When a training season has ended, every sports team takes a step back to assess its results and design a plan for the upcoming season. Here’s a step-by-step guide of how to design an annual training plan with Sportlyzer coaching software.
Before you can start planning for athletes, you need to set up a training group.
Annual training planning process
1. Open annual training planning clipboard
In the ‘Dashboard’ view, click on Athlete’s name (1a), on Athlete’s ‘See plan’ button (1b) or on ‘Group plan’ button (1c) on the header row of a training group. First two options will take you to design a plan for that particular athlete, the third option lets you design a plan for the whole training group).
Alternatively, you can go to the ‘Coaching’ view and choose the desired Athlete or Group from the drop down list at the top left corner (check the next paragraph.
2. Select the period for planning
Now, in ‘Coaching’ view, select the period of the upcoming season. You can also switch your Athletes or Groups in the header. Just remember to click ‘Apply’ after changing these settings.
3. Enter competition schedule
Click on the ‘Competitions’ tab and click on ‘Add new competition’.
Every competition has several fields to be filled in:
- Competiton name – the name and place of the competition – e.g. Awesome MTB Race (Lago Bianco, Switzerland)
- Type – define the importance of the competition for yourself from A-D (A is the highlight of the season).
- Distance (if applicable)
- Duration – even if you don’t have an exact target for the duration of the competition, give some kind of estimation – this is needed for displaying it on the chart.
- Activity – the sports discipline of the competition. Stick to the list offered by the system.
- Comments – anything you’d like to add, e.g. What to eat and wear? When will the bus leave? etc.
There is no Save button? – Yes, everything is saved automatically.
4. Plan training cycles
a) Return to the ‘Plan’ tab and start planning training cycles.
b) Click on the ‘Add’ button below the Annual plan chart and give the Cycle type a name. Later you can rename or delete cycle types by clicking on them.
c) Define cycle’s weeks and duration by simply clicking on any week behind the cycle name and the line appears automatically. You can change its position, extend it, shorten it or delete it simply by using your mouse.
5. Plan training volume progression
Now that you know your competition schedule and training cycles, you can design the initial training volume progression.
There are two ways to do it:
- Mouse – click on the up and down arrows on the Annual plan chart.
- Keyboard – use the ‘Tab’ key to move field-by-field to the right (Shift+Tab to the left) and type in the numbers on your keyboard.
6. Plan in detail for the upcoming 1-4 weeks
After you have created the general strategy for the upcoming season, plan 1-4 weeks in detail. There is no point doing that for a longer period as the reality tends to ‘kill’ every plan.
When in individual athlete’s view, the left side of the table is for planning and the right side for athlete’s data. (If there is not enough room on your screen, you can hide the charts above by clicking on the ‘Hide chart’ button.)
- Click on the current week of the ‘Annual plan chart’ or scroll the page until you reach the intended dates.
- Type in the sport discipline, training duration and comment (advice, exercises, etc)
- To add more details click on the eye-like ‘Details’ button in the menu bar in the end of the training’s row. Other buttons in the menu bar are ‘Add one more training for this day’, ‘Mark this day as a resting day’ and ‘Delete planned training’.
- You can compare your detailed week-plan with your General volume strategy a) in numbers below the week you are currently planning and b) visually on the Annual plan chart.
- On the Annual plan chart there is 1 line (initial volume strategy) and 2 columns: a) detailed week-plan total on the left and b) athlete’s weekly total on the right.
7. Check athlete’s training and update the plan on a weekly basis
Log in to Sportlyzer at least once a week to check how the athlete follows the plan and reacts to training load. You can find details about your athlete’s training on the right side of the annual planning clipboard.
Usually the following metrics are observed to find the need for updating the plan:
- Training plan compared to actual training: volume, intensities, proportions of different sports.
- Sleeping hours, bodyweight and morning heart rate or orthostatic test.
- Subjective assessments of fatigue, muscle pain, stress, sleep quality and work/school load.
Try using Sportlyzer’ online training planning and analysis software yourself: www.sportlyzer.com.