Sebastian Weber’s tips on how to set up efficient training programs

Past week, Sebastian Weber shared in his webinar his expertise on how coaches can set up efficient training programs. After blogging live during the online session and the Q&A round, we revisited Sebastian’s tips and summarised them for you.

Where to start: primary & secondary goals

A training program is like a connection of (A) where your athlete is now and (B) the goal your athlete wants to achieve. To create the link:

  • you have to understand the athlete’s/your goals as good as possible and identify key performance indicators (KPI), which determine if the target is achievable.
  • you need to assess the current state of performance based on accurate and high-quality data.
  • you then compare the current and target values of the KPIs and select the ones with the most room for improvement.

Timing, Timing, Timing: how long, how often, how many repeats

Once the three points above have been clarified, it is time to roll out the training program with the time of recovery/carbohydrate combustion of previous sessions in mind (see section “Specifics on using macronutrients”).

  • per KPI, think about the possible minimum frequency to have a dedicated training session to work on. Then
  • derive the amount of time it takes for adaption/achieving the target value.
  • talk to your athlete to find out and understand his/her boundaries to be able to create a framework for the week with possible time slots. Then
  • plan key workouts for the main KPI. You might have one day or a string of two or three days which – in combination – create (a) key workout(s).
  • After that, fill in the blanks with second most important training sessions.

Share the logic behind the program with your athlete. Not only will the confidence of the athlete in you skyrocket but also his/her confidence and motivation in his training program!

Specifics on using macronutrients to make an informed decision on training & recovery/load vs. rest ratio

When you design the weekly program, don’t think about the training but think about the recovery. Overreaching syndrome, getting sick or losing bodyweight by losing muscle mass all are linked to glycogen depletion.

  • looking at how many carbohydrates an athlete burns and how long it does take to storage replenishment is a check on proper structure of key and second most important workouts.
  • have the fat and carbohydrate combustion in the training program for each intensity zone displayed.
  • knowing the levels build up a safety layer to avoid overtraining.

Periodisation & structure: rolling it out

The key for success in training, especially endurance training, is repeating the right and efficient training programs!

  • we did diligence work in finding the KPI, duration and frequency and identified the right training framework to improve performance.
  • rolling the training program out is: Repeating the “perfect” training week with key and secondary workouts over a longer period of time.
  • modify the template week after the needs and the schedule of the athlete, the core stays the same.

Use case I: reducing VLamax to spare carbohydrates

The effect to decrease the Vlamax, we just assume that sparing carbohydrate combustion is relevant for performance.

  • combine a primer and a main session.
  • the primer session prepares the main session. A combo-example is illustrated on the right side:
  • keep repeating the primer and main sessions throughout the week over weeks.

Use case II: increase VO2max

Sebastian suggests two creative ways in order to increase VO2max (see our blog article on this topic).

Training splits resulting in +2,5 hours of endurance training per week.

  • if feasible for the athlete: let him/her do a 30mins session every morning prior to work.
  • when he/she is accustomed, add technical aspects such as correcting posture on the bike (in front of the mirror) or vary cadence.
  • this holistic way does not only increase VO2max, but also technique.

Interval splits resulting in using aerobic metabolism

  • break up classic intervals of 8, 10 or 12 mins of 30/30 or 40/20 in two parts by adding a “lower intensity minute” halfway through the interval.
  • lower intensity means medio or maximum rate of lactate combustion.
  • this way you assist your athlete in coping with the intensity and
  • when he goes into the second half of the training after the 1 minute break, more of the energy needed is covered by aerobic metabolism which is what you are trying to target.

These advices sound promising and are practical to follow, so that athletes receive an efficient training program and beat personal bests. Are you looking for the right tool to support you in this? Then test AZUM system for one month free of charge or contact us!