It's The Little Things
As athletes, we have a variety of goals. We tend to concentrate on the big things, like how many miles we are riding and running, how many yards we are swimming, or how fast we can go. But it takes a bit more than that to achieve your goals and to become a better athlete. Sometimes the most important things are the little things that make a difference.
Here are 17 small things you can do to improve your performance and make training and racing more enjoyable:
1. Go to Sleep
Rest is one of the most important things you can do. Your body repairs and rebuilds itself as you sleep. So, go to bed early to get a full night’s sleep. Sneak a nap whenever you can!
2. Stretch, Roll, or get a Massage
Your daily workouts can cause you to become stiff and sore. Daily stretching and foam rolling helps with recovery and can also help keep your body injury-free. Getting massages on a regular basis is a good practice. They feel good and can help you recover. You’ve earned it after all that hard work.
Endurance athletes need to have a nutrition plan for everyday life as well as for training and racing. Without proper fueling, your body cannot work at peak performance, heal, or get stronger.
4. Food prep is key
Buying your food and preparing it ahead of time is key to good health. Last-minute stops at your favorite fast food joint are detrimental to your goals and your health.
5. Don't skip the supplements
We push our bodies to the limit during training and racing. While good nutrition replaces most of what our body needs, good supplements can be beneficial to improved performance.
6. Hydration is critical
Staying hydrated is essential to keeping your body healthy and ready to perform. Most athletes do not hydrate properly. Drinking lots of water throughout each day is essential. Having water with you at all times will help you remember to drink up!
7. Don't skip the strength training
As endurance athletes, we concentrate on our aerobic conditioning. After all, that's what endurance racing is all about. With so many workouts and so little time, strength workouts are on the bottom of our list. However, strength workouts can keep injuries at bay and provide that little extra boost that gets you to the next level. Resistance training of any kind can make your body feel and look better.
8. Love your body with warm-ups
Always start your workout easily with a warm-up.
9. Cooldowns are actually important
Always finish your workout with a cool down.
10. Pay attention to what your body is saying
Listen to your body for signs of fatigue or injury
By listening to your body you can avoid serious injury.
11. Sunscreen is essential
Protect your skin, it’s the largest organ in your body! Remember to apply sunscreen, even in cold weather.
12. Anti-chafing creams are a life-saver.
There is nothing worse than a long run, ride, or swim when you're chafing (except maybe when you get in the shower and the water hits that area).
There are many good quality anti-chafing products out there. Remember to wear them!
13. Have a plan and follow it.
Having a solid plan and executing it is essential to reach your goals.
If you don’t have a coach, consider getting one, even in the offseason. A good coach will help you stay on course and continue to get #SmarterStrongerFaster
Randomly doing workouts is not effective in improving your fitness.
14. Trust your training.
When you put in the right kind of consistent work, you can do more than you think you can. Trust and follow your training plan. Your body is capable of amazing things.
Focus on believing in the work you have done. Trust your training.
15. Don’t listen to negative thoughts or comments.
Stay positive when you speak about yourself (to yourself or anyone listening). Think positive and avoid negativity in your training groups.
16. Enjoy yourself!
Always remember to have fun. After all, that’s why we continue to stay involved in the sport.
17. Learn from your mistakes, but don’t dwell on them.
Everyone makes mistakes. Learn from your mistakes and then move on.
During endurance training and racing, something will go wrong. It is how you react to it that counts.
Coach David Bauerle is a Dallas Texas area based Coach with USA Triathlon Level 1 Endurance, IRONMAN U, and USA Cycling Level 3 Coaching Certifications. Coach David enjoys working with Endurance Athletes of all levels to help them reach their goals.
Coach David can be reached at email@example.com.