The periods when training is going really well are great.  Hitting your targets and realising goals is very motivating.  However, experienced fitness trainers will know that things don’t always go so smoothly and to plan.  How athletes cope with the disappointment and frustration when training comes off the rails is equally important.  Here we share our experience of making the most when your training journey takes a detour.


Fitness training is an art as much as science

Effective program planning is the first step to minimising the risk of injury, illness or other factors that can derail fitness training.  However, planning effective training to get the most from yourself can be an art as much as science.  Coaches and their athletes need to learn to make in-session decisions regarding training activities and loads on a day to day basis.  Reducing training when athletes are feeling under the weather or experiencing niggles is an important skill.  Training doesn’t have to be reduced in these moments either.  Sometimes, intensity can be maintained with a simple substitution of exercises or switching of training activities.  For example, consider whether you can switch todays training for tomorrows to buy extra recovery time.  Over the course of the week, you will still have completed the training load that had been planned for the week.

Being able to plan training and modify it comes with experience.  In previous blogs we’ve discussed the process of Plan, Do and Review.  Reflecting on the impact of training is an important aspect of reaching this level of experience.


3 Key Steps to avoiding training detours

  1.  Minimising injury and illness with effective programme is the first step.  Plan your training progressions.  Too often people increase their fitness training volume too rapidly, and then suffer injury.  From week to week follow the 5% rule when it comes to increasing training load.  Avoid increases in training of 10% or more from week to week.
  2. Pay proper attention to recovery processes.  This will ensure that you are able to maintain the desired training intensity when you get to workout.  It starts with cool down, nutrition and mobility training.  Tight muscles over time will bite you back for the lack of love.  Poor nutrition simply mean you wont have to fuel to sustain your training at the required intensity or replenish after hard sessions.
  3. Listen to you body.  Training effectively not only takes a physical toll.  You spend mental and emotional energy working out too.  No pain, no gain is outdated.  Smart trainers listen to their body and introduce extra recovery or modify their workouts to account for their lower than usual energy levels.

Avoiding unplanned breaks in training or drastic modifications to your workouts is an important part of realising your fitness goals.  As Ascot’s leading personal training provider we invest a significant amount of time ensuring that our clients are working at the correct levels to get them to their goals efficiently.  Look out for our next blog which looks at dealing with forced breaks from training.