I have found a large number of people, once they start exercising, become almost addicted to it. They feel better, have more energy, more positivity which is all fantastic however it is hugely important to train in the right areas …. not too much, not too little, not to hard, not too gentle etc ….
So when and what and how?
Now, of course, I am talking about generic training. Specific training plans will be very much tailored to the individual. Here I am trying to enhance the importance of training smart. I used to race nearly every weekend and then train during the week …. and I wondered why I was getting no quicker, no better? Duh! Because no matter what I thought, my body was constantly fatigued!
I am not suggesting you don’t race every weekend, but please ensure you allow the body to recover as much as you push it. Just so you know …. the general belief is it takes one day of recovery for every mile run …. Note that “rest” here means a break from intense training—like speedwork and races—not avoiding running altogether.
The best graph I have found to explain all of this is …. (drum roll, please!) …. Yakovlevs Graph!
So the basic rule of training if you want to see those “gains” …. Push your body a bit, let it recover and get stronger, then push it again, at just the right time
So here is a quick explanation of the graph…
Green line: Person pushed too hard – body didn’t recover or get stronger …. note how far the fatigue drops down and they start training again before recovery!
Blue line: Pushed just the right amount, body adapted and became faster/stronger during recovery phase …. ah, lovely! The Goldilocks Point!
Red line: Didn’t push hard enough, only a small adaptation occurred …. enough said! If you don’t try ….
Point A: Too early to push hard again, adaptation (the gains) hasn’t happened yet.
Point B: Body has adapted and is ready to be pushed again.
Point C: Too late, the body has returned to its previous state.
So, in conclusion, do not think you need to go to the gym or go for a run and beat your last time every time! Make sure Rest & Recovery is part of your training program …. not an add on! It is vital!
I have added an example of a training cycle here (sorry it is a little small; I will add it to the Useful Info Pages under the Okhane Coaching Team heading) ….
I usually recommend no more than 5-10% increases in Time/Intensity/Frequency at the point of increase, which here is every two weeks. Week 7 is a recovery week and the client will return to training, Week 8 at the same point as when they started the second phase of the first cycle ….
Of course, each program can be tailored to an individuals needs depending on the amount of time they can train, injuries, race programs etc etc ….
Train smart, guys and it will come.
Nick TK – Okhane Coaching Team