Training Talk: 10 common training mistakes
1. Too much, too soon:
You want to achieve better, so you train harder, add a few km each run, run slightly faster… More is quickly too much, go step by step, each week increase by 5-10% your training load (amount), allow your body to adjust to a higher amount of training.
Often we want to train more just before a race, remember that you will most likely perform better under-trained than over-trained.
2. Run as you should and not how you think you should:
Power of mind is a great tool in running, it allows you to reach the maximum of your abilities, but it does not make you go faster than you can! To be able to run/ride/swim faster you need to train, there are many tools that allow you to calculate your training intensities. Respecting the right training intensities is key to progress, stay injury free and enjoy your run sessions.
3. Set reachable goals, not goals you think you should reach:
As with training pace, you cannot run faster than your abilities allow you to. Don’t set running goals because you think you can/should be able to reach them or because you want to beat someone, it is very likely that you will go out to hard.
There are tools to estimate a time you could reach, rely on them first, then plan a second race and try to go a little faster.
4. Skip rest days:
The base of training is to Increase your abilities by forcing your body to adapt to new “stress”. To adapt to those stress your body needs rest. It is a key component of progression. Missing or failing a rest day should be as frustrating than missing a training session.
5. Force a hard training after a big day of work:
For most of us sport isn’t all we do, we have work and commitments. Even if we dream of reaching excellence we must adjust to the other aspects of our lives. If you have an exhausting day at work, don’t force a hard session right after. Maybe it is wise to do an easy session instead. You will not get the same results as with a hard session, but you will train your capacity to overcome tiredness and wont risk to get injured or loose motivation.
6. Cumulate heavy training and a diet:
A diet is hard to follow and demands determination. As we want fast results we often cumulate low calorie intake and high exercise. When you eat less calories than you burn your recovery will be affected. This is why you need to lower the intensity of your training, contrarily you often can maintain the same duration of effort.
You have more information in a previous training talk: Click here
7. Plan to many races:
When you look at a training season there is a time for building your abilities and a time for racing. Often we respect this guideline until the first race of the season, then we want to add events to the calendar. Yes Racing is fun and challenging, it is the opportunity to push yourself to the limits, but too much will have you tired. You might experience low energy levels to a point that you might see your results decline or worse, you can get injured. Respect rest periods and allow enough time between races to be able to train to the specificities of each event.
8. Want to do great at every race:
At the start of a season it is important to set race priorities. If you aim at a marathon you will often run a few half marathon races during your preparation. As your focus is on the marathon you are not specifically trained for other distances, accept that your results might not be at the high of your expectations. It is even more relevant for multisport athletes. You will not run a 10km trail run at your best while you are preparing a 10hr+ multisport event. As racing is key in your preparation towards your “A” race, go to “B” and “C” races with lower expectations, keep in mind that they are not your main goal.
9. Heavy pre training fuel:
How often have you been bloated during a training due to a rich meal? Especially prior to intense workouts, make sure you had your last meal at least 3hr before. If you train in the morning and need to eat before, have a banana or a small sports bar, then make sure you start the session slowly to allow digestion. You also do not want to train empty, you will not have the available energy to finish the exercises correctly.
10. Skip recovery fuel:
To recover properly from a training, you need fuel, it is important to eat within the 30min following your session. Tight schedules and training often have us rush after a training, we skip our crucial breakfast or snack. If you are short in time, prepare in advance a snack high in carbs and proteins. A lot of brands offer great breakfast substitutes that you can have on the go.