Training Cycles, Macro to Micro


Training has its cycles, macro to micro.  The macro cycle starts with the 4 year Olympic cycle. The micro is the cycle within a workout.

We all need to make decisions about how and when to train.  When to go hard, and when to taper off for competition. When to go hard in a workout, when to rest and recover.  Here are some proven guidelines to making those decisions yearly, monthly, weekly, daily and sometimes moment to moment managing our bodies and minds to be our best ever!

There is a reason that the Olympics are every 4 years.  I have been through 2 complete cycles recently now and can attest to the natural flow that it takes.  After an Olympic year we all need a break from the  intense training.  There is a natural need for a less intense season.  Then the build up can continue again towards the next Olympic year.  We all need a break physically, mentally, emotionally, etc.

The speed skating competition season starts in September and ends in March.  After the season is over,  a few weeks off or just recovery work, then off ice training again in preparation for skating in the fall.   Time off consists of recovery work and fun stuff.  I do a lot of low intensity bike work, tennis, golf, swimming, etc.

When training again, increasing gradually, hard for 3 weeks and easy for 1 week. The easy week is very important for the body to have some recovery.  Without a break we are subject to over training and susceptible to injury and illness.

During the competition season I need to be able to peak at the right time.  This requires an easy week or two prior to the competition.  The longer the hard training period the longer the taper prior to the competition.  The taper is done by keeping the intensity but reducing the volume.

In a weekly cycle I train hard all week and take Sundays off.  Sometimes hard training for two days and take an easy recovery day between.  I still need to get in a certain amount of cardio training, strength, and skating in every week.

Even within a single workout there are cycles.  After the warmup and into the meat of a workout I cycle between intense work then rest and recovery.  Intervals followed by a set rest or A very hard effort followed by complete rest.  There a number of different kinds of workouts with this in mind depending on what the objective is that I am trying to obtain.  At the end of the workout I finish the cycle by cooling down and stretching.

So what to do with this information?  Set up a training plan for the 4 year cycle, yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily. Revise it accordingly to fit your needs, desires, competitions and reactions to training feedback and recovery.

Remember, work, recovery, rest, repeat.

My ithlete HRV tool helps with determining how hard to train. It helps me to measure my readiness to train hard or take an easy day.

The Native American indians have a philosophy about circles.  Respect the circles and the cycles of life, it will pay great dividends in all areas of your life.

Masters US Single Distance Championships January 2012, photo by Steve Penland

How to start your best season ever!


Book signing Road Runner Sports, Wilmette, IL Saturday 1/31/2015 11am to 1pm.

How to start your best season ever!

This is a guide to getting started to have your best training and competition season ever.

First, did you rest, reflect, and recover from last season?  Are you ready to get started for the long haul?

Next, here are the steps required.

Set your intention.  Make your choices.

Outline an overall plan.  Your goals must be specific, measurable, and have a time frame.  Look at the entire season, then work backward to your training and preparations.  Start with the framework, then get specific.  Plan by the month, week, day, then each task in the workout.  Be flexible with the plan, it will change.

Get your network together for support.  Enlist the people around you that you need for help.  Tell them your plans.

Get your equipment together.  This includes what you need to compete, and train.  Remember to include good nutrition.

Enlist a coach or schedule some camps and clinics to learn more about your sport and competing.  Study training methods of other successful athletes that you know.  Do what works.  Do not reinvent the wheel.

Sign up for the competitions as soon as possible, book air travel, hotel rooms, rental cars, etc, now.  Make the committment.

Train as if you are competing.

Stay balanced in your efforts.  Start slow and build.  Keep your priorities straight.

Remember to attend to your emotional needs, they are just as important as the physical.  Schedule, yoga, meditation, etc, to keep balanced on the emotional side.  Rehearse your competition mentally so you are prepared to execute to the best of your ability.  See yourself accomplishing your achievements. Have visible reminders of the goals you have set.

Exercise courage in starting your plan.  The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. Start walking…

Set your intention.  Make your choices.  Execute your plan.  You will get the results you work for.

Good luck on your journey, have the best season ever!

I have posted about each one of these subjects in detail in the last several months.  Check out my archives of past posts.

Photo by Jerry Search

Photo by Jerry Search

Buy my Book! Available now on Amazon!


Buy My Book! Faster as a Master, Breaking Down Barriers, Journeying Toward Wholeness. Available now on Amazon in print and kindle versions.

