Looking after yourself

Looking after yourself
Published 7th May 2017

Golden rules for your peak training period
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Golden rules for your peak training period
Topics: Training, triathlon.
As many of us progress through a peak period of training I wanted to give a little advice of what to expect and to highlight a few areas that we should all pay special attention to. At this point in many programs we are reaching some of the highest points of volume that we will be subjecting our bodies to and even though 80% of this training (within a balanced program) is at lower intensities our bodies are still under substantial training stress. This traditional peak period of training has the capacity to have the largest impact upon our race day performance and with motivations running high due to race day approaching its highly likely that you may find yourself trying to complete more training that may be outlined or cramming sessions, I would advise STOP, BREATH and read through these key points below (This list is by no means exhaustive but a good starting point);
  • USE IT OR LOSE IT!! Do not cram sessions to closely together if time is closing in on you, drop a session and focus on completing the sessions you can do WELL. Cramming will only lead to placing undue stress on your body due to lack of recovery.
  • MORE DOES NOT ALWAYS MEAN BETTER!! Why add more when you don't need to, it only leads to excessive stress and fatigue and a higher risk of injury. Adding additional training load while cramming sessions to closely together is a sure-fire way of either reaching a state of over-training or leading to an injury.
  • RECOVER WELL!! Training is only one side of the coin without adequate recovery your body will NOT adapt and fitness gains will not be as optimal as they could be.
  • LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!! If you feel a twinge or are suffering with tiredness or stiffness in a specific area think about "is it worth completing the session today?". If you think you may be ok then extend the warm up period of the session and if your not feeling looser, fresher and ready to go at the end of it STOP the session.
  • LOOK FOR THE CLUES!! Our bodies give us clues along the way regarding increased levels of stress on our bodies, if you're not sleeping well, feeling agitated, easily agitated or may be lacking motivation then take an extra days recovery as these are early signs/symptoms of over-training. After a days extra R&R you should bounce back better and stronger for it.
  • LOOK AFTER YOUR KIT NOT JUST YOURSELF!! Running is the most likely activity to injure us as it carries the highest level of stress on our bodies so make sure your trainers are ok, if your suffering with sore knees, hips or ankles its often a sign of the cushioning wearing out and a new pair of trainers being needed. With new trainers in mind try to break your trainers in before going out for your longest or most intense runs in them and try not to change your type of trainer to drastically and expect your body to be fine with it. Your body will require time to adapt to anything new.
  • TAKE THE PRESSURE OFF!! Do not get hung up on anything that you have not been able to do and do not try and force sessions and training into schedule that has no time available within it, Instead focus on taking confidence in making the best use of your training time available.
  • ENJOY IT!! There will always be times when you must dig deep to finish a session off but we also need to be aware that we must enjoy it and we have a responsibility to ourselves and our families and friends to be balanced and happy so if you need to drop a session, drop it!!

Most of all don't lose track of how far you have come and what you have achieved already, training is always a journey of discovery and learning while the races themselves act as the icing on the cake to celebrate what we have already achieved. So listen to your bodies, enjoy what you are doing and do not stress about taking extra recovery when and if its needed.

Stefan Lawrence (Bsc Hons)

Head Coach at TRI-SL-Training
Head Coach at 100%-Tri

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