A good training session is like a cup of coffee, I’m much nicer after I’ve had one.
Through life we always have our ‘must haves’; those things that we feel that we could not do without. I thought I would share my top 5 ‘must haves’ that help me with my training.
- Fitted Trainers – These are my number one must have and have reached that status through personal experience of buying and using the wrong trainers. Before I bought my first pair of trainers after undergoing a gait analysis, I used to have chronic knee pain when I went running. After a while the pain would disappear and I would carry on with the run. So, I was shocked after a bought my first trainers after undergoing gait analysis and went for a run – no knee pain! Anyone who does not have a gait analysis prior to buying running trainers – STOP NOW. Get a gait analysis. Most shops that do it do not charge if you buy the trainers from them. I guarantee you will not be disappointed; it may save potential future injuries leading to cessation of training.
- Functional Clothing – Nobody will get fashion tips from the training clothes that I wear, FACT! I have some clothes that would probably suit a museum, but they cover what I want (excuse the pun) when it comes to functionality and being a tight wad, I do not feel the need to buy new clothing for the sake of it. Don’t get me wrong, I do not ‘buy cheap; buy twice’, but, I stopped growing years ago and tend to look after the clothing that I buy. My advise, buy the best you can when you need it. Make sure that you are buying it for the right reasons. If it can be multi-functional, bonus. Look after your clothing and it will look after you for years to come.
- Heart Rate Monitor – This is a piece of training equipment that I do not leave the house without. I have used a number of heart rate monitors over the years and currently use a Garmin Forerunner 225. Now before I go any further, I have had no problems using the optical heart rate sensor, despite the currency of negative reviews of this type of heart rate sensor. For those not in the know, the Garmin picks up your heart rate through the blood pump under the skin. 100% of my training is conducting using a HRM, and I mean everything. This allows me greater understanding of how my body is reacting to the stressors that I am putting it through. It is also a fantastic tool to provide data showing improvements that allow for manipulation of training if and when required.
- Foam Roller – Yes, I am that individual that over the years failed constantly on my post training stretching. Subsequently, I have had a number of injuries that I believe I would not have had, at least not to the level of severity if I had been disciplined enough to stretch. Although foam rolling has been around for a number of years, I have only been using one for around the last 5 years. I started of with a large single foam roller, now I use a smaller grid foam roller. Lets be honest, when you start using a foam roller it hurts. But, stick with it and it will be one of the best tools you ever use.
- Food – Over the years, I have discovered not just the importance of food, but also the importance of the correct food at the correct time. Not only when to eat, but when not to eat. Eating correctly can help with training, ensuring that you are adequately energized. Be sure to keep in mind the duration and intensity of your training. This will dictate what you should eat and drink and how often; too much can leave you feeling sluggish, whilst too little can leave you feeling under energized and you may not perform to your maximum.
These are my Top 5 ‘must haves’ that help me with my training. Please feel free to comment and let me know what your Top 5 ‘must haves’ are. Hope your training goes well and you achieve the unthinkable.