Your training plan must include skills training along with fitness training. A typical plan will include:
- Endurance training, such as some medium to long distance running, lots of wind sprints (run a short full-speed sprint, walk back to the starting point, and then repeat), long continuous kicking and punching drills on a heavy bag ( ten minutes or longer), short full-power kicking and punch drills on a heavy bag, jump roping for footwork, swimming sprints, and sprints on climbing machines.
- Strength training, such as all purpose weight lifting (free weights are better since the body must also control the weight while lifting) and general calisthenics, such as push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, jumping-jacks, and plyometrics.
- Flexibility training, such as stretching, yoga, palates.
- Skills training, such as hand target drills, pattern training (perform them slowly with full-body tension and then perform them at maximum speed and full-power), using slow, precise techniques done against resistance such as against another student's body, work on sparring strategy and tactics.
- Sparring training, such as shadow boxing, sparring drills with an opponent, sparring sprints (attack fast and hard for 30 seconds, then opponent does it, repeat several times), and of course free-spar as much as possible with as many different opponents as possible.
- Cross training in other sports such as tennis, ping-pong, or basketball that require quick movements with eye/hand coordination. Cross training help break training boredom and lets muscles relax by perform in motions not usually used in Taekwondo training.
- Relaxation training, such as meditation, yoga, and cycles of tensing specific muscles and then relaxing the same muscles.
Start early and intense with the endurance, strength, and flexibility training, maintain them throughout the training program, and taper them off as the tournament date approaches. Use them very little in the week before the tournament to conserve energy. Use cross training and relaxation training to break boredom and to ease the tension and stress of intense training. Concentrate on skills and sparring training throughout the training cycle. As tournament date approaches, concentrate of just sparring training but avoid injuries.
Injuries are always a problem, especially if they interfere with or prevent training. Always warm-up before and cool-down after training. Stay hydrated and eat properly. Learn to recognize the difference between injuries that can be ignored and those that need treatment and rest.