New Year, New You, New...what?!
This is the busiest time of year for fitness business, getting people into sport, into shape and into the beach body they have dreamed of since they were 22! Interestingly, March is the busiest time for physios dealing with running-related injuries...with several key city marathons happening in Spring, it is a fair conclusion to say that there is a distinct correlation between the two. Over-enthusiasm and eagerness not matching reality and what are more achievable goals can often literally (in some instances) be the Achilles heel of the poor athlete! As one of our former coaches Gordon Crawford has said frequently ambition can get mixed up with ability.
Here are five top suggestions we have to help you step logically forward in an injury free, sensible manner!
Some New Year's Resolutions
Why should the new year symbolise the new beginning of something great? January is January, it is cold, damp, slippery and heavy. Now is not the time for new changes in training: change attitude yes, but it is a process, not a sudden change, make sure you give yourself the time to evolve into that new focussed athlete. Be progressive and build your training sensibly.
This is not a knee-jerk reaction to being overly social. Many people's guilt at this time of year is due to too many mince pies, over-indulgance, or time in the pub with friends - Christmas is a social time; it is a family time: by actively restricting your social time then, or feeling guilty about it, there is more than likely to be conflict elsewhere later in the year, or you will be on the back foot when you ask your partner if you can do one more evening session instead of going with them to the neighbours for dinner! Equally, you will have needed to rest your mind from training as well as your body, and by doing that it will let you train more in the year ahead...
It’s a long season. Yes, you are keen and eager now, but don’t burn out too soon. It is not a sprint. Time, patience and consistent effort are your biggest aides to performance gains. Recognise the enthusiasm, don't dampen it, but focus on the long game. It is exciting to start your new training plan, or plotting your races, but don't let that be your downfall. Being capable of racing well isn't like a switch: an either/or situation. You have to go through the process and make each step one by one.
Make sure your fundamental movements are in place (Physio, strength and conditioning technical skills, diet etc) before you start pounding out miles upon miles. Being efficient in an endurance sport is best harnessed with brains rather than brawn. Take the time to build your foundations (if you haven't already).
Don’t jump on board new fads. Now is the season where the latest training methods come out in full force, the "best" diets are pushed to the top, the new "science", the next five minute workout to an incredible speed/power/abs/body etc... If it aides your training, then it is likely to be useful for you, if it ends up becoming your training, it is unlikely to be focussed on the performance increases and you will suffer in the long run or be taking a short cut which won't pan out as you want it to.
Only dead fish go with the flow
Here though is a 'secret' shortcut: If everyone is after an "athlete's" body...the funny thing is you need to be an athlete to attain one! Therefore, don’t get caught up in distractions get on with your training, patiently and you will see far bigger rewards soon enough!
Happy New Year!