Friday, May 31, 2013

Common Errors Made By Beginner Athletes

Common Errors Made by Beginner Athletes

“Too Much Too Soon”

Very often people who decide to try their first event (10K Run, Beginner Triathlon, or just joining a recreational hockey league or basketball league) are those who have played sports previously or done an smaller race and are ready for something new.  Being active is great and should be encouraged but we should also look at building a base for them as they enter the training for events.  Too many times people jump right into the program and feel that the distances are too short or the intensities are too easy. So what happens is they go longer, or harder, than the program prescribes or what they can actually perform.  As coaches, we have to understand this so that we can explain why they are doing something and educate them to increase their odds of success.

Base training generally means higher percentage of lower intensity cardiovascular training, and is used to build the aerobic engine.  So; shorter distance/lower intensity. The errors with this is that athletes do not feel challenged and end up going faster, or longer.  Gradual increases in intensity have to be made. Otherwise over the long term, it can lead to over-reaching or worse, overtraining. 


Why do we need to gradually increase in training? It all has to do with the rebuilding process and what allows for the best improvement.  To avoid this problem we would add in recovery weeks in the training program.  If the customer is training at the proper intensities, by the time they reach this week the body is ready for it – particularly in the later stages of the program.

We must also be ready to make changes to the program as it progresses. We make changes based on performance and also on feedback; how we feel, are we fatigued or energized. 

As coaches we must be aware of the symptoms of over training such as behavioral symptoms such as: mental and physical fatigue, changes in sleeping patterns, irritability, clumsiness, increased thirst, sluggishness.  Physically, their performance can be effected and go through changes in weight and heart rate changes and overall muscle soreness and stiffness


We must examine how tight muscles from increased volumes can affect flexibility.  And also what this means to training. For example, a runner who has tight hamstrings and starts to run will have a limited recruitment from the muscle. Tight hamstrings=Tight hips=Tight Back=Hindered performance and possible injury.

The best treatment for all of these things is to be aware of the factors and be pro-active. Athletes need a combo of stretching and myofascial release, as well as regular massage, can go a long way towards a healthy and successful training program.

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