Planning, consistency and goal setting

Hi All!  I am back for 2013…. I know I have been a little slack over the last few months.  Well really I have been training hard outside work to train up for the Melbourne Ironman in March.   However I am now in a mini taper for the Geelong half Ironman or 70.3 as they call them next weekend.  So that has given me a chance to write up on the topic of planning, consistency and goal setting.

Now we are well into the 2013 year with 1 month already gone!  That’s right, gone forever…. How are those new year resolutions going?  Are you on track…. Or have you just let them slip away like every other year.  Personally I hate new years resolutions, as I believe that you can make a change at anytime, in fact why not today!  The key is develop habits and routines.  Human nature craves structure, we are creatures of habit.  Remember when you were at University or school, you would always go to the same chair.  How about when you go for a run… What is your “normal” route?

One of the critical links in improving as an athlete and as a runner or triathlete is consistency.  What I mean by that is showing up day after day, each session should have a clear purpose.  What are you trying to achieve with this training set today?  It is essential that you have a plan that targets a specific race or goal that you have in mind.  Please don’t fall into the trap of achieving a goal then let yourself get slack before picking up the training again.  Right now as a physio I am seeing a lot of patients who have achieved some amazing things over the last year, such as completing their first 10km, half marathon or marathon, before turning the training right off over Christmas and wonder why they are 5Kg heavier and in a worse condition then they were prior to embarking on a training program last year.  It is critical to remember that a lot of overuse injuries are not only just due to increments in load or volume, but due to an inconsistent program or structure, that leads to a failed adaptation by the body as it tries to get used to an on again off again approach!

Now is the time to develop good habits, while the sun is up in the mornings and we have more sun time in the evening.  Get the body into a rhythm… as if you think that you can pull if off when the rain is coming down and it’s cold and dark outside, then good luck!  Get moving!

Running is  a very honest sport.  That is if you do the work and allow adequate rest and recovery between key sessions your body will adapt and you will either lose weight if your body feels it needs to, or you will go faster to a certain genetic/physical limit.  However if you put the brakes on the training, your body adapts very quickly to a lack of conditioning and you will gain weight and lose your aerobic capacity, simple really.  So many runners fall into the trap of doing a race then stopping.  Personally I don’t believe in an on season and off season with running.  I just believe in changes in either intensity, frequency or duration of running to peak for certain events.  During the summer is the perfect time to fix your strength, core or other concerns that you may have as a runner as you don’t have the pressure of preparing for a race.  However with more running races such as two bays coming in to the mix, you could compete all year round very easily.

So lets get to it…. plan the year ahead.  Keep a consistent program up.  Aim to peak for certain A grade races.  Don’t stop after you have achieved your goal… keep going, just wind back the duration, frequency or intensity!  If you have any further questions on this topic please feel free to hit me up.

Happy running!

 

Ross Kinsella

APA title Sports Physiotherapist and level 2 running coach