Happy Birthday to my wife Maripat.  Seven years ago today we met when you fell in my lap on the United company bus and I flew you from Chicago to Hong Kong.  Faster as a Master is dedicated to you and sharing this fantastic journey. Chapter 5 is the story of how we met.

Follow this link to Amazon and order the print on demand version or download the digital version.  For my international friends I would reccomend Amazon so you can get the best options and deals on shipping.

http://www.amazon.com/Faster-Master-Breaking-Journeying-Wholeness-ebook/dp/B00NMWLDRM/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1411310247&sr=8-2&keywords=faster+as+a+master

Description:

Bruce Conner is faster as a speed skater now, at age 57, than he was as a teenager. The commonly held belief about getting slower as we age has been blown completely out of the water by Bruce, breaking down that barrier. Getting better and going faster is more about intentions and choices than age. “We all want to be great. As I get older, I want to be great again. Happy, loved, healthy–those are the qualities I aspire to be. To be whole in body, mind, and spirit is the reward. We are more capable of attaining those things than we give ourselves credit for.” –Bruce ConnerBruce is also a United B-747 captain, even though he was told when he got his first pair of glasses at age 16 that he would never fly airplanes for a living. Bruce competed as a youngster from age 12 till 19, competing as a long track ice speed skater at the local, state, national, and international levels. He was on the U.S. national team from 1974 through 1976, barely missing making the 1976 Olympic team.

Returning after 20 plus years away from the sport, he had some unfinished business. How fast could he go if he trained as hard as a youth but was smarter about it? Making it back to the Olympic trials again at age 49 was his goal. To be in the elite group of the top skaters in this country was the prize. Was it possible? He had to find out.Bruce has now qualified for four US Olympic trials, at age 19, 49, 53, and 57. Find out how Bruce was able to compete at the elite level and, in the process, journey toward wholeness and heal old wounds. Follow Bruce to break down your barriers to an unlimited life!

I will have copies available to personalize later this week and will announce how to buy them directly from me.  I will be helping Nancy Swider-Peltz, Sr. at the Masters Long Track Clinic at the Pettit Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin later this week and will have copies for purchase (save shipping).

I will be announcing soon how to purchase on iTunes and Nook digital versions.

This has been an amazing four and a half year journey getting this book wriiten and published, thanks for your support!

Next week I will pick up the discussion about “Mental Training”.

Faster as a Master

Faster as a Master

 

 

Faster As A Master Book Intro Part 3 of 3


Faster As A Master Book Intro Part 3 of 3

Good Luck in Sochi!

Sports are one of the ways that I connect with in a tangible, measurable way to my own inward journey of self exploration.  Chasing meaning rather than trying to avoid discomfort creates better health.  Going after what creates that meaning in my life and trusting  that I can handle the stress that follows, sets me up for a journey to wholeness.  Any activity, external or internal, can become the vehicle for this important journey.  However, the principles are universal.

Let me give another example.  Another passion of mine is flying airplanes.   An eye doctor told me at age 16, when I received my first pair of glasses, that I would never fly airplanes for a living.  It was widely believed then, that you needed perfect vision and military training to become an airline pilot. Despite those warnings, I am now at the top of my field as a United B-747 Captain.  Not accepting the fact that I needed glasses as a barrier, I broke it down before it could become a reality for me.

When I was young and began skating, I could not imagine how rich my life would become because of this sport.  I have reconnected with my passion for skating, training, goals and achievement as a masters athlete.

I am part of an incredible growing masters sports movement.  In speed skating we have an international as well as national governing bodies that oversee the rules and sanction masters’ competitions.  Age groups start at 30 with 5 year increments ending in the 85+ category for men and women.  Masters only races can be found many times each year around the globe including yearly World All Around and Sprint championships.

Skating has come full circle for me.  Through my sport I have learned much about myself, it exposes me like no other sport.  If my body is not responding the way I expect, there is always a deeper reason. It is up to me to find its cause, and a way to correct it.  If I am off balance, physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually, the ice and my competitors will give me immediate feedback.  It is up to me then to regain and maintain my balance to move forward in skating, and my life.  Skating is a mirror for how to live my life, to learn, change and grow.

I like to do things that are challenging and thus rewarding.

With imagination to dream it, breaking down my limiting beliefs, the willingness to do the work, I can achieve almost anything!

To break through barriers and to change my life, I must change my thinking.  Every action starts with a thought.

Here is one of my favorite quotes that reflects my philosophy:

“We are what we repeatedly do; excellence then is not an act but a habit.”         Aristotle

This is what I believe and what I strive for on my current path.

