Thursday, May 27, 2010

Training Enemy #1 - Stress

Ever notice that the more stress you have in your life, the worse your training seems to be? Some athletes face stress and can't seem to keep the workouts consistent even in attempts, instead focusing on the things which stress them more.

Some athletes frustrate themselves to no end if life gets in the way of key workouts they were wanting to accomplish.

Some athletes try to continue their training when facing stress, but lose sleep, develop muscle tension from tensing and handling all the stress, and even change their eating habits. The result ends up being sub-par performances and possible injury.

Here are some tips to fight against stress, and not let it undermine and derail your training and racing.

- Stay organized. When responsibilities and projects mount up, plan your days and your training. If you plan ahead and stay organized, you will more likely finish your workouts successfully.

- Predict stressful times, and adjust training ahead of time so you can better manage them.

- Don't use stress as an excuse to not exercise. If anything, that's the time you need it the most!

- Remember you have lifestyle choices. If there are certain people who cause you stress regularly, avoid them! If it is a job or responsibility, ask yourself if you can live without it. Surround yourself with positivity, and you'll be amazed at how much of a difference it will make in your life.

- When all else fails, get out for a run of 30-40 mins, and make it HARD! There is always room in your day for at least a 30 min hard run. It will do a lot of good for your stress levels and keep your fitness level high, despite not your usual training volume.

- Keep perspective. Sometimes we stress ourselves over the smallest things which at the end of the day, really don't matter as much as we may believe. Try to step back and ask yourself how important the things you stress about are.

Keep these in mind, as the summer is coming, so the racing and training season is ramping up! Keep stress at bay with these tips, and I'm sure you'll notice improved training and performances.

Coach Vance


Sara Cox Landolt said...

Great topic! When I'm stressed and feel overwhelmed I remind myself to just "do the next thing." Sometimes I choose well, but making a decision seems to cut some of the tension right away.

BillG said...

Great point to make Jim, great article. A good message for anyone, as well as triathletes.