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  • Matt Breton

Sketching out a training calendar

My start in writing was for the Northwoods Sporting Journal where I had a column titled "Outdoor Athlete". In that column, I tried to offer tips and advice for outdoors folks to perform better in whatever they wanted to tackle- paddling, hiking, hunting. When the paper downsized, my column got cut and I drifted away from that aspect of my writing other than a few posts on Big Woods Bucks. I think some of that drift was to make sure I didn't get pigeon-holed as a writer and also to have something a little different than my day-to-day work as a physical therapist.

It's time to get back to my roots.

My training, in general, has been pretty much the same- a year-long approach focused on deer hunting and a few other adventures that get thrown in. I just haven't written much about it. So hopefully in 2019, that will change. I'll file it under the training category, but I plan on covering a lot of wellness topics- nutrition, mental health, endurance training, weightlifting for performance, injury and surgical rehabilitation concepts.

The first step is identifying goals. With the New Year upon us, it seems easy to find goals and want some change; the key is sticking with it. While discipline helps, making your fitness/health activities fit into your lifestyle will yield better outcomes. When laying out goals, put a big one out there- some people call these BHAGs (Big, Hairy Audacious Goals). These are the scary ones, the things that seem impossible to achieve.

After that big one is out there, envision all the little uphill steps it might take to achieve it. As you outline those steps, put a timeline to it. These become the short term goals that you can grind away at, while the BHAG at the top of the mountain stays out of view.

It might be a long climb to the top, but it gets done one step at a time

Second on the list is getting a calendar together. Performance is a long term investment- no day trading here. There is some wiggle room in this approach, but in general I like to plan 8-12 week blocks of training. Anywhere from 2-5 days a week can yield gains and go light; we're better off erring on the low side to limit injury. Four days a week seems to be sustainable for me. Work the routine into your life- it has to fit. Then you just have to show up and execute.

After a couple months, it will be time to change it up.

I'll get into specfics later- for now, just get out and get started!

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