5 keys to preparing for your pre-season

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Pretemporada
Fuente: Envato Elements

Preparing for a new year is fundamental. The winter months, the usual ones for the cycling pre-season as there are almost no competitions, are vital as preparation for what is to come. That’s why we at BKOOL are going to give you the five keys that we consider necessary for a good pre-season.

Setting realistic objectives

Setting realistic pre-season goals is a critical step for any athlete. Start by evaluating your past performance and considering areas for improvement. These goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (SMART). For example, instead of simply “get better at football”, a more concrete goal would be “increase my sprint speed by 10% before the start of the season”.

It is also important to set short-term goals that lead to bigger goals, which helps maintain motivation and allows for adjustments in training as needed. Furthermore, these goals should be challenging but realistic, balancing ambition with feasibility, taking into account factors such as available time, resources and personal limitations. Continuous self-assessment and adjustment of goals are fundamental to an adaptive and effective training process.

Physical training planning

A successful pre-season depends on a well-structured training programme. You should include exercises to improve strength, endurance, flexibility and speed, tailored to the demands of your sport. For example, basketball players will benefit from exercises that increase their agility and jumping ability, while swimmers should focus on strengthening their core and perfecting their breathing technique.

A study entitled: “Effects of Three Preseason Training Programs on Speed, Change-of-Direction, and Endurance in Recreationally Trained Soccer Players“, conducted by Helgerud et al. in 2001. This study highlights the importance of optimising VO2 max to improve performance in the game, including the ability to perform repeated sprints and recovery between sprints. Furthermore, it highlights the value of sprint interval training (SIT) for improving performance in multiple physical aspects, such as endurance, strength, power and speed. These findings underline the relevance of adequate pre-season physical preparation for athletes, especially in sports such as football where aerobic capacity and speed are critical.

pretemporada
Source: Envato Elements

Importance of proper nutrition

Nutrition is an essential pillar of pre-season preparation, directly influencing performance and recovery. A balanced diet provides the nutrients needed to support an intense training regime. Carbohydrates are crucial for maintaining energy levels, while protein is essential for muscle repair and growth.

Healthy fats play an important role in recovery and hormonal health. In addition, micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals are essential for optimal body function. Hydration is also crucial; not just during training, but throughout the day. Inadequate nutrition can lead to decreased performance, increased risk of injury and prolonged recovery time. Therefore, it is important to consult with a sports nutritionist to develop an eating plan that fits your specific needs and training goals.

Keep in mind some recovery and rest tactics

Recovery and rest strategies are as important as the training itself. The body needs time to repair and strengthen after intense sessions. Adequate rest includes not only getting the necessary hours of sleep, but also incorporating active rest days, where low-intensity activities such as walking or yoga can aid recovery.

In addition, techniques such as cryotherapy, compression therapy, and massage can enhance muscle recovery. Post-workout nutrition also plays a key role, with foods rich in protein and carbohydrates helping to repair and replenish energy. Finally, stress management and attention to mental health are key, with practices such as meditation and mindfulness helping to maintain mental balance, which is key to optimal performance.

Incorporation of friendly games and competitions

The inclusion of friendly games and competitions is crucial in pre-season. These matches provide a valuable opportunity to apply skills and tactics in a realistic playing environment. In addition to improving fitness, friendly games allow players and coaches to evaluate the effectiveness of training and make tactical and technical adjustments.

They also help build team spirit and cohesion, which are vital to success during the season. These matches provide a practical measure of progress and preparation, allowing for a smoother transition into official competition.

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