Some athletes struggle with balancing life responsibilities and athletic goals. When the dreamy world of training like a professional athlete collides with the reality of life, it can be disappointing.
I’ve found that the more stress an athlete has in his or her life, the less training volume and intensity they can handle. Too much of either volume or intensity and there is a higher risk of illness or injury.
This stress scale estimates the likelihood of illness based on the number of stressful events in your life. If your score is 300 or more, you are at a high risk of illness. Scores between 150 and 299 indicate a moderate chance of illness (50-50). Scores 150 or below indicate a slight risk of illness.
Keep in mind this scale was designed for “normal” people, not those aiming high for athletic accomplishment.
When you find your stress scale is on the increase, consider reducing the amount of volume and/or intensity in your training.
The extra rest just might keep you healthy and make you a better athlete as a result.
Q: In my training I usually keep a weight training routine (usually following what's in your training plans). One of my friends said that her trainer recommended that she not do any weights. For me it's beneficial because it maintains a base strength. I just change it to match my goals. Any thoughts?
A: For strength training, I too use the routine from my books and it seems to be affective for me and many of the athletes I coach. I keep one day of weights in my routine throughout the summer, changing the sets and reps and noted in the training plans. I’ve tried seasons without weights at all and I thought I lost power and speed because of it.
The summer routine, as you know, lightens the weights some, changes set numbers and repetitions to keep from having the gym affect your endurance work.
All that written, I do have some athletes that stop weights in the summer. They run and/or ride enough hills that it doesn’t seem to make a difference – best we can tell.
I think keeping strength training in a summer routine, or not, boils down to:
Training time available
Individual response to strength training
It seems you respond well to strength training and you have the time to do it. If it helps you and doesn’t negatively affect your swimming, cycling or running; it appears to be a good investment of your time.