5 Common Training Errors and How to Fix Them

1. Too Much Too Soon.

We can’t rush the process of athletic development. It takes time and patience. It takes many years of consistency and patience in training to gain any insight into your running potential.

Don’t increase too much at once (volume,intensity, frequency) A guide is close to 10% rule but this is dependent of course on your goals, your time frame that you have, your individual ability.

Consistency is key and building gradually, only change one thing at a time. This is key to success in your running.
Endurance training can be monotonous at times and you don’t always see quick results but patience in the process delivers time and time again.


2. Too Much High Intensity

We need to have a firm understanding of the basics and do them well. There is a belief that in order to get good results we must push ourselves in every single session. This however, leads to burnout and injury.

We get the benefits from our training doing low intensity runs, this allows us to keep training without picking up an injury. Also some athletes are much more resilient than others and will tolerate fluctuations in training. It is better to get to a start line slight undercooked than overcooked. It is important that we learn to listen to our bodies.
Core weekly planning. We need to think about how one session interacts with another and how one session influences the next one. Plan for recovery running.

Think long term, training is cumulative, you must earn the right to progress.

Don’t force training- don’t go there until you need to go there. The body doesn’t adapt to your schedule, it grows and adapts at a rate it decides to. We grow according to our current fitness and not where we desire to be.

Don’t demand more than what your body can deliver.

Training volume and consistency is the cake, intensity is the icing on the cake, making a cake is all about getting the order and proportions right ~Stephen Seiler

Training volume and consistency is the cake, intensity is the icing on the cake, making a cake is all about getting or the order and proportions right.

~Stephen Seiler

Workouts are not predictive, they are developmental-we are trying to change and evolve by manipulating workouts to keep getting better


3. Not Individualising Training

As runners, we tend to compare ourselves to others, we tend to look at people who train much harder and more frequently but we don’t think about what we are capable of, our training needs to be based on us and our capabilities for the level we are at at the moment, our previous injury history, external stressors etc.
We can’t expect to train like an elite athlete when we actually have a very different lifestyle.

Don’t train like your friend, it’s all about your goals and what training is right for you to achieve those goals at a level that works for you. What if you choose a plan that pushes you too hard too soon based on your current levels, you are just increasing your injury risk. It is so important that you choose the training regime that is right for you! The training load needs to be progressed appropriately and effectively for you to adapt! Be prepared also to bend a little in your plan if needed. Remember we train the individual not the system. The system should be fit around the individual. Any solid training system will eventually become the perfect training system for you if it is continually customized and refined for you

4. Rapid return to running after a break

This will be common now that people haven’t been able to get out training during quarantine. Don’t rush back doing what you were doing before the break if you did take a break or step it right back in volume and intensity.
When your body isn’t used to it, you will overload the tissues and a setback will ensue, time off is important but ease back into it when you return to training.


5. Inadequate Recovery

Running is tricky as it is all about restraint.
There is a fine line between preparing yourself adequately for a race or overtraining

This often happens when recovery gets sacrificed and neglected. Recovery is one of the most important components to any training plan for longevity in the sport.

We need to adopt this process of thinking–Train hard-recover harder.

We should be putting as much effort and planning into our recovery as we do into our training. Think about this in your training week, where can you put it in to your training plan to allow you to recover from those tougher sessions, also, think about a recovery week every 3 to 4 weeks- we can plan to build over 3 weeks for example maintain some sharpness in the 4th week but reduce the volume by 10-30%.

We are definitely not paying enough attention to this little detail.

Stress + Recovery =Growth

Stress without recovery leads to fatigue and poor performance. A lasting decrease in performance can be a sign of overtraining.

We must assess physical(training structure and progression)and psychological(work,family life, studying) stressors and plan recovery for both!

Optimise your sleep to reduce your injury risk 7-9 hour sleep is optimum, we must try to plan and implement it effectively.

Sleep and nutrition are the 2 most powerful but underrated performance enhancers available to athletes use these wisely to reap the benefits.

Michelle Greaney
Level 2 AAI Endurance Coach

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