Triathlon coach and Swans race team member Kit Waller talks us through how he copes with information overload.
In this day and age we live in a time where we are constantly bombarded with new information on a daily basis. Whether this is through social media, news articles, magazines or websites with a quick search online you can find enough information to blow your mind on virtually any subject you want
For me this applies massively to sport and swimming/triathlon in particular. A quick google of swim training or front crawl technique come back with thousands of hits form thousands of people all with a slightly differing opinion on what is the best approach.
Whilst this can be brilliant its very difficult to know where to start, what to read and then what to follow or use as the right advice for you! With this in mind then I thought I would write a few points of things I feel are the best way to approach this information and get the best out of your training.
If possible get advice from a real person, a coach or advisor who you can speak to about your training and your needs. Everyone has a different set of strength and weaknesses depending on background, training history and experience and what you enjoy doing as well. For some a period of time over the winter working on swim technique may be a fantastic thing to do but for others there time could be better spent else where.
Once you have a plan stick to it as best you can. It takes a period of weeks if not months to see true progress. This can apply to anything from swim, bike and run training to weight and body composition improvement, skill and technical ability improvement or making a new habit stick, like going to bed a bit earlier. With new ideas and approaches available to read about every week try not to get sucked in to the latest and greatest short cut or magic bullet to reach your peak performance. You are much better off following a plan consistently for 3-4 months than a couple of weeks on onc approach followed by a couple of weeks of another and never spending enough time doing anything consistently enough to see a real improvement.
Nail the basics. This for me is a massive one, and something that personally I am working on a lot. Theres no point trying to nail the last couple of percent if the 90% that makes up the base of your performance isn't there. Sleep, nutrition and general recovery from training are so important at every level. You could be doing the best training plan in the world but if you fail to do those basic recovery needs properly then your not likely to make the progress you should or could. An appropriate training plan for your level and time availability again is crucial, there is no point trying to cram something into your life if it leaves you feeling tired and stressed out the whole time. Sport and training should be an addition to your life and something that brings value and happiness not stress and anxiety. Your much better off being consistent and having more fun in a 8 hour a week plan then trying to cram in 15 which causes excess stress and leaves you feeling exhausted.
Lastly it doesn’t have to be all hard and smash fest sessions. Especially during the winter have some sessions during the week that are easy and maybe a bit more social. Run with a friend steady for an hour and have a chat, ride with a group who maybe sometimes you don’t normally ride with and enjoy the ride and the company. Keep the easy sessions easy so the hard sessions can be hard and you can get the most out of them. Utilise training groups and partners that maybe you wouldn’t normally train with when building to a key race in the summer and come home from these sessions feeling fresh and happy instead of completely smashed. Save the big efforts for the days they are really required!
Have fun out there whatever your doing!
Kit Walker is a European Champion Ironman athlete and triathlon coach. 2017 saw him set a new course record for the Outlaw Triathlon (Full) in Nottingham, UK.
Kit can be found at Kit Walker Triathlon