10 Reasons Why You Aren’t Making Progress In Your Training
Progress: it is the reason why the majority of us train every week. However you measure progress, whether you want stronger swims, better technique, less injuries or a faster 400m split, progress is what keeps us training day in and day out. Disregard the individuals that train to “maintain”, that is just an excuse to not work hard. But, what if everything you put into your training doesn’t amount to a hill of beans? Here are 10 things that can indicate whether or not your programming & training is being spent wisely.
1. You don’t understand the difference between difficult and useful.
Just because something is hard to do, does not mean it is useful, or will do anything to progress your training/racing career. I could spend 3 months mastering a tumble turn, but will that really help me as a triathlete? Spend your time wisely, time is finite.
2. You aren’t eating enough.
If I had a pound for every time we added more food in to someone’s diet improved their training and energy, I would have more pounds than you. Carbs are not your enemy, stagnation is. Starving yourself is not eating big, so for the love of progress, put a potato on the barbie.
3. You ask everyone on the internet for advice, and listen to all of it/none of it.
Either way you end this equation, you are going to lose. If you try to follow everyone’s cues and tips, you will go nowhere, because everyone on the internet has different opinions about the “right” way to do things, which may not apply to you at all. If you listen to none of it, you are wasting everyone’s time, especially yours. Pick someone’s advice that you trust, put on your blinders, and follow their orders.
4. You think training hard all the time will make you better.
Killing yourself in every session will do just that. Kill you. You will be tired and most likely end up lacking in motivation. The problem with this approach is that you only really end up with one gear, and you’re only really working at about 85% because of fatigue. Better to do some real steady low intensity training working on good technique, and then hitting the hard sessions flat out to give you that maximal benefit.
5. You want to get better at everything, and you want it to happen yesterday.
Arguably, a lot of us are guilty of this. However, the line that separates those who want to be good and those who want to become good is the ability to break goals into smaller pieces, and accomplish them in segments. World records aren’t built in a day.
6. You view training gear as non-primal/cheating.
I am going to let you in on a secret: if you are reading this article while connected to the internet, you are about as far removed from a primal state as you can be, why should your training be any different? By all means, don’t rely on training gear. But learning to work well with your race kit is important – don’t race with new kit! By giving yourself that feeling of moving fast in training, this can really motivate you toward higher efforts in other sessions.
7. You aren’t recording your training.
If you are doing training purely for fun with no target then this doesn’t apply. However, recording your sessions and being aware of what particular results, splits or efforts mean is very beneficial so that you can chart progress. Also knowing how your training is affecting testing sessions means that you can look to replicate where things go well. We use Triblogs, but there are plenty of options, you might even write things down!
8. You are afraid to compete.
I can personally attest to this, because I was once afraid to compete. Sometimes failing at a competition is exactly what you need, in order to do better the next time. I have yet to work with someone who, after their first competition, did not have a fire lit under their ass to compete again ASAP.
9. You think swim/bike/run is all you need to do to be a good triathlete.
This may be true for those first starting out, but as you progress, you will see that it is simply not true. By not adding in supplementary strength or training movements, your weaknesses will still be your weaknesses as you get stronger.
10. You don’t know how to detach.
What if I told you that there was a whole world out there, full of people and places that have no idea about triathlon/sport, or care about it? Sometimes getting out of the “community” for a short period of time is exactly what you need to get your mind right. Familiarity breeds contempt, and all too often we get extremely familiar with our lifestyles. Take some time off and hit training with renewed vigor.