Most Common Preseason Training Questions
As summer winds to a close and the air begins to cool you can almost smell the upcoming wrestling season coming. I know you’ve been hard at work perfecting your mat work and adding muscle to your frame this off season, but now it’s time to start improving your work capacity and build your cardio base for the long grueling winter that’s ahead. Every year as the preseason looms I hear many of the same questions from coaches and athletes, and today I want to share them with you.
1. How much should I (or my athletes) be running?
While running has been demonized lately by some coaches and has fallen out of favor with others, I will always be a strong proponent of road work. The key is to make sure you understand WHY you are running (the training goal of the workout) and program the intensity and duration accordingly. In general, I recommend 2-3 runs per week during the preseason for my athletes covering the following bases: sprint work, middle distance, and long aerobic steady state. The rest of the weekly conditioning should be done on a bike or air dyne with some heavy sled work mixed in. Too many long “slow” runs can hamper strength and speed development, so getting the right mix is crucial. Check out my in depth breakdown here:
2. Is it ok to strength train after wrestling practice?
Yes…and no. As a coach, I understand that often times you will have limited options (weight room availability, scheduling conflicts, athlete commitment, etc.) so sometimes you may have to make due with a less than ideal situation. In a perfect world you would want to have your athletes strength train in the morning before school so they have several meals and plenty of time to recover before wrestling practice. If the only option is running practice and lifting consecutively, try one of the following scenarios:
Strength Training/Conditioning followed by live Wrestling
Drilling/Technique Work followed by Strength and/or Conditioning
Just know that there is always some give and take, whatever you choose to prioritize will take away somewhat from the other. Just make sure to NEVER do heavy strength training following live wrestling or when your athletes are in a fatigued state.