One of the biggest mistakes that first time marathon trainers make when gearing themselves up for the big race is trying to maintain a quick pace when distance running. Athletes of all fitness levels want a quick start out of the gate, but as many of them who have tried this know, this is the best way to burn up energy early in the race. Marathon runners, especially those training for their first race, need to get enough practice in to know how quickly to set their pace. The general rule of thumb is that runners should give themselves at least four months of concentrated marathon training before attempting to participate in a marathon.
The Perfect Athlete
In this amazing short film, Kirk Docker deconstructs the machine that is Shane Perkins, Australia’s fastest track cyclist. I highly recommend that you take 4 minutes to watch this! Docker does a great job of putting into perspective the amount of energy an elite athlete like Perko puts into their training regimen (outstanding visuals and graphics by Duncan Elms).
As parents, we strive to ensure our athletes always put in their best effort; to lay it all on the line and to never quit. Parents are willing to do almost anything to turn their kids into future stars. Practices are now longer, more intense, and more frequent. But these changes constitute a double-edged sword. While practice and repetition may inch the athlete closer to perfection, athletes also run the risk of overtraining and injuring themselves.
These injuries can rob players of valuable training and competition time, as well as impair their ability to achieve long term goals. So how do we know when an athlete is overtraining?
Increased research into athletic performance has shown that there are countless factors that contribute to how an athlete is able to perform while competing in their sport. For example, compared to 50 years ago, there is much more of an emphasis placed on the strength and conditioning of an athlete for all sports. Another equally important factor is the mental health of an athlete. How relaxed or stressed an athlete feels on any given day can greatly affect whether or not they can perform to the best of their ability. In this post, I’ve chosen to focus in on a piece of the puzzle that’s often neglected by athletes: (either as a result of ignorance as well as by choice) the crucial component of nutrition.
As we all know, the competitive climate within today’s sports world has run rampant, and, as a result, athletes of all levels are seeking any advantage they can possibly gain. But aside from the physical training aspect of making yourself into the stud athlete you have always dreamt of one day becoming, what is it that actually separates the so called “good” from the “great”? And the answer to that question, my friends, lies in recovery: the quicker you can recover, the faster you can improve.