Whilst listening to the radio I heard an athlete talking about getting back into their sport. When they were asked what they liked about returning , they replied “I love that I am back training hard”. So this got me thinking. What exactly is training hard? Is it when you are pouring sweat over a machine? Or, when your muscles are screaming at you to stop? Here is my spin on what training ‘hard’ is:
You need to ensure that training makes you happy. Now, this may not mean that you are jumping for joy when you reach for your training kit. Nor does it mean that you will train with a smile on your face all the time. Training happy is that you are fully aware of what you are doing and are happy with the outcome from your training session. If you have to push your limits; you’re happy. If you have an easy long run; you’re happy. Happy in the knowledge that the training you are doing has a purpose. It fits in so that you can achieve your goal.
When you train, you have to remain accurate. I am sure that you have had that conversation with someone who said something along the lines: “I was only supposed to do 6 miles but I felt so good I smashed 10” (this is a hypothetical quote BTW). If your training tells you to run a certain time or distance at a certain HR or velocity, then do it. Your training is there for a reason. I knew a trainer who used to set their athletes runs by time. If you went out for a 45 min run and you were 1 mile from home at the 45 min point, guess what, you’re walking the rest of the way home. Steering away your training session can lead to overtaining. Overtaining can lead to injury. Remember, just because you may feel that you haven’t trained, does not mean that you haven’t.
Reliable means YOU. Are you sticking to your training or are you doing some here and there? Reliablility of you training means one thing – improvement. If you want to improve you have to stick to your traning, therefore you have to be reliable. Training every now and then will not improve your training level, no matter how hard you try and convince yourself. Reliable, consistent training provides the platform for gains.
This can join in with reliable, but also you have to have the discipline to listen to your body. Too many times (myself included) do I see or hear of people training through niggles because they are only small. Well, guess what? Small niggles soon turn into big niggles and we know what happens next – stop training due to injury. If you do listen to your body and it is telling you that it is not in shape for the hill rep session ask yourself the question “Would I rather miss this one session, or train and miss the next month due to an injury” The math is pretty simple. DISCLAIMER – Listening to your body is not the same as listening to your mind!
So, the next time you go out and train make sure that you are happy with what you are going to achieve. You train accurately and do whatever session is set for you. You stick to your training and remain reliable to yourself and finally, you stay disciplined. If you follow these guides you will be training HARD and who knows, maybe you will achieve the unthinkable…….
Have a fit and healty day