July here. Mom of one. Back in 2010, I was overweight at 65kg. Early in 2014, I decided to start working out at home. I did Dancing, Zumba, and Aerobics, learning all of it from YouTube. I also started running leisurely at the park, as I was inspired to lose more weight and be fit.
I was first introduced to training zones as a young triathlete back in New Zealand.
Even at a young age, the coaches emphasised the importance of training at different intensities. They were primarily interested in harnessing the potential of athletes, in the most effective way possible.
I ran the zones by feel and as time passed, heart rate monitors and pace were introduced to make things more specific and to help me “dial in” my feel which I quickly learned was way out of whack.
Different coaches I worked with had different names for the zones.
Some used four zones, some seven.
Regardless, I understood the importance behind knowing how hard to do each session, and what the purpose of the session was suppose to be.
You shouldn’t worry so much about how far you run in training.
I mean it’s important, but it’s just one of many of the variables that you can tweak to influence your performance.
From my experience age-group runners are spending way too much of their time worrying about how far they’re running and are spending far too little time thinking about something even more important - how hard they’re running each session.
We’ve all been there; at the start of a new year, setting resolutions and life goals with the best intentions, seeing a better version of ourselves by year’s end.
Yet, so often many of these resolutions fall by the wayside within just a few weeks. “Better luck next year,” we tell ourselves, and go back to old habits.
We know that these goals and resolutions are for our own good. It’s logical that more exercise, eating less, sleeping better just makes sense.
So why then do we find it so hard to follow-through on them? Perhaps our heart’s not fully in it? Or is it a lack of motivation?
2 weeks ago, I shared why racing too often can kill performance.
The post talked about how racing regularly can throw out your load / recovery balance and lead you into a state of fatigue that could affect your ability to race to your potential when it really matters to you.
While that post highlighted a common performance limiter for many athletes, it didn’t go into detail on how to plan the races you do each year.
It’s the end of the year. You might be in a reflective mood, pondering over your performances this year, celebrating the highs while thinking about the lessons you’ve learnt over the months of training and racing.
If you’re anything like our new athlete, Rita (not her real name), you may find that you have some big changes to make for your next season.
A marathon is tough. There’s no denying it.
Even if you walked the full 42.195km, the sheer amount of motion and impact places an incredible amount of stress on the body.
This is only amplified the harder you run, especially for your ‘A’ Race.
If you plan to run marathons and other run events regularly–and plan to be executing them at the best of your abilities–then you will need to allow for an appropriate amount of time to recover.
This is where a smart post marathon recovery plan can make all the difference in this crucial period.
Getting fit is one thing. Expressing that fitness as a great race performance is another. Discovering the difference will have a fundamental impact on how you perform.
In the early years of Coached, we noticed a strange occurrence among a number of our athletes.
These athletes, who we tested in our Coached Lab, had emerged with solid test results. For some reason, however, their performance on the racecourse simply wasn’t meeting their expectations.
These were fit individuals, and we had clear data to prove it. So why weren’t their results demonstrating a matching performance?
I find mindfulness incredibly helpful because it’s very holistic. It’s such a foundational skill and ability; if you invest in training your mindfulness, it can benefit you across all aspects of life – in sports, in your personal life, at work, etc.
And the good news is: we can all train ourselves to become more mindful. We can undo bad habits and mindsets that are not helpful, and rewire our brains with new habits and positive behaviour that we aspire to.