Athletes are the best in the world at what they do right? Being fit, strong, powerful, skilled… it’s their job. They are essentially experts in the field of performance so why not take note of the behaviours the exhibit to give your workout a little boost?
What am I talking about? Athletes are genetically gifted, receive huge investments and have the privilege of training full-time. Well, I’m not going to lie, these factors are all very important. BUT there are a lot of basics that underpin the superhuman performances, and by adopting these behaviours and including them in your lifestyle you can supercharge your training too!
Athletes live to train but also to rest and recover; sleep is king. Change happens when you’re resting AFTER your workout. Athletes take weeks during training where they train less, to let the body recover and adapt from an intense block of training before the next one starts.
Hack: Make time in your week (or month at worst) to recuperate. Get your sleep! Turn off Netflix and get 8h kip instead. And if your training regime is very intense, plan in weeks with less volume every four or so weeks. You’ll soon notice the difference in energy and training quality.
Injuries and tight, sore muscles are all part of the athlete life. Therefore, physiotherapy and soft tissue treatment (massage) features weekly in top athlete’s schedules. This aids injury prevention and recovery which means you can train harder, and for longer without niggles arising.
Hack: Book in for a massage once a month; your body will thank you for it. Too expensive? Can you cut out a couple of coffees a week to pay for it? Achieving your goals is all about making the right choices. Also, if you have an injury, go see a physiotherapist before continuing with your training to get the best advice.
Basics are key! It’s not glamourous and won’t make a good Instagram post but doing the basics day in, day out will make a huge difference. Solid warm ups, regular stretching, eating well and practising good hygiene will go a long way in keeping you in one piece mentally and physically. It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive so there is no excuse!
Hack: Always warm up and cool down after a workout and include time to stretch in your workout plan. Have snacks on hand and always carry a drink with you to refuel after a session. Lastly, buy a few hand sanitisers and pop them in your bags so they’re always handy. Don’t lose days of training because of illness.
Lastly, athletes will sacrifice an awful lot to achieve their dream. I have wanted to be an Olympian for as long as I can remember; it is what drives me to push myself and go beyond what I believe my limits to be. I make decisions based on how it will affect my performance and long term goal. Having these big, exciting goals helps keep me motivated when I am tired, or injured, or missing out on something.
Hack: Set yourself a goal and write it down. Or even better tell people about it so that they can hold you accountable to this goal. If the long-term goal is intimidating, then break it down. What will you do along the way (today, this week, next week) to get you closer to that overall goal. Set it out and do your best to stick to it.
I witness and experience extraordinary feats of athletic performance daily. These performances are always underpinned by ordinary behaviours that you can incorporate into your training schedule. Small changes can make a big difference, enjoy!