I’ve made plenty of mistakes in my training over the years. I started doing Little Athletics at 4 years of age at the Albion Park club, so athletics has been a big part of my life. I started training at about 7 years of age, not a great deal, but enough to start laying the foundations for my success as I got older. Here are the 5 worst training mistakes I’ve ever made.
Too Much Speed
A lot of junior coaches are obsessed with speed. Of course speed is important, that’s how you win races. What’s more important though is being there with a lap to go. Too many times I see junior coaches think that the quick fix is to give their kids plenty of 200m reps, where most likely they just need to do a few more threshold sessions or kilometer rep sessions to build their strength so by the time they get to the bell lap, they’re not spent and they can access a bit of speed.
Not Listening to Niggles
It’s hard for an athlete to stop when they get a bit of pain in the body. It’s hard to see that missing a few days will be better than missing a few months. I’m getting much better at this, and due to having spent large chunks of my career so far on the sidelines, I have absolutely no worries in spending a few days on the couch.
Forgetting to Pack Gloves
If your hands are cold, your whole body will be cold. So many times I’ve been on a run and wished I was wearing gloves. Sometimes I remember, but there’s been too many times when I’ve almost had frost bite at Falls Creek and Mt. Laguna.
Eating Dairy Too Close to a Run
Plenty of times I’ve woken up just before a long run and been super hungry and devoured a bowl of weet-bix. Dairy doesn’t sit well with me when I’m running so it’s always a bad idea. Even though it will be a painful 90 minutes with milk rolling around in my stomach, I sometimes can’t resist a bowl of weet-bix with sultanas and honey.
Trying to Keep Up with the Big Boys
As a kid, whenever I had the chance to train with older and better runners, I would try my hardest to keep up, and I’d generally blow up halfway through. If the prescribed training is correct, it doesn’t matter too much if you train well or you train poorly, just as long as you can get it done consistently week after week. I have no problem fluffing around at the back on my own these days.
Everyone makes mistakes, and even if they haven’t yet, I assure you they will make them somewhere down the track. The really good athletes learn from their mistakes, and make sure they never do them again. Mistakes are the best way in finding out what you can and can’t handle, so sometimes they are just what you need to find out what type of training is most suitable for you.
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