Many times I get asked how I can make the athlete faster and perform higher up in their age group. It’s a reasonable question, but it nearly always coming from the perspective of the training sessions themselves. There is this thought process that there must be these secret sessions that create the performances athletes are looking for. I know, I have had these thoughts myself.
Sure sessions are created to elicit a desired response in the body and some are definitely much better than others, but if you want brutal honesty I don’t believe there are any true ‘key’ sessions. I believe its the mix of training and then how consistently this mix is applied. Granted there are certain specifics that need to be done at specific times.
For example. Ironman training at some stage (later than you think) in the plan requires longer endurance training. Does that or the long run make up the ‘key’ aspects? I don’t think so.
What I’m getting at is there is a lot more to performance than just the training plan and I’m the first to admit that there are many ways to skin at cat. I have got exceptional performance myself doing excessive amounts of volume couple with intensity (though the intensity was likely curbed due to the fatigue on the body, which was likely a good thing). But the the consequences were just not worth it, especially if you value your long term health… and you should. The only thing you have is you – if you don’t have superior health you’re essentially useless to both yourself and those that you love.
I have also achieved phenomenal results for both myself and my athletes with much smarter training plans and information all the while keeping a much better state of health. Can it get better? You bet it can and that is a major goal of mine. Believing that, as an endurance athlete in top shape, your immune system sits on a knife edge is completely B.S. It’s only because this is most endurance athletes reality. It doesn’t have to be that way.
Isn’t my job as a coach really that of a teacher? I believe that athletes are ready to be educated, I believe they don’t just want sessions, but they want to understand why they are given specific sessions, advice (nutrition, body maintenance, mental, skills) and so on.
So if your up for it, come on a journey with me as I write about all the things that it takes to become a successful triathlete. You’ll learn what I’ve learned, tried and ultimately verified in becoming a better, healthier athlete.
I’m going to steal a line from Andrew Saul Ph.D. book – Doctor Yourself. “Health recovered is proportional to effort expended. You do not have to live an inflexibly perfect life to have a much healthier body… but it sure helps to try.”
This above could be used for both performance and life…