Below is a summary of an outstanding article that I read on Training Peaks. The original article published on March 28, 2019 · By Maria Simone can be found HERE.
Many slogans that you find about doing work can inspire and motivate! However, it”™s only through doing the right work that you will make our big dreams a reality. We can think about doing the right work in three ways: consistency; discipline with intensity and volume; and recovery.
Consistency is the most important element of any training plan. In order to build your fitness and prepare your body for the demands of race day, or a really hard class, you need to be able to train daily.
To train consistently, we need to plan ahead in order to balance training with other life priorities. Of course, in some cases, it may not be possible to fit the scheduled training on a particular day. If you are self-coached, review the rhythm of the plan. Consider whether it”™s possible to swap days, shorten or modify a workout, or skip the session when unexpected conflicts arise. When all else fails, remember one day here and there won”™t ruin your overall consistency. Try not to regularly miss key workouts or rethink the flow of the plan and/or your life schedule to set yourself up for success.
Discipline with Volume and Intensity
A second area where athletes unknowingly sabotage themselves is in their discipline sticking to intensity and volume targets. It”™s important to stick to the targets for how hard or easy a workout should be (intensity) as well as how long or short a workout should be (volume). All too often athletes like pushing their endurance-based workouts into a tempo or Zone 3 effort because they feel like they aren”™t working hard enough. Unfortunately, by raising the intensity, the athlete no longer reaps the endurance benefits, and they are not working hard enough to reap the benefits of a high-intensity session. We often see this in our classes. This is where we are doing work, but not the right work.
Recovery is central to your body”™s ability to adapt to the training sessions. Training breaks you down – recovery lets your body put itself back together.
How can we enhance recovery? The most important recovery tool is sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep deprivation or “sleep debt” increases the production of the stress hormone cortisol while decreasing the production of glycogen. This combination means you won”™t wake up feeling ready to tackle the day”™s training session.
Beyond sleep, you can enhance recovery with daily nutrition, as well as properly fueling and hydrating before, during, and after workouts. If you aren”™t putting the right gas in your tank, your car won”™t work the way you want it to. If you aren”™t incorporating a consistent recovery protocol into your training plan, then your body won”™t adapt to the training stimulus.
Proper training isn”™t just about doing the work. It is about doing the right work, which includes a focus on consistency, discipline with your intensity and volume, and recovery. Get the mix right, and you will continue to see your body and mind working properly towards your next big dream.