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  • Writer's pictureJohn Stirzaker

Getting Wintered Part 1

Since we started our journey as a new coaching business, we’ve adopted the latest scientific

research and methods gleaned from many experts in the sporting and longevity industries.

Delivering the correct training, nutrition and recovery for our athletes is our number one priority.

One of the first people that really influenced us both, is Ross Edgeley who wrote the World’s Fittest Book and swam around Great Britain! His book The Art of Resilience is excellent and references the Greek philosopher Epictetus when he explains how to prepare yourself for any training that you want to do.

We must undergo a hard winter training and not rush into things for which we haven’t


—Epictetus, Discourses, 1.2.32

Without a well-thought plan Winter athletes can feel like they are in limbo, while they wait for the Sun to come out again. The thought of going into the weight room, either doesn’t enter consideration or athletes take the wrong approach by following the traditional methods of low weight/high reps. By adopting the right techniques, any imbalances can be addressed as well as injury prevention and improved efficiency.

With the recent arrival of Zwift and the prevalence of indoor “races”, it’s very easy to train in a way that develops top end performance too soon, without developing or improving their aerobic base first. This creates an environment where the anaerobic engine becomes overly dominant and reduces the ability to utilise fat as a fuel source.

Consider the body is a car with two engines, one a hybrid engine that burns a mix of electric and petrol and another that burns just petrol at a fast rate. Athletes want to be able to use that hybrid engine for as long as possible to spare the expensive engine. When you consider it takes years to build an efficient aerobic system yet only takes 6 to 9 weeks to build your anaerobic system you can guess where the bulk of any training should be focused. Likewise, if you think fitness as a pyramid with performance at the peak, then it’s important to ensure that athletes have as wide and solid a base as possible.

That base needs to consist of more than just Zone 2 Training. It is the solid base that anchors the entire season’s training and there are many factors to incorporate. We have spent some time considering what these factors are, how they are interlinked, and how they can be incorporated into winter training.

By embedding the habits around these areas, any athlete will be able to start training in the Spring with all the necessary behaviours and processes in place.

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