Over the past several years as both trainer and athlete, I’ve had the opportunity to learn a lot of things that have changed the way I train myself and other people.
When I was a high school Zone Championship winning track athlete competing in the 1500m and 3000m, the concept of “recovery” never really occurred to me. I was like: “What’s rest and why would I need it?”
At that point, I would frequently push myself as hard as I could for as long as I could.
Run as fast as you can for as long as you can to get faster…right? Wrong.
I would be upset every time I didn’t get a PB in a training run and I would be even more upset if I didn’t PB in a race.
Now, I look at running and training differently.
Being injured for a long time and missing out on an opportunity to try out for the university track team has helped me re-evaluate the way I trained.
So, what has changed over the years?
1. Previous injuries. I’ve learned to listen to my body a lot more in order to prevent future injuries. I’ve also learned how the body works, how muscles work and how to implement an adequate recovery plan. This, in turn, helps me teach my clients how to be mindful of their own bodies so that what happened to me doesn’t happen to them.
2. Never take personal records for granted. Keep on striving to achieve new personal records, while at the same time understand that not every day is a day for personal bests. Appreciate personal records when they happen but don’t get miserable when they don’t.
3. Taking the Arthur Lydiard run coaching course. As far as my training career goes, this has been by far one of the most valuable courses I’ve ever taken. It rewired my brain about running and coaching. There is a reason why Arthur Lydiard’s principles are the best and why I’m proud to incorporate them in my clients’ programs.
4. Every workout has its purpose. There is a right and a wrong fitness plan. A proper fitness plan is one where there is a clear purpose for every workout. In the past, I would just aimlessly run (probably with bad form) as fast as I could as far as I could hoping that it would bring me good results. After taking a good hard look at my training logs from years ago, armed with Arthur Lydiard’s training techniques, I realized the importance of why each workout is done and learned a lot from my previous training mistakes.
5. Training programs are not “one size fits all”. What works for some people may not work for others. Individual differences (fitness level, work schedules, other commitments, body types, etc) must be taken into account. It’s important to figure out what you need to do to reach your goal and why you need to do it.
When it comes to fitness programming, I am always learning new things that will be valuable. Everything is always a learning curve.
Never stop learning. Always be willing to make adjustments.
That is how I went from being a very slow, constantly injured runner to Boston Marathon finisher (finish line pic below). 🙂
“The only person who is educated is the one who has learned
how to learn and change”–Carl Rogers