I have divided this book into three sections.  The first deals with telling parts of my story and thereby building a case for what I have done.  The second deals with breaking down barriers and limiting beliefs.  The third details all the tools I have used in my life to facilitate and enhance my journey.

I hope you will be inspired to successful living and journeying toward wholeness.

US Olympic Speed Skating Trials 2013, photo by Jerry Search

US Olympic Speed Skating Trials 2013, photo by Jerry Search

Olympic Trials TV and Race Schedule


Happy Holidays Everyone!  Grateful for all who are in my life.  You are all truly amazing. Thank you for all the support. I could not have come this far without you.  Good luck to all my fellow competitors!

Here are the racing and TV schedules for the upcoming Olympic trials, enjoy.

I am racing Saturday 12/28  and Sunday 12/29.

EVENT SCHEDULE

DATE AND TIME EVENT
27 Dec 2013 – 3:30pm Ladies 3000m / Men 5000m
28 Dec 2013 – 9:30am Ladies 500m / Men 500m
29 Dec 2013 – 11:30am Ladies 1000m / Men 1000m
31 Dec 2013 – 3:00pm Ladies 1500m / Men 1500m
1 Jan 2014 – 1:30pm Ladies 5000m / Men 10000m
* times are subject to change

BROADCAST SCHEDULE:

 

Date Coverage Network Time (ET)
Fri., December 27 Men’s 5000m and Women’s 3000m NBCSN 8 p.m.
Sat., December 28 Men’s & Women’s 500m NBC 3 p.m.
Sun., December 29 Men’s & Women’s 1000m NBC 3 p.m.
Tue., December 31 Men’s & Women’s 1500m NBCSN 6 p.m.
Wed., January 1 Men’s 10,000m & Women’s 5000m NBCSN 5 p.m.
       

 

My Skating Family. L to R, Jeffrey Swider-Peltz, Nancy Swider- Peltz, Jr, Brian Hansen, Maripat Conner (wife), Bruce Conner, Nancy Swider-Peltz, Sr (Coach)

My Skating Family.
L to R, Jeffrey Swider-Peltz, Nancy Swider- Peltz, Jr, Brian Hansen, Maripat Conner (wife), Bruce Conner, Nancy Swider-Peltz, Sr (Coach)

Press Release For Upcoming Olympic Trials


For Immediate Release From Bart Conner 1984 Olympic Champion 12/15/2013

At age 57 United Airlines 747 Captain Bruce Conner Qualifies for his 4th US Olympic Trials in Long Track Speed Skating.  Bruce Conner hopes to inspires others.

He has qualified at age 19, 49, 53 and now at 57, the oldest competitor ever.

For the 4th time in his life, Bruce Conner has qualified to skate with the best in the sport. Narrowly missing the Olympic team in 1975 at age 19, he retired from the sport and pursued his other passion, flying.  Now at the top of his field as a United 747 Captain, he flies all over the world.  His other full time job is training to compete at an elite level of competition.

He is skating faster than ever, and able to maintain a very high level of training and competition for 9 seasons in a row.  He will be competing in the 500 meter race on December 28th, and the 1000 meter race on December 29th, in Salt Lake City.

Nancy Swider – Peltz, Sr, has been his coach for the last 3 seasons.  Nancy is a four time Olympian, 8 time competitor of the Olympic trials, and former world record holder.  She also trains other Olympians. She says, “Bruce’s technical skill on the ice are close to perfectly efficient and surpasses all expectations I (or anyone else) would have for a 57 year old.  It is this, and his training discipline, that has brought him to the level of qualifying for the Olympic trials with the young guys in “what the books would say” are distances most difficult as you get older.”

Bruce trains 3 to 4 times per week on an indoor 400 meter track at the Pettit National  Ice Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is a 150 mile round trip journey from his home in Kildeer, Illinois.

Conner”s family has experienced sports success in the past.  Bruce’s younger brother Bart is a 1984 two time Olympic Gold medalist in gymnastics.  Bart is married to Olympic Champion Nadia Comenici.

“The Trials are my Olympics.  I know that my times will not be fast enough to make the US team.  I consider this accomplishment a victory lap for all Master Athletes.”

Bruce’s accomplishments are a testament to his philosophy which is.

“Let age enhance your dreams rather than define them.”

“Getting better and going faster is more about intention and choice than age.”

