to sleep early and sleep eight hours or
close to it each night. Turn off the TV, the
random internet surfing, the mindless dithering -
just pack it in and hit the sack. You need
sleep to perform well, stay sharp, and feel good.
with partners and friends. Nothing
motivates us like avoiding the disapproving phone
call we might receive after missing a session with
a buddy. Friends are also more fun to talk
to than the voices in your head.
better meals. Some of you have a great
breadth of knowledge when it comes to nutrition;
others don't have a clue about micronutrients and
good vs bad fats. A little education goes a
long way here, but in general if you are eating
out, choose lean meat (chicken, fish) over fatty
meats (burgers), healthier sides (steamed veggies
or sweet potato fries) over less healthy sides
(french fries, buttery mashed potatoes).
on a set schedule. A ten day
periodized plan is fine for a professional
athlete, but most of us need to adhere to a
realistic seven day program. The easiest way
to stay on track is to create a mostly set plan
that repeats each week (the intensity and duration
can change). Re: Monday swim, Tuesday run,
Wednesday ride, and so on.
your races to suit your strengths.
If you hate hills, don't make a hilly race your
big event for the season. That is setting
yourself up for failure.
at least one key workout each week where
you will really put some hard work in. For
you younger than ~35 YO pick two or three.
(If you are starting from zero, do at least a
month or two of easy-moderate training before
starting higher intensity.)
up with your strength training and core
conditioning. This will help you avoid
injury, and in your later years will help maintain
power (pedal stroke, swim pull, and run pushoff).
up with your physical therapy exercises
and stretching in general. If you have been
diagnosed by a PT or Ortho-doc with some
imbalances or other localized weakness, it means
you need to do these exercises forever to
eliminate the weakness.
a good coach for a consult or ongoing
coaching. A good coach is both a
taskmaster and an educator.
your races within your life. If
racing is just a way for you to stay fit and have
fun, don't spend too much time worrying about race
results. If you want to be competitive, you
need to move the training and racing up a notch in
your order of importance.
can read more in-depth thoughts on most of these
topics on the article page of our
Marty Gaal, CSCS, has been coaching
endurance athletes for eleven seasons. He is
the co-founder of One Step Beyond.