With the summer race season just 8 to 10 weeks away, it seems that athletes are losing focus and trying to do too much. The easy workouts are too fast and that behavior is compromising the fast workouts.
Are you sliding into old training patterns that are going to negatively affect your race season?
Here are the three biggest mistakes I see athletes making right now:
1. The warm spring temperatures are causing a large training load increase. The result I’m seeing is complaints of sore knees, hips and tendons.
2. Easy workouts aren’t easy. The temptation to make every workout fast or hard is too much for some people. Triathletes are compromising improvement in a weak sport because they cannot control their effort in their stronger sport(s). Cyclists are losing high-end power production because their legs are continuously tired.
3. Athletes are in the routine trap. While I do like routine, doing the same workouts for weeks on end will not bring about continuous improvement. You will reach a plateau.
How do you fix the problems?
1. Look ahead and plan your training load. It is better to go into a race slightly undertrained than to not be at the start line due to injury or illness. If you are self-coached, begin planning your workouts beginning with the week before your event and work backwards to today. You may find that you have to rework the weekly plan a few times because there isn’t enough time to do two things at once. Those things are building your current fitness level at a reasonable pace and achieving what you consider to be an optimum training load in the three weeks prior to race day.
2. Get some self-discipline. For some people, this is easier to write than to do. If you lack the discipline to go easy, you will never achieve your potential.
3. Design workouts to address your performance limiters. We all have our favorite workouts. Typically, it is the workouts we don’t enjoy that will bring the success we seek. Design your success.
With a few slight adjustments now, you still have time to experience a season that produces personal best performances.
Are you willing, and disciplined enough, to make some changes?