02. The 3 rules for training success
Life seems to be dominated by rules...do this; don't do that; blah, blah, blah. But here are 3 simple rules for achieving success in your training, in any sport or activity. And if your training is successful then there is a great chance that you'll achieve your goals, too. So here are the rules that you should remember:
Don’t get sick.
Don’t get injured.
Don’t break rule 1 or 2.
At face value these would seem basic, but the nuances in what they are saying is where the real value is.
Don't get sick
In the current times this rule is even more important, but how do you avoid getting sick? Follow the guidelines for avoiding coronvirus...germs are your enemy. Wash your hands. Avoid sick people (harder when you have children at child care / kinder / school). Be fit and healthy. Just be careful...within reason. There is no guarantees in avoiding sickness, but there are measures to follow which give you a better chance.
Don't get injured
Most injuries are not by chance. Most injuries are the result of training mistakes, in particular, exceeding your body's threshold for how much loading it can tolerate over a period of time. Things like doing too much, too soon, before giving your body time to adapt. Running, especially, has a long period of adaptation. Fitness, along with the associated benefits of durability and resilience, takes time...and is cumulative. That is, the training you do this week / month prepares you for the training you will be able to do next week / month (adaptations usually occur over a 4-6 week period). Similarly, fatigue, along with the associated wear and tear effects, is cumulative until / unless you adapt to them. Remember that stress is stress, from whatever source it comes from...physical, emotional, or otherwise. Physical load from running or other activity may also uncover some pre-existing issue you have, so think holistically, eg, a weak back or glutes from a desk-bound job can become an issue when you add activity, even from something like lifting a (new) child repeatedly.
So avoiding injury is a case of being careful and measured in how you balance out your training load...and when a third -party (ie, coach) can help to give you an objective assessment of your training routine. And most important is listening to your body, and the messages it gives you. Most injuries are avoidable...so do your best to avoid the avoidable.
Don't break rule 1 or 2
This is a reminder that these things require ongoing vigilance for as long as you are activtie, whether that is in sport or just living. In many ways, sports are just an extension of living, so treat yourself like you are an athlete (of sorts) to ensure that you live to enjoy a long-term involvement and participation in whatever it is you choose to do, and you'll give yourself a better chance of achieving your goals.