IF YOU READ THE ARTICLE, “5 Culprits Behind Your Fitness Plateau” by Amy Schlinger for MyFitnessPal.com perhaps you will zero-in on the specific habit or tendency unique to your fitness situation, one which has perhaps resulted in a performance plateau or possibly pain and injury. You may then unwisely dismiss its importance to you personally, or hopefully, change your ways. Regardless, don’t miss the overall message of the piece: listen to expert advice about training.
What are Schlinger’s training culprits for runners? To oversimplify and too briefly summarize an article that deserves complete reading, these “causes of a problem or defect” involve not getting enough variation, challenge, rest, or recovery in your training.
How will listening to expert advice help? Nearly every formal race training plan above the beginner level will: 1) incorporate workouts of varying intensity, duration, and type, 2) recommend optional cross-training for rest days, plus schedule complete rest days, and 3) increase the difficulty of each workout in a gradual, safe fashion. Plans won’t specifically include this warning, but the decision to stop training and remain on the sidelines because of injury is the responsibility of each individual.
When you evaluate a race preparation training program, do you look over the ‘run’ days and ignore other training components? Possibly because you don’t consider them essential to the prep or your ability to run your best race? The mark of a great plan, if we interpret Schlinger’s piece a bit more broadly and deeply, will be the scheduling of these ‘extra’ components. They have been designed to provide appropriate challenge, variety, and rest such that plateaus AND injury are avoided, and a BEST performance can be achieved.
If the title of the article grabbed your attention, it’s possible you are experiencing frustration. I am. Why? It’s because I’m in the middle of recovery from an injury. Waiting until healing is complete, worrying that resolution won’t allow performance at previous levels, feeling lack of control, doubting myself in general.
I was reminded that culprit #5, “You were recently injured” likely explains my injury. It would have been best to completely back off running, training, and other activities that added stress, much sooner and for a longer period of time. AndI should have recognized that culprit #4, not scheduling enough rest, would eventually land me in trouble.
As fall training begins, take advantage of the advice of experts. They make a living helping elite athletes achieve their dreams.
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. In 1978 I began participating in 10K road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health and longevity.
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