Josie, Bill and I filming, as I coach them, for our Video Training Library (learn more about our powerful training library here).
As a coach, I am routinely asked what an athlete can do to improve their performance.
This is usually preceded by a tale of woe about some lack luster race result.
Fortunately for me, a quick skim of their recent racing splits and training logs makes it fairly easy to identify where their problems originate.
If you’re looking for peak performances this season, regardless your sport, you need to be mindful in your efforts and train smarter, not harder.
Error #1, Going out too fast.
This is easy to identify by simply looking at your splits.
Whether you are swimming, biking, running, walking, playing a tennis match or a round of golf, if you have not managed your energy and the second half of your sport is slower than the first half, you went out too fast.
To avoid this, commit to practicing goal specific pacing for at least half your race distance prior to a big event.
In the case of tennis or golf matches, commit to improving overall fitness and endurance and you will find yourself with more energy and sustained accuracy late in your game.
Error #2, Training too hard too often.
The majority of athletes, especially those who are self-coached, train too hard too often.
They become blinded by the idea that if they aren’t breathing heavy they aren’t working. This is an unfortunate misconception that not only undermines your performance potential but ultimately leads to chronic fatigue and/or injury.
To reap the biggest performance gains, athletes in their prime should limit their training to two tough and 1 long training session per week.
Mature athletes who want to stay on top of their game and injury free should factor in 2 recovery days after each hard or long training session.
Error #3, Training too hard too close to a big event.
This mistake reveals itself when you feel flat on competition day. Often athletes complain that they didn’t have any ‘pop’ in their stride or their serve felt flat.
Keep in mind that it takes 14 days for your body to process fitness.
That means trying to cram in last minute volume or intensity in the week prior to your event will only increase your overall fatigue and potential for injury.
Trust in your training efforts to carry you through your competition.
Error #4, Doing too much too soon.
This is obvious. If your weekly volume increases from 3 to 8 hours in 1 week, you’re doing too much too soon.
If you’ve been sitting on the sofa and suddenly are on the courts 6 days a week, you’re doing too much too soon.
To decrease your risk of injury, burnout and recognize appreciable gains in fitness, increase weekly volume by no more than 10% each week.
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