Your workouts are divided into 'phases' - each of these phases represents a time period of your overall year and are designed to offer optimal conditioning for your body. The combination of phases allows for recuperation, and ultimately preparation for the competitions to come.
Active Rest Phase
This phase starts immediately following the end of the key competitions and lasts for 2-4 weeks. During the Active Rest Phase, the Daily Workout Plan centers on stabilization techniques, muscular endurance, and aerobic conditioning. Depending on the intensity and duration of the preceding “In-Season”, the athlete may take one to two weeks entirely off from skating and completes only low intensity off-ice workouts. Once back on the ice, the focus is on lower intensity skills, jump or skill technique, stroking quality and line. This is an excellent time to include other disciplines within the sport, such as ice dancing for a competitive free skater or working on Field Moves or starting choreography.
Early Off Season Phase
The Early Off Season Phase follows Active Rest Phase and lasts 8-12 weeks, depending on the competition schedule and level of the skater. During the Early Off Season Phase, the Daily Workout Plan centers on muscular endurance, muscular strength, and aerobic conditioning through a combination of low and moderate intensity exercises. The very high intensity workouts are excluded from this training cycle to allow for continued recuperation and rejuvenation of the athlete.
Late Off Season Phase
The Late Off Season Phase follows the Early Off Season Phase and lasts 8-12 weeks, depending on the competition schedule and level of the skater. During the Late Off Season Phase, the Daily Workout Plan centers on muscular strength, power, and agility using a combination of moderate and high intensity exercises. High Intensity Interval training is introduced, and the length of the sprints depend on the skating level.
The Pre Season Phase follows the Late Off Season Phase and lasts 8-12 weeks, depending on the competition schedule and level of the skater. During the Pre Season Phase, the Daily Workout Plan centers on intensifying conditioning with advanced power development through interval training, dynamic strength skills, and plyometrics. This phase is for athletic realization, bringing together skills, conditioning, mental preparation and confidence for competition. The skater feels attains both strength and stamina needed for competitions and the final details are fine tuned in the program.
The In Season Phase follows the Pre Season Phase and lasts 3-4 weeks. The body cannot maintain peak levels of fitness for more than a few weeks at a time. Therefore, the In-Season Phase starts a few weeks prior to a key competition with the goal of maintaining peak fitness through high intensity and lower volume workouts. The In Season Phase ends 3-7 days prior to competition.
Skaters follow a Taper schedule one week before a key competition. For non-key competitions, a 2-3 day taper is sufficient. The primary focus of these lower intensity off-ice workouts is to promote a well-rested athlete who is fully prepared to compete.
Training Between Key Competitions
For skaters involved in several key competitions that are close together on the calendar, the training schedule is manipulated to peak for the most critical competitions. The athlete will be “in shape” throughout the season. The training between key competitions cycles through some or all of the training phases to allow the athlete to recover after one competition, and then ramp up to peak for the next competition.