“You miss the trees in the woods if you try to build Rome in a day”.
That nonsensical made up quote really reminds me of the point I’m trying to get across today. ‘Longevity’. We are all on this ride for the long haul, and it sure would be good if our training could be fulfilling and productive for as much of that ride as possible. Hopefully we can take a step back, realize that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and take enough time to notice all the beautiful trees in the woods.
Keys to Longevity in training:
Master the basics
- Understand that your peak is only as high as your base. A better word for basics would be “foundations” since they support every other aspect of training. As much as we want to crush the next competition or goal if we don’t have the foundational aspects of training dialed in, our peak will always be short. Do you have the aerobic base to support intense metabolic efforts? Do you have a rock solid squat pattern? How is your structural balance from limb to limb? These are a few often overlooked foundational components to the fitness athlete. If you’ve never spent time training these foundational components they can add years to your career and give you new challenging goals to conquer.
Life has seasons so does training
- Even though your dream competition may have intense metcons, Max Unbroken muscle ups, and a 4 rep TNG snatch max it doesn’t mean you have to conquer all of those components each training session, or even each training cycle!! It’s best to cut the elephant up into chewable pieces before you try to eat him. During different times of the year focus on specific goals in each micro and macro cycle. For example combining upper body absolute strength and gymnastics ME during a cycle allows for you to make the tissue adaptation and motor learning needed for that unbroken set of muscle ups. Then during the next cycle of MAP progressions and conditioning focus you can transition that skill into a PR in Amanda. Thus your training has seasons and focuses that allows you to grow in a planned and logical manner.
Understand what intensity means to you
- It’s becoming better understood that you can’t just go HAM 24/7/365. We know that intensity needs to come in planned and appropriate dosages. However, have you given thought to exactly what intensity means to you personally? Intensity is relative upon many factors including but not limited to; training age, injury history, outside stressors, and personal bias. For example a class of moderate weight snatches, overhead squat, and light snatch balance sounds very low intensity on paper, however if you have some limitations in thoracic mobility and an old shoulder injury that class can really drain you and have a longer term recovery deficit. Conditioning can be very similar. If the class whiteboard says 3 sets for time 15 cal AB / 12 thrusters 95/65 / 9 bar over burpee AFAP it can have very different effects on folks. A very powerful ex college football player can go a lot deeper into his nervous system in this short intense workout, then a 40 year old class participant with a 1 year training age. Same movements different systemic outcome!!! So take some time to understand what exactly is intense to your individual body.
Take care of the other 22 hours
- I was pretty generous there giving you 2 hours a day of training time. However thats a drop in the bucket compared to the rest of life. Dial in those 22 hours and all they entail and you are maximizing your recovery. Are you sleeping 8 hours a night with great sleep hygiene? Are you cooking your own food and eating slowly and mindfully? Are you engaging in other emotionally fulfilling activities? These 22 hours are always brought up within my first meeting with any client as they are paramount to supporting a lifetime of training.
Connect to your why
- As an athlete we focus on those dreamy 3 days to showcase our hard work and talent. That can sometimes leave motivation low for daily training that gives you the capabilities to shine when the time is right. Having a daily practice about the deeper meaning of training can help center your focus and give fulfillment to the pieces that make the whole. Furthermore, every athlete gets old!!! I sure as heck thought it wouldn’t happen to me but unfortunately father time is undefeated. Though I may not have any days left on the grandest stages, I do still love training. This is because I can relate to it as a part of me NOT WHO I AM.
Get some guidance
- We’ve all been there at that plateau. Keep getting injured, can’t make that next step on the leaderboard, just feeling blah and not sure why. Having a professional coach in your corner is the quickest way to unwind that puzzle in many ways. Unbiased assessment helps to identify limitations, which formulates plans, which results in clarity in purpose and in outcomes.
Not sure where to start? Book a call with our coaching advisor today!