The basics of performance
Nail the big stuffJuly 17, 2021
Nail the big stuffJuly 17, 2021
Are you putting in the work without reaping the reward? Performance plateaus can be
frustrating to say the least. And often the temptation is to compensate with overtraining further impairing performance. Not good. When you are training hard to improve, this is not the result you want.
So where to go from here? By balancing consistent training with adequate recovery, the answer is: UP!
Yes, improving performance is about training hard but it is important to get your head around the vital role of recovery in performance. Effective recovery techniques are essential for the body to repair and rebuild while reducing the risk of injury. Under-recover and you will most likely end up injured or burnt out. Undertrain and you may end up unfit and disappointed.
Rather than stacking on training load, direct your focus to the basics; consistent and specific
training, quality sleep, stress reduction and adequate fueling. With the big stuff in order, you will be well on your way to building better performance and getting the results you deserve.
The basics: Training + Recovery = Performance.
Time to break that down.
Training Consistency – You need to put in the work.
It goes without saying that if you’re not putting in enough training, no amount of recovery will help you perform. Training stimulus needs to be consistent for the body to adapt. And alongside motivation, time spent injury free is vital in keeping you on track. You may have an exceptional training plan, but you need to be motivated and uninjured to consistently put it into action.
Specificity – Cut unnecessary load.
Keep in mind that general training contributes to total training load without necessarily improving performance in your chosen activity e.g. If you’re training to improve your marathon time, regular CrossFit sessions are likely to be contradictory to your marathon performance. Such demanding training elongates recovery time and limits energy dedicated to running improvements.
Overtraining – Avoid injury and burnout.
Inadequate recovery significantly increases the risk of injury and burnout. Pay attention. Our bodies are responsive to stress and rest. Look out for warning signs for overtraining, for example, slower than normal recovery, general fatigue, overuse injuries, irritability, weight gain and loss of motivation.
Quality sleep – wake up ready to go.
Sleep has a significant impact on recovery that often gets overlooked. Studies show that quality sleep is found to play a role in improving reaction times, motor function, motivation, focus, stress regulation, muscle tissue recovery, memory and fuel utilization. A powerful combination of factors. Therefore, not surprisingly, the quality and amount of sleep athletes get is key to building performance. And conversely, a lack of sleep increases the risk of injury, reduces immune function, increases stress and promotes weight gain – factors that may inhibit performance and effect training consistency.
Reduce stress – stay in the game.
All physical and emotional stressors add to the load on the body. Don’t underestimate the drain that your emotional stress from areas like work, relationships, family and finances have on your physical resources and speed of recovery. Stress has been found to keep 40% of the American population up at night. Try to cut back on stress in other areas of your life when looking to boost performance.
Adequate fuel – eat for success.
Pre and post workout nutrition affects not only training quality and intensity but also the speed of recovery and adaptation. Studies show that fuel is an important part of recovery to support immune function, reduce fatigue, promote muscle repair and growth and it also reduces the Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness (DOMS).