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
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
"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
- 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
- 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.
Each sport has different competition structures and schedules that
affect the annual training plan.
calculations may meet the criteria and the purposes of the training
plan, yet only the practical real life conditions can validate the
A search of training literature yields an
goals based on the following generalizations:
The general thrust of every training plan may
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
- Follow an intense practice session with a less intense
- 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
- Avoid training that stresses the same mental system(s) on
- Approximately 50% of training time should be recovery
- Avoid dehydration. If that is not possible, re-hydrate as
soon as possible.
- Eat sufficient calories in a balanced diet.
In DTT diary, the user can use a printed list
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
tasks to accomodate school, work, and family obligations.
A diary of DTT allows the calculation of the
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
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
general guidelines given
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