Spring is here and with it comes new life, growth and hope.
This is not just for the animal kingdom and budding plants who have been battling for survival through winter but also the athlete who has been doing the same. With the winter grind behind us, the prospect of longer days, warmer temperatures and the sudden realisation that a lot of sand has slipped through the hour glass during our hibernation spurs many back to life.
Like spring bulbs rapidly sprouting from the ground it seems that many athletes make the bolt for the door to try and make up for lost time with a frantic spring fling with their training. This renewed motivation and vigor can lead to a few issues over this time, so be aware.
For those athletes going at it like rabbits trying to make up their minimal training over winter it is vital that you balance your hard training with adequate recovery. It sounds simple and it is! But many will not do the simple things which can quickly lead to illness over this time of the year.
Balance your loading phases with recovery phases in your overall plan as well as day to day with your sessions. Over this time aim to clock up some extra shut eye while maintaining good nutrition and hydration to support your increased training load.
It is tempting to bolt out of the gate and get a head start at this time of year by jumping straight into the training loads you normally do in summer. But don't forget our old mates, the old tortoise and the hare.
Slow and steady wins the race.
Now while that is not meant to be a training principle to hang your hat on, it is a good point to remember during spring. For example, if you have not been doing much running over winter and stored away a bit of additional padding during your hibernation on the couch. If you crack straight back into high intensity interval training sessions, epic long runs or double days it is highly likely that your body is not going to be able to handle the increased mechanical load which will result in injury.
Focus instead on building yourself back into your training load gradually so you are hitting your stride when it counts further down the track.
In my experience most of the above issues are caused by a person's sudden realisation that well over half the year is gone, its ~ 100 days until Christmas and holy shit I have to get ready for .......insert race here.......!!!!!!
This time of the year is always the busiest for me with new athletes signing up for training programmes and previous athletes signing back on to get the ball rolling again. My number one piece of advice for those who have this sudden realisation sucker punch them and are starting to freak out is;
Take a deep breath and calm the f**k down.
You still have plenty of time on your side, so let's not get carried away and start training like someone possessed by the devil for a few week before blowing out and having to spend the next 4 weeks recovering from a blown Achilles or chest infection.
So by all means get out there and have your spring fling, it is a magical time of year and should be enjoyed. But watch your back as you never know who is sneaking up behind you and I would hate to see you get caught out.