I have the privilege of meeting with athletes of all fitness levels on a daily basis. It’s why I love what I do so much. From time to time, I come across a person who has bought into the belief that if they are not perpetually tired and nursing an injury, they are doing something wrong.
Here are some of the things that I have heard:
“No pain, no gain”
“Train insane or remain the same”.
I have been told by people that they can hardly move 24 hours after a workout, and that is proof that they did things right the day before.
What rubbish. Where the heck did we buy into that?
Two definitions of fitness:
- I give it all I have for three weeks and get sick or injured, recover and then give it another shot.
- I make fitness a life style. I remain fit throughout the year and systematically peak for certain events. I make sure that I operate from a stable biomechanical base.
I prefer the second option.
The second option means the following:
- You balance out mobility, stability and strength. It makes no sense gaining huge muscles that are too inflexible to move. It makes no sense being able to bend your foot past your ear if you have no leg strength.
- You will be able to hold onto your important relationships. It’s not worth getting divorced over Comrades. By all means do the race, but you need to work on your family/work/training balance before you commit. It amazes me how carefully we do the figures before buying a car and yet rush into these big events without doing the maths first.
- All year round athletes appreciate the planet better. They get into a flow, autumn, winter, spring, summer.
- Get the basics right. I am passionate about this. We run a swim squad to make sure that people get their stroke as efficient as possible. We do runners leg assessments to make sure that people get weak muscles strong and run in the correct shoes. We do bike setups so that people can pedal as efficiently as possible on their bikes.
- By training consistently and peaking from time to time you maintain muscles that are crucial to your stability. I am thinking here specifically of muscles in the foot, calf area, hips, abdominals etc. The more stable your foundation, the more bullet proof you become.
- A proper training program will include some hard sessions. However these must be balanced with easy sessions.
So, it’s time to axe stupid pithy statements and train consistently and thoughtfully.