Written by: Brandon Bahlawan
Most athletes are in the thick of their training for early season races, while others are getting started on their journey for their mid-year competitions. As training progresses, athletes can sometimes become robotic and only focus on what is on the schedule that day or the numbers they are to target in a specific workout. Don’t get me wrong, numbers are great! Today’s athlete is able to measure almost everything imaginable during a training session. This allows the athlete and or coach to look at data and measure gains over time or even look at how much an athlete lost while recovering from an injury. It highlights weaknesses to improve on and strengths to further develop to put the athlete in the best posiiton to succeed on race day. It will allow you to compare an effort, training session, or race against previous efforts. All of these are great and are an important part of a training. However, becoming 100% dependent on these things can cause many problems, i.e. injury, burnout, or loss of interest. Training plans (programmed by a coach or purchased online) are meant to be a guide to help you achieve your goals, they should be dynamic and not set in stone. Unless you are a professional athlete and your only job is to train and race then you will need to be flexible and adjust based on the demands the rest of your life throws at you. It is important to remember that while we all want to work hard in order to achieve the best results; this is a hobby and is supposed to be fun. I want to give three examples I encountered recently with athletes that are examples of robotic behavior:
Training plans and numbers are great. They help keep you in check and on track to achieve success. The important thing to remember is that they are there as a guide/reference and you do not have to hit every single workout exactly as written. In fact it is not realistic to think you will get through a 4-6 month training cycle without adjusting on the fly. You should not be scared to go off plan from time to time in the name of recovery, unexpected changes in your daily schedule, or just to have some fun with friends. Remember you are playing the long game and consistency is what will ensure your success on race day. So don’t be consumed by the numbers and what is written on the training calendar for that day but challenge yourself as an athlete to understand why you are doing specific things during the different points of your training so that when something comes up you can make an educated decision on if and how to adjust.
Mind Right Endurance coaches are here to address the many question, issues and topics that endurance athletes encounter all the time! Check them out and share them with your friends!