Improvement

Posted by James Greenwood | 1:11 PM | , | View Comments

As we rapidly approach our racing season in the northern hemisphere, the excitement of putting our training to the test in the race environment starts to grow.

We have managed to get through the cold, Winter months, fairly unscathed, have expanded our fitness base, and have recovered from last seasons aches and pains. With the warmer and longer days laying ahead of us, we have the opportunity to refine our skills and our fitness.

The driving force right now should be the desire to maximize the improvements gained, in both physical conditioning and mental resilience.

The need for improvement is what motivates us to put our bodies through countless hours of physical activity in preparation for a race or event, and while doing this, we are improving.

Without the desire to improve, we will stagnate! In fact, we will regress, and when this begins to occur, how can we expect to achieve (and exceed) the goals we have set for ourselves.

In order to improve, we need to continually apply a training stress / stimulus to the organism (us being the organism). One that will overload the system sufficiently to facilitate adaptation and progression, but one that is not so severe that the organism breaks down.

This is where we need to keep our motivation to improve in check, because it has been known to get away from many, resulting in injury, illness and overtraining.

Keep the following in mind:

  • Build intensity slowly and progressively.
  • Listen to your body at all times, and do not ignore the feedback it is sending to you.
  • Allow the bodies systems time to respond and adapt to training stimuli.
  • Keep your focus on the main prize - your "A" race - do not do anything that will sabotage you chances of success.
Improvement takes time and patience, both of which I know we have!

James Greenwood is a competitive tri and multisport athlete currently training for Ironman Canada 2009. A level 1 Triathlon Coach, he holds a post graduate degree in Exercise Science, and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the NSCA. James is also currently the resident health and fitness programs expert at MyPypeline.com, and has starred in a number of multisport specific fitness videos.
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