Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Stuff I tell the athletes that I coach...

Hey Power On,
You guys are doing a great job so far this season! We've had so many great moments already with over 10 PR's and a few age group wins. When you do the work, you have a much better chance at getting the results you want!
Just a reminder, some of your many jobs as an athlete are to do the work to the best of your ability, learn your limits through trail and error, reflect on your current limits, and let me know what happened through your post-workout comments. Recent research has shown that your subjective feedback is the #1 indication of your fatigue levels. It ranked way higher in sensitivity and consistency than objective measures (i.e. data). This is why I get on you guys for writing your post workout comments! But, ideally, you log both so that we get the full picture.
I use this information to #1 provide you with feedback and #2 make decisions about your training (your current training and the following couple of weeks). I also take into account things like your body type (the more muscle you have, the slower you recover/the heavier you are, the slower you recover), your age, your overall stress level (family life, work-life, etc), the amount of time you have to train, the amount of time you have to sleep, how long you've been training (years), if you were an endurance athlete early in life, your workout history, your injury history, your data, the focus that we are working on (swim, bike, run, triathlon balance, aerobic capacity, strength, muscular endurance, speed), your upcoming events, etc. I use this information to decide how much physical stress I can put on you so that your body is overreached by the end of the block, but not overtrained. Then, I rest your body by reducing the volume and/or intensity. If your body absorbs the training, and is not overtrained, it supercompensates and you are stronger, faster, and ready to handle more (intensity, volume, etc) or are ready to race.
Please communicate with me if your life throws you an unexpected curve ball (death in the family, sick child, job loss, unexpected travel, you are feeling really depressed, etc). These sort of situations cause stress and will effect your body's ability to absorb the training (our energy levels have limits and if we are spending energy on one part of our life, it often takes energy away from another part). It's usually not a good idea to just push through because that can lead to things like overtraining and sickness. Sometimes I need to modify your training so that we can get to the best fitness level possible and that might mean backing off a bit or discussing alternative recovery measures (more yoga, massage, sleep, etc).
That said, there are times, especially in the weeks leading up to your race, that your training will make you feel fatigued and uncomfortable. That can be a very good thing when placed at the right time. Know that I plan these times and expect you to feel this way during certain parts of your training. I try to give you hints at what to expect by writing "very big week" on your schedule or writing you a note.
Keep up the good work and keep communicating!

Research regarding subjective vs objective feedback: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26423706

Looking for a coach? Don't hesitate to reach out. Shoot me an e-mail a jafecik@gmail.com