the early event can be treated as training practices. Between these early events, the training will be focued on exercises and drills that keep the athlete tuned up. Significant effort will be put into recovery activities. The slope of the volume curve may be flat, with many 1-1 or 2-1 micro cycles, matched to the competition schedule.
  • Taper - This phase is primarily designed to lower the accumulated fatigue level to as low a value as possible, while optimizing the race-readiness of the athlete. Volume is gradually lowered across the phase while training focuses on short, intense training efforts followed by mental and physical recovery activities. Taper length depends on the sport and on training age. Generally speaking, the older the athlete, the longer the taper; young children and teens have relatively little endurance, but recover quickly. Another rule of thumb is, the shorter the event, the shorter the taper needed.
  • Peak - This is the peak performance time. It may be for a competition lasting two days, or a week or more of play-downs leading to a final competition. Emphasis is on mental preparation, performance and recovery. Fatigue levels may go well above normal competition levels by the end of a peak period if recovery is neglected.
  • Relax - In this phase the training load and intensity is gradually lowered from the levels experienced in the competition phase. The volume of training at the peak of this phase may be higher than in the competition phase, but the intensity will be lowered and the focus will be on recovery. Volume decreases across the phase, which is generally only one macro cycle.
  • Off-season - is not a training phase since it is devoted to recovery and regeneration, particularly mental recovery. It is the time to take care of chronic and repetitive strain injuries. It generally is not wise for the activity level to drop off suddenly. The activiety level should not be allowed to fall too far below the beginning levels of the first macro cycle of the next general preparation phase.
Source - Planning for Peak Performance

NOTE: Each sport has different competition structures and schedules that affect the annual training plan.

Training volume calculations
      Training volume calculations may meet the criteria and the purposes of the training plan, yet only the practical real life conditions can validate the concept.

      A search of training literature yields an outline of goals based on the following generalizations:
  • Follow an intense practice session with a less intense session.
  • Follow an overload activity with a recovery activity.
  • Allow sufficient time for recovery between workouts.
  • Avoid training that stresses the same energy system(s) on successive days.
  • Avoid training that stresses the same mental system(s) on successive days.
  • Approximately 50% of training time should be recovery activity.
  • Avoid dehydration. If that is not possible, re-hydrate as soon as possible.
  • Eat sufficient calories in a balanced diet.
      The general thrust of every training plan may vary according to the emphasis and intensity of immplementing specific points. The role of each athlete's diary of Daily Training Tasks (DDT) is to record the actual accomplishments that allow th coach to review any deviationsfrom the planned training emphasis .
      In DTT diary, the user can use a printed list of scheduled daily activities for the training stage or phase. Details of the table's list should include such tasks as intensity, scheduled training time scheduled, and the actual time of the training that occured. Allow room for comments. Similiar lists of Mental, Technical, Tactical and Physical training tasks should be incorporated in the DTT diary.

      Each user is allowed to modify the planned training tasks to accomodate  school, work, and family obligations.

      A diary of DTT allows the calculation of the minutes per week that should be spent on each aspect of training. These are the ideal, or targeted training times. As the athlete fills out the planning part of the DTT, they may add or delete training activities due to conflicts that occur for specific time slots for each day.

      Information from the DDT logs  should be transferred to a computer spreadsheet to keep a running total of each aspect. With newer technology it might become a real time database. This information allows the athlete and coach to compare the targeted times of the plan as training tasks are added to the weekly schedule. It is up to the athlete to allocate or schedule activities throughout the training week (micro cycle) using the general guidelines given above.


Developing A Training Plan


The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:

Developing Training Plans for Athletes
Evaluation of Training
Age Training Guidelines
Components of Training Plan
Stages of Acquiring New Skills
Strategies for Training
Strategies for Competing
Fitness Training & Sports
Advanced Training
List Daily Training Tasks
Construction of a Training Plan
Developing An Annual Training Plan
Principles of Global Training
Competitive Training
Starting to Seriously Train
Skating Environment
Peaking Performance
Benefits of Cross Training
Principle of Varying Training
Varying Training Improves Results
Approaches to Training
Approaches to Jump Training
Transferring Knowledge & Skills
Aerobic Activities
Anaerobic Activities
Exercises to Develop Coordination
Off-Ice Activities For Skaters
Fitness and Conditioning
Off-Season Conditioning Activities
Tips for Long Distance Traveling
Mental Barriers to Training & Competing
Mental Considerations for Athletic Training
Mental Training Considerations
Mental Strategies for Training
Endurance Training Activities
Flexibility Training Activities
Bodyweight Exercise Training
Weight Training Activities
Brian Grasso Articles
Evaluation Assessment

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