Tip of the Week

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Tip of the Week

Postby natellerandi » Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:37 pm

Why are you doing what you're doing today?

As athletes, a lot of us know what we're doing today in terms of working out. I would venture that a good portion don't necessarily understand the "why behind the what". "Because my coach says today's a recovery day" is not a valid answer as to why today's a recovery day. Neither is "Because Tuesday is always my easy Swim day."

Why we do what we do on any given day is based upon many factors. It's based upon what we did yesterday; what we did the day before; what we did the week before; what we did the weeks before; what we're doing tomorrow; what we're doing next week and so on. But, on top of this, we need to show flexibility in our approaches. I tell my athletes that the plans we put together for them are written in pencil, not pen. Things change over time, so the program needs to be able to reflect future changes.

For example, maybe you take Sundays off and like to come out swinging with a hard day on Monday. But, Saturday's workout was longer and more taxing than usual, so when you wake up on Monday you can tell that the body just isn't quite as fresh as usual. You can still do Monday's scheduled gut buster workout. Or, you can decide that waiting until Tuesday or Wednesday could be a better choice to ensure you get the most out of that key hard workout. So then you ease off the throttle on Monday and maybe even Tuesday and then press on Wednesday.

What athletes need to get away from is the rigidity of our Master Plans. Progression boiled down is very, very simple. It's 2 factors, really. Stress the body when the body is open to being stressed; and, don't stress it when it's not open to being stressed. Backing off a scheduled hard workout because you just don't have it on a given day isn't a sign of weakness. It's a sign of smarts! As goal-oriented as we are, it's very easy to forget that progress happens during times of recovery between bouts of stress. The stress itself breaks us down. Too much stress and we dig a big hole from which it becomes challenging to climb out.

As you move through your training plan, if you find yourself fairly rigid and always "sticking to the plan", maybe try to relax the grip on the reins. It's when you let the reins out that the horse truly runs.

Happy Training,
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