It is about time for another Coach’s Corner. This is a column where where I use my performance coaching strategies and philosophies to hopefully help you solve some of the issues you may have around how to tackle the daily and weekly grind of training and everyday life.
Are you or have you ever second-guessed the way you are training? Will it bring you the results you want or should you tweak you sessions or change your plan all together? There are several things that cause this kind of thoughts and insecurities. Let’s dive in together and figure some of this out!
Back to the starting block and preserve your energy levels
In this day and age of technology it is virtually impossible not to compare yourself to someone else through social media or through conversations with people about how they are training, what they are eating, equipment they are using and so on. If your own training has gone so-so for a couple of weeks you might find yourself wondering if you should change your regime, use different methods og switch out your trainer. If someone you know or look up to are enjoying new PR’s and successes, you might think: I need to train more like so and so. The question is: Do you really need to make any of the changes that you think you need?
Before you make any rash or big decisions to change you training plans, I strongly advice you to take a good, hard look at whether there is any other aspect you can optimize in order to get the best out of the training plan that you already have? For example: You are scheduled to do two pretty hard interval sessions per week, but one of them often feels heavy in the wrong way. Perhaps your heart rate is not coming up to where it should, because heavy legs or a tired head is weighing you down. You know this session is important to build your engine and create a strong physical fundament, but your executions are or feel below par. My suggestion would be to consider what day and what time of day you are doing this particular key session. Even if it is not that long in duration it is hard and to get the most out of it you should be rested and fit for fight, and because it is hard you need to recover after. I have often chosen to do hard sessions on the weekends, both because my husband/coach can join and push me and because I’ll be more rested and perform better.
This is just one of many possible scenarios, but time managing these scenarios and managing your valuable energy resources is what smart training is all about. So go back to your starting block, or drawing board if you will, and see where you really should schedule each individual session based on how rested you need to be and what that session is going to cost your energy levels.
Stay in your own lane
There is a huge, HUGE difference in strategically evaluating yourself, your training, nutrition, career or what ever else you may need to evaluate in order to progress further, and second-guessing yourself. Second-guessing sounds like: “am I training enough/too little?”, “perhaps that interval session she posted on Instagram is better than mine”. Second-guessing is the inner chatter that is rooted in insecurities about the function of your training programs, the level of your abilities, if the program is perfectly suited to you, whether your are any making progress and so on.
If you are having anything in the direction of these thoughts, guess what: you are not going to progress as much as you could even without the slightest change to your program, because you are focusing on the wrong things! This is where a lot of the performance coaching job comes in and part of my work is getting you to believe in the program that I create for you and explaining why it is going to work (plus, it is always nice to have science on m side).
This is what you need to do: You need to leave what every one else is doing, emerge yourself in your own pool of training strategies and like Michael Phelps, stay in your own lane. This analogy works and I love it. If Michael Phelps was paying attention to what the other guys were doing during a race he would loose valuable time and if he was more concerned about what and how all his other competitors were doing he would waste valuable time, time he could have spent focusing all his attention on how to get the best workout on that particular day. The rest of the time is spent resting and dealing with other stuff, which in most lives means work, studies, family and friends.
Surface and evaluate
So you are staying the course in your own lane, trusting your coach or the plan you have made for yourself. Every month or every 6 weeks you should evaluate how things are really going. It is completely unrealistic to expect to get a PR in anything in every training session, let alone every week. Consistent training over time is what gives results. If you are training consistently week in and week out and nothing is happening with whatever skill or capacity you are training for you need to change SOMEthing, but most likely not everything. Perhaps, Your training volume or intensity is too low, perhaps you are using the wrong or not the best method for your goals or for your level of of physical capacity or perhaps the method is wrong all together. Perhaps the method is right, but are you doing it right?
These are real and important questions, but they are not to be asked every day. These questions and more should be addressed when your are starting out with a new plan and when you are evaluating ongoing work. If you are not able to answer and reflect around your questions by yourself, seek help. Questions that can be grinding and time consuming can take minutes to answer for us coaches and even we coaches use other coaches for sparring and help.
- Belive in your abilities to execute on your training plan.
- Believe that the plan will work if you do your best to get the best out of it.
- Do the toughest key sessions when you have time to rest recover afterwards.
- Stay in your own lane.
- Surface and evaluate.
If you liked this post you might be interested in my previous Coach’s Corner article about training plans.