Ever miss the days of trying a sport for the first time? When it didn’t matter what kind of training you did, as long as you did something you got faster? That’s a fun stage of development, but unfortunately, it doesn’t last forever. The better we become, the harder we have to work to make noticeable gains, and the more important it is to have a strategic training approach.
Let’s take a look at a few of the ways endurance athletes can get off track in their training.
Do you identify with any of these?
The one-sided thinker
You’re hitting the mark with training, but missing the other half of the equation: adaptation. You’re good at working hard, but not as good at slowing down and giving your body the love and care it deserves through quality sleep and nutrition. Common amongst hard-charging, Type-A, high-achieving personality types who are balancing career and family with training.
Too much training, too little rest, or simply too much of one kind of training. Over-doers are often also one-sided thinkers.
Not enough training stimulus to provoke the body to adapt; this can be the result of too little volume, too little intensity, or a simply a lack of variation in training. Training has to be just enough of a shock to give your body a reason to repair and rebuild into a faster, stronger you.
The same-same lover
Same route, same distance, same workout frequency… your body starts to yawn after a while. The result: you plateau. Training variation ensures that you train both your aerobic and anaerobic energy systems, you recruit all of your muscle fibers, and it keeps you motivated over the long haul.
So how do you avoid these training ruts?
Step 1: Make sure you are applying the The Five Training Principles.
Step 2: Measure the effectiveness of your training, and correct your course if you're not making progress.
In Part 2, we’ll begin exploring methods for measuring training effectiveness.