Breakaway Training's COACHING PHILOSOPHY

Breakaway Training’s coaching philosophy takes an integrated approach that incorporates the following to be able to create a balanced and functional athlete:

1. Physical Training

To get better in any sport the training has to be sport specific, but this should be complimented with appropriate flexibility and strength training.

Consistent and repetitive training such as running and cycling often leads to muscular strength and flexibility imbalances. For example, major muscles such as the quads can get over developed and minor muscles such as adductors and abductors are weak in comparison. Similarly, this imbalance can exist in terms of flexibility where one muscle is very short (tight) and another is very long (flexible). Persistent training can drive these imbalances to a point of instability and ultimately injury.

Breakaway Training adopts an integrated and balanced approach to create and maintain a balanced and functional athlete by minimizing and correcting strength and flexibility imbalances that can occur with consistent and repetitive training. This brings about greater athletic function and fitness for active people, particularly cyclists and triathletes.

Breakaway Training will help teach athletes to recognize and observe their limits, and how these limits can be expanded safely to bring about a higher level of fitness and athleticism.

As we get older it becomes more critical to have a program that includes body work to address muscular imbalances. For younger athletes it is never too early to have body awareness and establish good training habits.

Peak fitness for endurance events can be reached and maintained for only a short period of time. For an athlete to reach their potential peak fitness in a specified time frame they need to train the right energy system, by the right amount, and at the right time of year. Training at a high intensity too early can lead to burn out, injury, or peaking too soon. Breakaway Trainings programs are based on a periodized approach. This approach divides the year up into periods or phases. Breakaway Trainings programs generally include the following phases: preparation, base, build, taper/peak, race, recovery, and off-season phase.

The workouts of each phase are designed with a specific purpose (to improve the body’s ability to deliver and use oxygen, to improve the body’s use of fuel, to increase the rate of lactate removal and to increase the body’s tolerance to lactate, to refine technique, to increase power, etc.) and are of a certain frequency, intensity, duration and overall volume to help bring about improvement while preventing the likelihood of injury.

The intensity of workouts are measured in 5 zones and monitored using one of three methods: perceived effort (PE), pace, and heart rate zones (HRZ). Monitoring the intensity of each workout is important to ensure that the targeted energy system is being trained.

Breakaway Training is careful to take into account athletic experience, goals, sex, fitness level, and age in designing coaching programs. Training techniques are based on accepted and proven scientific principles (consistency, specificity, reversibility) to bring about increases in fitness efficiently and prevent burnout (overtraining, injury, and illness).

2. A Balanced Life Style

As serious as we are about our athletic endeavors, they still have to fit into our daily life schedule. Training and racing goals need to be realistic and in balance with other life goals and commitments. Often when an athlete does not set realistic goals their life can become unbalanced. Athletes with lofty athletic goals that are not in harmony with other life goals and commitments can find that their training becomes an obsession in an attempt to attain the unrealistic athletic goals. The result can be injury, burn out or when goals are not attained a lack of confidence, low motivation and a negative attitude.

Breakaway Training helps athletes develop well thought out, clear and sensible goals. These goals give a purpose and a direction to the training programs. Breakaway training programs are individualized in that they are designed to compliment athletes’ current commitments and responsibilities outside of their training and racing activities.

3. Rest and Recovery

Timely and adequate rest is essential for any athlete regardless of age, experience or skill level. Training is a stress on they body, and the body needs to recover from this mental and physical stress. It is after a period of rest that the body recovers and is able to come back stronger. Without adequate rest an athlete can experience burnout, loss of enthusiasm, injury, or a plateaued fitness level. Breakaway Training’s coached programs ensure athletes have daily downtime, weekly rest days, monthly rest weeks (50% reduced volume), and annually rest months.

4. Nutrition

You are what you eat. Diet has an immense impact on how efficiently you recover, the health of your immune system, and how you feel day-to-day. A good healthy diet can help you maximize your workouts.

Breakaway Training provides nutritional guidance to athletes, and though Edie Leonard, Breakaway Training athletes have access to a number of nutritional services.

5. Mental Conditioning
Breakaway Training helps athletes develop sound and realists athletic goals. When an athlete has sound athletic goals and a training plan they have confidence in their attitude tends to be more positive and they become a more confident athlete. Breakaway Training works to enforce these attitudes through monthly mental conditioning exercises. Training Programs are designed to help keep athletes motivated or provide renewed enthusiasm for athletes that have reached a plateau by offering creative and group workouts. Training programs are aimed at instilling confidence, renewing enthusiasm, and producing a positive attitude allowing athletes to believe in their abilities.
Why hire a coach?
Training for endurance events can be complex and demanding. Many questions arise from both novice and experienced athletes: How hard should I be training in the winter? How much should I eat during a 4 hour effort? Should I run, swim and bike everyday? How can I peak for a specific event? How can I fit in all the workouts without overtraining? If I take a break, will I loose fitness?

Hiring a coach can remove some of the complexity and confusion, and help find answers to many of your questions. An athlete and coach need to be compatible. A good fit. There needs to be a mutual understanding between the coach’s training philosophy and the athlete’s goals.

What makes a good coach?
Being a successful athlete does not necessarily make a good coach. When I look back at the coaches I have had in the past I learnt more, and was motivated more by those who listened to me, who understood the dynamics of training and competing, who could anticipate the ups and downs, could explain to me why I needed to do certain workouts, who could provide motivation when it was needed most and genuinely wanted to help me reach my athletic potential.

The aims of Breakaway’s training programs are listed below.

● To help athletes of all levels, skill, age and experience to develop well thought out and realistic short-term and long-term goals. These goals give a purpose and a direction to the training programs.

● To provide direction, structure and balance through individualized training plans that are designed to compliment athletes’ experience, skill level, current commitments and responsibilities outside of their training activities.

● To use training techniques based on accepted and proven scientific principles (consistency, specificity, reversibility) to bring about increases in fitness efficiently and prevent burnout (overtraining, injury, and illness). Training plans contain workouts that are of the right frequency, duration, volume and intensity, to help athletes meet their individual goals safely, whether it is to compete in one race a season, race a full bike racing season from March through August, to medal at the Nationals or to complete a first triathlon.

● To use a balanced approach that incorporates aerobic conditioning, individualized strength training, stretching, taper and recovery plans. This integrated approach aims to bring about greater athletic function and fitness in active people, particularly cyclists and triathletes.

● To provide guidance, support, and encouragement, to instill confidence and to produce a positive attitude allowing athletes to believe in their abilities. Training plans are designed to help keep athletes motivated or provide renewed enthusiasm for athletes that have reached a plateau by offering creative and group workouts, race attendance, and frequent communication.

● To be accessible to athletes via email ( [email protected]) and phone (503-913-1671)

● To educate athletes in sound training practices, and to recognize and observe their limits, and how these limits can be expanded safely to bring about a higher level of fitness and athleticism.

● To perform periodic fitness tests to evaluate the athlete’s response to training. To make changes to training plans based on test results.

● To have credibility through my own athletic performance, certifications, experience and association with local experts (physical therapists, medical doctors, other coaches, athletes, etc.)