Every week I get to work with some amazing female athletes. They are women who come from different athletic backgrounds with different goals. Some are runners who want to improve their times while others are focused on becoming more healthy and fit. What I love most about working with these women is that they want to be their best. They understand that to be their best is a process.
You see, training is not just about going out every day and putting in the miles or following a recipe for weight loss. It’s not subscribing to an exercise program that you find in the current edition of Women’s Health Magazine. It’s about knowing your limits. It’s studying how you move. It’s evaluating where you are in each phase of your life and making those adjustments to improve.
It may also mean cleaning up your diet, managing stress, and getting more rest. Personally I have had to make training adjustments over the years due to childbirth, a serious bike accident and other lifestyle changes. As a single working mom in her 40’s I find that I need to manage my time efficiently so I can get enough recovery time between hard training efforts and be intentional about the amount of sleep I get. This makes a huge difference in how I perform at races. If I don’t get the right amount of sleep paired with good eating, I know I will most likely not perform at my best.
The BIG IDEA: In order to improve fitness, you have to understand how to progress yourself to keep up with the demands of what you are trying to achieve, while working within the boundaries of what your body can do.
A client of mine is in her mid-50’s and training for Tahoe Rim Trail 100 next month, She has several years of running experience under her belt. She came to me because she felt after all the years of following her own plan, she wasn’t improving. She felt there were areas that needed tweaking and was willing to explore new training methods to improve her performance. Once I assessed her biomechanics, core strength and nutrition I was able to establish a plan that would not only improve how she moves but also how she fuels her body. What worked for her in her early years of competition has shifted.
Since I have been working with her for several months we have been able to see improvement with running times, recovery and muscle tone. She has had a few setbacks not related to training but rather related to hormonal shifts (something we all have to face at some point in our adult lives). As you continue to set your own training and fitness goals season after season, I would encourage you to be flexible. Understand that regardless of where you are in your journey the best thing you can do is know your limits. Give yourself permission to evaluate and make adjustments that could ultimately pay off in years to come. #catchthebreez #livewell