“Train, don’t strain.” – Arthur Lydiard – One of the world’s greatest athletic coaches

by Mark Wolff

I am sure most of you have experienced the exhilaration of constant improvement through regular training. Going from strength to strength, always feeling good after a workout, and then all of a sudden the dreaded feeling of despair kicks in and we feel like we are starting to go backwards. Suddenly we feel more fatigued, ill, loss of strength or speed and we are not enjoying our workouts like we used to. Something feels wrong but we tend to ignore it as if its just a bad patch.

We all have ideas as to what we think is causing the problem, lack of sleep, bad nutrition or stress and we make major modifications without any results. The truth of the matter is that most are looking for any external reason as to why they are suddenly feeling this lack of strength or stamina, and although it’s staring them right in the face, most tend to ignore the symptoms and keep hitting the exercise regime to make sure they do not go insane.

You see us humans are quite emotional, our bodies are begging us to rest, to recover to change our routine, but our endorphin pumped minds are saying, I can’t stop, I will put on weight, I will lose strength or fitness, I must continue or all the effort I put in would have gone to waste.

Sound familiar?
Of course because we are all prone to our stubborn sense of what we think is right. But now, listen to this and you might actually change your mind set. Most athletes know that resting sufficiently after periods of exercise is crucial to performing at a top level, but many still over train and when they take a day off they feel very guilty.
What is important to know is that the body repairs and strengthens itself during rest periods, and continuous training will weaken you.

Rest days from training are so key to achieving your performance goals. When an athlete goes hard for long periods of time and there is no sufficient recovery in between, over-training syndrome will kick in, and the following symptoms will be a sure sign that you have reached that point:
– Lack of energy
– Mild stiffness
– Decrease in performance
– Insomnia
– Headaches
– Irritability
– Loss of enthusiasm for training
– Drop in quality workouts
– Increased risk of injury or injury

If any of these sound familiar then I would insist on taking some time off exercise and re-thinking your training regime. When you train you want to feel good during and after the workout and become passionate for the next. It should not become my body does not feel like it, but I am going to train anyway routine. This is will surely lead to regression.

If you suspect that you are over-training  then stop immediately, allow the body to recover for a few days, take in plenty of liquid and modify your diet if necessary. Don’t let your emotions get the better of your body’s needs.

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3 comments

“Train, don’t strain.” – Arthur Lydiard – One of the world’s greatest athletic coaches | craigsathletes April 19, 2013 - 12:13 pm

[…] “Train, don’t strain.” – Arthur Lydiard – One of the world’s greatest at…. […]

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Kiplangat kirui April 19, 2013 - 12:45 pm

This’s what ihave been passing all the way,during my training and its better we shere knowlege with others thanks for this,ihave achieved ill try if it work.

Reply
Getu Geremew April 19, 2013 - 2:15 pm

great Ideas, Hoping to share dis to my athletes friends soon

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