Getting ready for an event is rarely easy. Not just the hours you spend in a gym or the miles you put on your feet. But balancing it out with everything else in your life is tricky. One thing that I have seen over and over is the dreaded training injury, which sucks. I can’t sit here and say I’m the world’s leading expert on how to show up at 100% but I’ve done an event or two and I always seem to be (almost) injury free in the lead up to it.
First and foremost is to take it easy. Look you’re training to do one event, every single training session isn’t the event. I’m not saying that you don’t have to put out and it is supposed to be easy but someone training for a marathon doesn’t run marathons as part of their training. They run shorter distance and build on those, then when the marathon comes it’s almost as if it’s just another slightly longer training session. So when I hear that someone busted up their foot on a 20 mile 60 lb training ruck, it literally blows my mind. You want to do a 20 mile ruck? Cool make it light. You want to do a 60 lb ruck? Cool, make it short. Training should be intense at times but it should be manageable. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
Recovery is as important as training. Give yourself off days. I’m not saying you have to eat a quart of ice cream on your days off in fact maybe don’t do that. Take it easy a couple of days a week though. 6 days a week of training is great but isn’t sustainable. Training tired is fine but if you’re constantly tired you’re asking to hurt yourself. Miss a step and land on your face. Roll an ankle. Drop a weight on your foot. It’s all avoidable.
One of the biggest things I struggle with is time off. I’m not talking about a rest day but I’m talking about taking a week or so to just relax. It’s easy to get obsessed with your routine. Monday through Friday, bonus workouts on the weekend. Guess what, it’s ok to take a week off from time to time. Relax, eat poorly, and mentally don’t stress about calories or how many episodes you’ve watched on Netflix. You just have to realize that eventually you have to go back to normal. You have to get off the couch and get back to those miles. In the grand scheme of things, when you’re dealing with a lifetime of fitness, a week or two off here and there are a blip on the radar.
Lastly, and possibly most importantly, listen to your body. It’s talking to you all the time. If something hurts then ask yourself what that means. Have you been training too hard? Is something injured or just hurt? Do you need to take a break? There’s a difference in training smart and being lazy. What that means to you is really up to how good you are at listening.
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