For more information on Bruce Conner you can check out his website

http://www.brucewconner.com

For more info contact: Bruce Conner 847-370-5405

Masters World Sprints, Salt Lake City, March 2013

Masters World Sprints, Salt Lake City, March 2013

First major racing of the Olympic season


Productive on all levels.  Sunday evening now, as I write this, on an airplane going home at 35,000 feet, reviewing the work done during the competition and the important validation of training, etc.

I left Chicago Wednesday morning for Salt Lake.  Skating in the afternoon, getting in some speed work.  At the altitude of 4650 feet above sea level the air is different from my usual training ground of 800 feet at Milwaukee.  The ice was fast and the aerodynamic drag is less, this means we go faster with the same effort.  Accounting for the increase in speed, turn entries are earlier, the lean in the corners is steeper and more dramatic.  Mental and physical adjustments are made, sometimes equipment too.  Not too much volume of training here, just enough intensity to continue the taper but make the changes.

Everybody in the US skating world is here.  My skating family.  Great to see old friends, coaches, officials.  This an open competition so I have some fellow masters here but mostly they are Olympic hopefuls.

Thursday is a day just to touch the ice for about 40 minutes and cement yesterdays changes, building confidence.

This is the US Single Distance Championships, Fall World Cup Qualifier, and American Cup I.  US Champions will be crowned in each distance from 500 to 5000 meters.  The top spots will also be on the Fall World Cup circuit competing in Calgary, Salt Lake and Europe.  The fall world cup events will determine how many spots are awarded to each country for the upcoming Olympic games in Sochi, Russia starting February 7th 2014.  This an Olympic year, everything gets ramped up.  In this country, our sport gets a nice bump in attention each Olympic cycle.  Important to take advantage when the attention is here.

Friday is the 500 #1, also is the ladies 3000 and the men 5000.  Saturday is the 500 #2, total time for both determines the champion, and the 1000.  Sunday is the 1500.

I am racing all but the 5000.  Friday is just the 500 #1, for me.  First race of the season.  Little bit slow to start, 11.31 for first 100 meters.  I am a little bit tentative due to a low back issue that is aggravated by starts.  Not great tempo.  First outer turn building speed well, connected to the ice.  Crossover to the inner, my pair was ahead and not a conflict.  A little hesitant coming into the last inner turn, building confidence half way through, exiting strong.  Great lap time of 28.85, fastest lap all year finishing with good technique at 40.16.  Pretty good start considering changing airplanes in May and flying a full schedule to Europe and training.  Rest is what I lack now, sleep will have to be later.  I was not sure what to expect but this is a good start and something to work on.

Saturday is the 500 #2 and 1000.  Inner lane this time to start, better opener at 11.23, but not really connecting on many strokes.  Higher turnover but less good contact.  29.05 lap, 40.28 finish.  Very consistent from friday, so I am pleased.  Outer lane start on the 1000, pretty good opener at 19.13.  Great next lap, smooth, powerful, in control, efficient.  Settled down, this is where I excel.  29.61, then the lactate builds in my legs, heart rate at max, breathing to match.  Last lap at 31.07, Nancy, my coach, shows me my spilt times on the backstretch and shouts reminders and encouragement.  Right on schedule, only dropped 1.46 on the last lap, very proud of that.  Good take aways from today, confident moving forward into Sunday.

Sunday is the race of truth.  The 1500 taxes every facet of my being.  The physical limit exertion of strength for speed and endurance to maintain self-propelled inertia.  Mental toughness, emotional fortitude, and the spiritual conclusion knowing I have nothing left at the finish line.  Based on the weekend so far, a 2:05 was realistic.  Starting on the outer, getting good pushes into the first turn, smooth around the corner with nice pop in my cadence.  Opening in 27.17, nice, better than planned but comfortable.  Next fast lap at 30.53 right on target.  Now the lactate starts to build.  Maintaining good rhythm and technique to keep the speed two laps to go.  32.28 next lap, then a 34.16.  Any drop less than 2 seconds per lap is a sign of good conditioning and validation of training.  This is what I train for, skating with lactate heavy legs.  The ability to rise up to glide after that last 100 meter strain for the finish line and know “That was all I had”, is satisfaction.  A quick look at the score board shows a 2:04.14.  Fifth fastest 1500 ever for me.  Nice start to the seasons first racing for me.

Champions crowned.  Fall World Cup Team announced.  Many new personal bests and seasons bests.  My hat is off to all those who made it possible, and to my valiant competitors that I get to share this hallowed ice.  This Olympic season will be great fun!  Eight weeks to the US Olympic Trials back here in Salt Lake.  Stay tuned for a great ride!

Photo by Jerry Search

Photo by Jerry Search