Everyone gets active for a variety of reasons – some love the social aspect, some love the way it makes them feel and some have specific goals like weight management. Whatever your motivation, consistent honest training is going to be the way you achieve your overall goal. So in the interests of ensuring that you have a serious crack at making 2020 awesome, here are our simple, easy to implement tips on getting the most out of your training.
It’s commonly acknowledged that sleep is one of the biggest contributors to getting the most out of your training and keeping injury-free. There was a study linking your chance of injury with the amount of sleep you get and for anyone getting less than 8 hours, it’s bad news. But we can’t always get 12 hours of sleep a night… many of us can’t even get 8 hours in a row. So here are some simple ways of getting the most value out of limited sleep.
- Pre sleep embargo – make the hour before bed exercise-free, screen-free and snack-free. Each of those stimulate the body and the brain
- Sleeping conditions – make the room dark and cool without sources of artificial light such as LED charging indicators
- Nightly routine – it can be as serious as a half hour of meditation or as consistent as a half hour on the loo. Whatever your preference, a set nightly routine gets the brain ready for shutdown
We’re seeing more everyday athletes incorporating strength training into their regular routines. It’s no longer about runners just running or football is just footballing – strength training is a way of preventing injury, improving performance and giving you more bang for your buck in your regular training sessions.
Here’s our top 3 tips for adding strength training to your program or optimising the strength training you’re already doing:
- Train to technique fatigue, but don’t kill yourself – keep going in a set until you start to lose control of the technique, lose speed or lose depth
- Use strength training as a finisher – add strength work after any big field or run session as a way of pushing yourself further without the risk of fatigue related injuries. Just choose your exercises carefully with lighter loads and simple movement patterns
- Don’t forget your protein – strength training doesn’t build you up, it breaks you down! Protein is your body’s way of rebuilding stronger than before. Without it, you may as well have sat in the gym and taken selfies
A lack of recovery accounts for almost everything bad in sport! From poor performance (despite working hard) to injuries to a lack of mojo. Not giving the body enough time to bounce back after training and competing can be a disaster. Cover these 3 points and you’ll be far less likely to run into trouble:
- Easy weeks – as much as you want to push hard every week, taking an easy/lazy week every so often will pay dividends. Think of it as a buffer to protect you from overcooking yourself from successive big weeks
- Recovery routine – recovery isn’t just about not training! You need to take care of nutrition & hydration, get some rest (have a nap) and treat yourself to a hard-earned massage (straight after your big weeks)
- Listen to your body – just because your program says “hills of death” doesn’t overrule the warning signs of fatigue and injury. If you’re struggling, a well-timed rest day is more useful than another hard session