The most common feedback I get from athletes starting out training is ‘I don’t feel like I’m doing enough’
And no doubt when comparing what they have done or think they should be doing they may very well be right in that feeling. Does that mean that that feeling is right or simply that their perspective needs a slight tweak? I tend to find it’s the latter.
So why is it that people dive head first into their next sporting goal and often fall short be it through a niggle that turns into an injury or a decline in motivation after a handful of weeks? Well, be it after an extended break, the ending of a main race or just simply coming back to training we have this idea of what we want the end to look like, what the end result ideally will be. This is important as a goal that you’re not really interested in is not going to get you out of bed in the morning for long. Ironically what tends to happen is the longer you have been out of training for whatever reason, there seems to be this need to be ready now. So the volume goes up, the intensity goes up along with the niggles before it comes to a grinding halt, either through injury or a realisation that training like this is not sustainable with work, family and friends in your life which are important too.
Confidence is a big contributor when it comes to training smart and staying injury free. Athletes that have ‘been there before’ and got the results that they earned from training properly I find have more confidence in getting there again. This means that they are more patient in the early stages of getting back into training. They still have that little question in their head when getting back to training if they are doing enough but now have a point of reference of how they have succeeded previously and know they will be getting the tough long sessions from the coach when and where they need them and to enjoy the easy times while they last.
The best results are earned by the athletes that have put in the work over an extended period of time. They have learned the value of ‘hurrying slowly’ and that you do what you need to get the result without doing too much. When they have been unsure they have spoken to their coach and learned why. That is why they have got where they are. Being patient is not sitting around doing nothing; it’s what you’re doing while you’re working to where you want to be.
If you want short term results go hard. If you want to get the big apple, train smart